The bye week is in the rear-view mirror for the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines (5-2, 2-1) as they head to the Twin Cities to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-3, 1-2).
Michigan is looking to bounce back in a big way following the last-second loss to MSU two weeks ago and they are in good position to grab a nice road win on Halloween night.
The storyline of the week revolves around Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill's decision to retire due to growing concerns over his health. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys steps in to take over the team in the interim. The emotional response from the Gophers could play a big part in how this game shakes out.
The biggest key for Michigan seems to come in the form of not letting the same game end up as two losses. Heartbreak against MSU aside, they have had two weeks to regroup and refocus and are expected to do just that on Saturday night.
De'Veon Smith and Drake Johnson are expected to be healthy and good to go, which is needed to get the run game back on track. The Wolverines have been making steady progress each week, but ran into a brick wall against the Spartans.
Defensively, Michigan should be able to continue it's dominance. Minnesota is a pedestrian team offensively and Mitch Leidner has struggled a bit this year. Harbaugh says when you go on the road, you have to "pack a defense." They'll do just that.
In terms of a prediction, Michigan should be able to take care of business this week pretty easily and bring the Little Brown Jug back to Ann Arbor. I have the Wolverines winning by a score of 34-13.
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- Michigan is 73-25-3 all-time against Minnesota and have won 22 of the last 24 meetings.
- Michigan has won the last 15 meetings on the road against Minnesota going back to 1977.
- Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will be on the call for Saturday's game.
- The Little Brown Jug is the oldest trophy game in college football, dating back to 1903. It started when Michigan left behind a water jug at Minnesota in its haste to get off the field after a wild finish and crazy loss. Minnesota painted it and kept it as its own. When Fielding Yost called to get the jug back, he was told they would have to win it back, and Michigan did just that the next time the two teams played in 1909. The rest is history.
Week Nine College Football Television Schedule