Minnesota Golden Gophers
(1-5, 3-3 ATS)
(3-2, 2-3 ATS)
Kick off your Saturday afternoon of NCAA football betting action this weekend with a great nationally televised clash between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten.
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The Golden Gophers have fallen a long way since winning their opening game of the season against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Since that point, they have allowed at least 29 points in all five of their games and have dropped all five, including a 41-38 loss to the lowly South Dakota Coyotes. RB Duane Bennett has only had 111 rushing yards in his L/4 games and has only averaged 2.41 yards per carry in that stretch without scoring a TD on the ground. However, the offense continues to at least look remotely competent. We must remember that this schedule since the game against the USC Trojans has not been an easy one, as duels against the Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, and Wisconsin Badgers is no fun. As a result, back to back NCAA football spreads have been covered, a welcome change from the 0-3 ATS marks over the previous three weeks. QB Adam Weber has been the bright spot in the offense. He has thrown for 1,448 yards and 12 scores against four picks. Weber, a four year starter for the Gophers, is just 306 yards away from 10,000 in his career, and he has 64 TD passes to show for his work.
For the Boilermakers, a bowl game isn’t out of the question this year, but this is a game that really has to be won. The only home games left are against the Wisconsin Badgers, Michigan Wolverines, and Indiana Hoosiers, and the roadies are seemingly all certain defeats. The problem with this year’s team is that QB Robert Marve got injured early and is out for the season, and his most likely replacement, QB Caleb TerBush was declared academically ineligible for the year. With RB Ralph Bolden already on the shelf, this only complicates matters for a team that was already rebuilding. Freshman QB Rob Henry just isn’t ready as a passer at this level quite yet. Yes, he can run around quite well, as he has 299 yards and a score on the year with his legs, but his arm just isn’t there yet. Henry has completed just 45.8 percent of his passes for 280 yards with two scores and two picks on the year. The defense is the only thing keeping this team together for the time being, as this unit has only allowed more than 23 points once this season.
It’ll be the defense that probably wins this game for the Boilermakers. This is just an ugly duel in Lafayette on Saturday, but there’s a reason that the oddsmakers are giving Purdue a nod in this game over a Minnesota team that just can’t figure out how to get out of its own way.
College Football Free Pick: Purdue Boilermakers -5.5