Kickoff from the Twin Cities is slated for Noon Eastern, with ESPN2 carrying the national broadcast. The Northwestern Wildcats (6-2, 3-4 ATS) could very well look back on Saturday’s 21-19 loss at Indiana and label the contest as a trap game.
Indiana entered having lost five straight, four straight against the Wildcats specifically, but when the final whistle blew, Indiana had completed the upset and notched its first Big 10 win in 2008.
College football betting aficionados who placed their faith within NU’s chances were never even given a glimpse of confidence, as the Hoosiers took a 14-7 lead with under a minute remaining in the first half, and never backed off.
The Cats committed five turnovers in the game, yet even worse for HC Pat Fitzgerald’s squad, star running back Tyrell Sutton will now miss the remainder of the season, after suffering a wrist injury in Saturday’s third quarter; starting QB CJ Bacher is also questionable for this one with a leg injury.
NU dropped to 3-4 against the NCAA betting odds this season with the loss. Minnesota’s (7-1, 6-1 ATS) defense has truly been the key component in turning last year’s one-win season into a seven win campaign thus far in 2008.
The Golden Gophers have the largest turnover margin in the country, and were able to force four more last Saturday, in a 17-6 Minnesota victory at Purdue; it was the first time Minnesota’s defeated the Boilermakers in West Lafayette since 1990.
Minnesota was penalized thirteen times, out-gained in first downs and only held a 10-6 advantage in the fourth quarter, but tight end Jack Simmons caught a nine yard pass from Adam Weber with 6:22 remaining to put the contest out of reach. Minnesota is still staring up at undefeated Penn State, so every play on Saturday will be crucial.
The Gophers currently sit as 6.5-point home favorites with the total sitting at 44.