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OTB Staff Predictions For Rutgers At Minnesota

Will Chris Ash get his first Big Ten win this weekend? Here is what our staff thinks will happen.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Rutgers Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Pisani: Finally. A change has been made. Maybe we actually win a game? A conference game nonetheless. Is Giovanni Rescigno the savior this team needs this season? We do not know that yet, but we will find out what this red-shirt sophomore has in store for us. He did score our first touchdown in several weeks last week, though, so I am hoping he does it again; more than once this time. The Golden Gophers average 207 yards rushing a game and give up only 133 a game. If Rutgers wants to win this game, they need Robert Martin, Josh Hicks, and Justin Goodwin to all have good days. We are also going to need to stop the run defensively, too. Unfortunately, I do not see us stopping the Golden Gophers on the ground. The only way we could win this game is if we get a restraining order on the whole team to prevent them from even getting into the stadium. Again, do not see that happening. Minnesota 42 Rutgers 17

Bob Cancro: Minnesota can't pass too well. That's good for us. They do play pretty good defense; that's bad for us. A new QB may help kick-start the offense. But on the road, for their Homecoming, with Gio starting his first game? Not a good recipe for a win. Could we win this? Yes, like we could have won against Iowa or Illinois. Wait a minute; that's it. We can't beat teams in close games if they begin with the letter "I". Hmmm. Minnesota 28 Rutgers 17

Griffin Whitmer: Rutgers should play better than a lot of people expect and I think they’ll finally put up some offense. I believe the team will rally around Gio Rescigno and it will make a difference and I’m really excited for what he can do. With that being said, Minnesota is so clearly a better team and I can’t see them losing to Rutgers at home on homecoming. Minnesota is a team that wins the games they should and this is one of them. Also, I love Tracy Claeys. I really do. It’s really hard to pick against that man, but I’ll sure as hell be rooting against him on Saturday. At the end of the day, Minnesota should come out with the win like everyone expects. Minnesota 17 Rutgers 14.

Aaron Breitman: I'm optimistic Rutgers will play better this week and getting away from home should actually be a good thing for this team. I'm interested to see how the offense operates with Gio starting at quarterback, as he is better suited to run it. If they can control the time of possession and have sustained drives, it will give the defense a much better chance to hold their own against the Minnesota run game. Even so, it's hard to be confident that there will be a complete turnaround this week, which is what it will take for Rutgers to beat a good team on the road. I think it will be a close first half until Minnesota pulls away in the third quarter, as the Gophers start to dominate the trenches. I'd love to see a close game until the end, but at this point if Rutgers can make a game of it at all, progress will be made. Minnesota 31 Rutgers 14

Dave White: It's that time of year. The air is a bit cooler. The sun goes down faster and things get just a little bleaker. And while Chris Ash is looking for any little thing that can give his offense a boost and keep the defense off the field and refreshed, I'm not sure Gio Rescigno is the answer. Of course, they may put up a few points, but Minnesota is good and Minnesota is not going to let this team beat them. That doesn't mean the future isn't bright, but right now the sun is setting just a little too quickly on this season. Minnesota 38 Rutgers 10

Scott Logan: I'll say this. At least Chris Ash is trying. Even Chris Laviano's most persistent defenders had a hard time defending his performance against Illinois. Making a change seems obvious, but the previous coaching staff should have pulled the trigger on a QB change multiple times last year and never did. Ash isn't dragging his feet on this one, and I know it's common sense, but it's still refreshing. That said, this team looks like it's more than a QB change away from being competitive. I HOPE Gio can move the offense, but I have a hard time believing it until I see it. Brace for impact. Minnesota 31 Rutgers 7

Andy Egan: The Gophers lost to Iowa by the same score Rutgers did (after the Knights softened the Hawkeyes up for them, of course). This Minnesota team is not leaps and bounds more talented than Rutgers, nor are they coached by someone with multiple national championships or someone who has coached a team to the Super Bowl, like our last three opponents. This is the one Rutgers wins, as long as Gio can minimize his mistakes. We aren't asking much from our new QB: hang onto the football, check down a primary and hopefully at least one other receiver, and if nothing pops, take off. And, in case I wasn't clear before, HANG ONTO THE FOOTBALL. If the Knights can put together some decedent drives, the defense is good enough to keep Minnesota from putting up too many points. Rutgers wins close, and takes some momentum into the bye week to get healthy and finish strong(er). Rutgers 24, Minnesota 21

Jim Hoffman: Last week, I broke my perfect record. Up to that point, I had gotten every prediction correct. The Illini took care of that, however. This week, I’m with Andy. I think the change in QB will have a galvanizing impact on the offense, and the defense, having more time to be off the field, will not be exhausted, and able to stand up to the run game of Minnesota. Also, the Minnesota defense really have no real game film to look at with regard to Gio. One series for a running TD in the game against Howard, and a half against Illinois doesn’t give them much to plan against. I’ve been a supporter of Gio since his arrival, and I’m happy as can be to see him finally getting a chance. Finally, I think the Golden Gophers have convinced themselves this is a easy ‘W’ and are probably looking past this one to the next week’s game against Illinois. My last thought is this: Coach Mehringer, if the run is getting you into the red zone, stop switching to passes once you get close to the end zone! Keep using the hot hand, please!! Rutgers 27 Minnesota 19

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