Kansas vs. Minnesota Team Analysis

New Year's Eve in Tempe and the Minnesota Gophers await the Kansas Jayhawks in their first back to back bowl appearances in school history.  If recent history is any indication this will be a great opportunity to springboard into 2009, get to know some future stars and continue to develop a program that has had little success until recent years.

Why Kansas? Edge Scenario Edge Why Minnesota?

While Minnesota certainly fields a servicable defense it is unlikely they have faced a spread offense with this kind of firepower all year.  I expect Todd Reesing and a hopefully healthy receiving corps to move the ball well and I also anticipate the Jayhawk running attack to be fairly effective against the #70 ranked Minnesota run defense.

                

                  

KU Offense vs. Minnesota Defense

 

Minnesota has done a fairly solid job in terms of turnovers and backfield penetration.  If they can use those two things to disrupt the Jayhawks rythm they have a chance in this matchup

Will Minnesota run the spread or will they try a power running attack as has been rumored.  Either way here again I expect Kansas' experience in the tougher Big 12 conference to pay dividends.  Kansas has played against far tougher spreads and if Minnesota wants to try and be a running team by all means I'll take the Kansas defense against the 104th ranked rushing offense any day.

KU Defense vs. Minnesota Offense

                                   

Ranked 92nd in total offense, 104th in rushing offense and 82nd in scoring offense the Gophers will be the weakest offensive team Kansas has played in sometime.

Kansas get's the edge here only if Briscoe remains at the return spot.  If he does that combined with our kickers getting a warm weather game for the first time in a long time it could be a decent showing.

Special Teams

 

Truthfully Minnesota probably deserves the edge here, they have been solid but not great in this area throughout the year.

Mangino has consistently had his team prepared for bowl games and the staff at KU treats this as a game that is very important to the program.  I expect KU will appear to be the better coached and more poised team and win for the 3rd straight time in a bowl game.

Coaching

No doubt Brewster is a solid coach and has a bright future with the Gophers but he hasn't proven anything to date in his young head coaching career.

The smart money is on Kansas in this one for a variety of reasons, but after a month off you never know how a team will respond.  Not long ago Kansas was typically the underdog going into every bowl game and sometimes it just takes the right coach to turn things around.

Here's hoping Tim Brewster and the Gophers get valuable lesson taught to them come Wednesday afternoon.  Regardless it should be a good one between two teams that are still relatively new to the scene of successful football.

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