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1. Run the Ball
Regardless of which quarterback starts, the Gophers need to focus on the ground game.
Minnesota is currently ranked 119th in the nation in passing yards per game. Needless to say, that is not exactly what the Gophers had expected.
But Minnesota does have a solid running game.
In 2013, running back David Cobb leads the attack with 477 yards. He also boasts five touchdowns.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Mitch Leidner has 344 yards for five touchdowns on the ground.
While sophomore Philip Nelson has made a stronger case as the future starting quarterback for the Gophers, Leidner's ability to run definitely gives him an edge in the matchup with the Huskers.
Trying to win with the ball in the air is not a smart plan for Minnesota. Stick to the run game and tire out the Blackshirts' defensive line.
2. Win the Turnover Game
Nebraska's turnover game has been improved in 2013. However, it's still an aspect the Huskers battle with.
Minnesota can take advantage of that.
Depending on who is quarterback, putting the pressure up front and forcing the Nebraska offense to respond quickly could produce turnovers. That will benefit the Gophers.
For example, in 2012, 18 of Nebraska's 35 turnovers resulted to an opponent scoring. Of those 18 scores, 16 were touchdowns.
Again, Nebraska has improved its turnover margin so far in 2013, but it's tough to tell if that will continue. Minnesota needs to focus on preventing its own turnovers while benefiting from any Nebraska gives up.
3. Take Advantage of the Home Field
There is something to be said about home-field advantage. A crowd can absolutely help make or break a team.
In 2011, Nebraska traveled to Minnesota for its first season in the Big Ten. Husker fans traveled well, too. It makes sense. Minnesota is one of the closest home games, aside from Iowa. The Sea of Red has no problem heading North and filling seats.
However, that can be problematic for any home team looking for crowd momentum.
For Minnesota, it will be important to take advantage of the home-field advantage. Husker fans will be loud and proud in TCF Bank Stadium, so the Gophers will need to outshine those in red.
Failing to do so could give Nebraska momentum.