(Video courtesy GopherAthletics)
Kickoff: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Spread: Minnesota by 2
Watchability: The Gophers have flashed a run-heavy spread offense that is being run by standout QB MarQueis Gray. Minnesota has excelled running an attack modeled after what has been successful at Baylor and is emerging as one of the league's more fun offenses.
Shining stars: Western Michigan: QB Alex Carder is gaining the attention of pro scouts as he is completing 66.3 percent of his passes for 603 yards with six touchdowns against four interceptions. The mobile passer was among the NCAA leaders in total offense last season. Minnesota: Senior QB MarQuies Gray kept his momentum going against New Hampshire as he amassed 209 yards of offense and four touchdowns, including a 75-yard scoring run in the first quarter. Gray has six total touchdowns through two games.
Who could steal the show: Western Michigan: TE Blake Hammond had six catches for 94 yards with two touchdowns in a 52-21 win over Eastern Illinois last week. Hammond had three catches and no touchdowns last season. Minnesota: DB Troy Stoudermire is second on the team with 12 tackles and is one of the top kickoff returners in Big Ten history. The fifth-year senior has 3,176 career kickoff return yards, the most-ever in the conference.
You going? Ranking the road trip: Be sure to get outside TCF Bank Stadium early to cheer on the players as they march into the venue. The band and hundreds of fans typically show up to support the Gophers.
Magic number for Western Michigan: Minus-2.5. The turnover margin of the Broncos, ranking them 114th in the country.
Magic number for Minnesota: 4. Interceptions this season, already equaling the team's total from last year. Safety Derrick Wells leads the team with two.
The game comes down to: Can Minnesota stop the pass? The Gophers struggled at times against New Hampshire when the Wildcats stretched the field. New Hampshire finished with 163 yards passing and an interception, but the Broncos passing game that should be more potent. Minnesota's result greatly depends on the play of its emerging secondary.
Prediction: Minnesota 34, Western Michigan 24
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big Ten bloggers Dave Carey and Mike Singer, follow @CBSSportsBigTen.