No. 2 Michigan will be on the road Saturday when it faces Big Ten rival Minnesota in the latest edition of one of college football's oldest rivalries. The game marks the Wolverines' third straight conference clash and second consecutive contest against a Big Ten West opponent. The Gophers already have two Big Ten games under their belt, though they were more spread apart on the schedule.
This will be the 105th meeting between Michigan and Minnesota. The two teams have played for the "Little Brown Jug" trophy almost every year since 1929, though the trophy's history dates back to 1903. That makes it the oldest trophy game in the FBS and the second-oldest rivalry trophy overall. Michigan and Minnesota have only faced off five times since the Big Ten was split into divisions in 2014.
This will actually mark the first meeting between the two since 2020. Michigan holds a 76-25-3 overall advantage against the Gophers. The Wolverines are on a three-game winning streak and have enjoyed an average scoring advantage of 17 points or more over the last three contests. Michigan has also won 30 of the last 33 installments in the series. All three of Minnesota's wins in that span have come in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Gophers haven't won at home against Michigan since 1977.
How to watch Michigan vs. Minnesota live
Date: Saturday, Oct. 7 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Huntington Bank Stadium -- Minneapolis
TV: NBC | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Michigan vs. Minnesota: Need to know
Strength vs. strength: Despite the loss of star running back Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota still has one of the best rushing attacks in the Big Ten. The Gophers average 193.2 yards on the ground per game, which ranks fifth in the conference. Freshman running back Darius Taylor has been a revelation. He leads the Big Ten with 532 rushing yards. He has four rushing touchdowns and averages 6.1 yards per carry. But the Gophers face a huge challenge against a Michigan defense that ranks second in the Big Ten with 85.2 rushing yards allowed per game.
Can Minnesota score? While the Gophers will try to establish the run early, they're going to have to hit on some explosives and get creative if they want to score against Michigan. The Wolverines have the best scoring defense in the NCAA, allowing just six points per game. They've held each of their first five opponents under seven points. Minnesota is averaging just 20 points in three games against power conference competition, but even that's a little bit skewed. The Gophers scored 34 against Northwestern, but posted just 26 combined points against Nebraska and North Carolina.
Michigan impresses with offensive firepower: It's no surprise that Wolverines running back Blake Corum, a Heisman Trophy contender before injury cut his 2022 campaign short, is having a great season. He's come all the way back from his ailments and is currently tied for the FBS lead with nine touchdowns. But Michigan also boasts, somewhat quietly, one of the top wide receivers in college football. Roman Wilson is enjoying a breakout campaign with 326 yards receiving and eight touchdowns through five games -- the latter of which is tied with LSU's Brian Thomas Jr. for tops in the FBS.
Michigan vs. Minnesota prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
Minnesota lost to Northwestern, which was viewed as far and away the Big Ten's worst squad before the season began. Not only that, but the Gophers blew a 31-10 fourth-quarter lead in the loss. Minnesota also needed a strong fourth quarter last week to beat Louisiana despite being a two-score favorite. Now, Michigan is 1-3 against the spread despite its cakewalk of a schedule, but Jim Harbaugh's squad did just dismantle Nebraska. The Wolverines shouldn't have much trouble keeping a comfortable distance against one of the Big Ten's worst offenses. Pick: Michigan -19.5
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