Football Pregame: Minnesota vs. Northwestern

Austin Cumblad

 Good morning from overcast Evanston, Ill.  The horseshoe at Ryan Field is slowly starting to fill as the Gophers and Wildcats prepare to open the Big Ten season.  Here are a few things I’ll be watching for from the press box today:

-The return of Marcus Sherels:  Sidelined for Minnesota’s last two games with an ankle injury, the cornerback could not have picked a better game to return.  Sherels is arguably the Gophers’ best pure cover corner and against Northwestern’s Mike Kafka, who put up record passing numbers a week ago against Syracuse, he’ll need to return to immediately return to form.

-Run, run, run: Can Minnesota establish the run?  It has yet to this season.  But if the Gophers do manage to move the ball on the ground, look out for…

-Weber to Decker: Both men are on a mission this week.  Decker to erase the memory of the ball he let through his hands a year ago that led to the Wildcats’ Brendan Smith returning an interception 48 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 11 seconds remaining in the game; Weber to erase the memory of three fourth quarter interceptions a week ago against California.  The duo could have a big day.  But i’d also like to see…

-Weber to others: Receivers Brandon Green and Troy Stoudermire and tight end Nick Tow-Arnett to name a few.  All have proven capable and I don’t know if it’s just Weber not trusting them quite yet or the fact that Decker is always open (I’d go to him too), but I’d like to see a little more distribution of the ball.

Alright the game just kicked off.  Check back frequently for in-game updates.