New Mexico State vs Minnesota Football Preview and Prediction

New Mexico State vs Minnesota Football
(USA TODAY SPORTS)

Date: Thursday, August 30
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Network: BTN

College football season is in full swing after the first weekend of so-so games. New Mexico State was part of that first weekend of games, losing 29-7 to Wyoming and the score doesn’t indicate just how far apart the two teams were.

The Aggies offense managed just 135 yards of total offense, the defense got ripped through and pounded on by the UW running game.

The problem for New Mexico State is Minnesota has lethal running game–and if last weekend was any indication, the Gophers should be able to run the ball consistently.

The Gophers offensive line is more powerful and more talented than Wyoming’s, so the Aggies will need to hold their own up front, something easier said than done.

Minnesota Player to Watch

Rodney Smith-RB-Senior

The talented, veteran running back will lead the way for the Gophers offense this season. He has accumulated 2,805 rushing yards with 21 scores during his career and going up against a porous run defense, he should start 2018 with a huge game.

Minnesota will be able to set up short third-down chances by running the ball early, giving their young quarterback, Zack Annexstad a chance to succeed with little pressure on him.

Annexstad is a freshman walk-on, who secured the starting job with an impressive fall camp. His ability to make splash plays with his arm, and still take care of the ball paid huge dividends for him this fall. Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck mentioned how this won’t be a rotation and they’ll be a long leash for Annexstad, so unless an injury happens, he appears to be the starter until further notice.

New Mexico State Player to Watch

Matt Romero-QB-Junior

There is no denying Romero struggled in the Aggies opening game against Wyoming. He completed 16-of-27 throws for 140 yards and a garbage-time touchdown – but nothing major happened until the game was well out of reach.

Good news for Romero and New Mexico State, the Wyoming pass rush is actually more talented than that of Big Ten school Minnesota. If the offensive line can give Romero some time, he should put up better numbers in this contest.

Prediction

There is a simple formula for a Minnesota victory–run the football and do not put your true freshman quarterback in situations that do not constitute success (long third downs, lack of protection, pressure situations, etc.).

If the Gophers can control the time of possession, they can keep their less-than-talented defense off the field and give confidence to their young offense.

New Mexico State will need to play the game of their lives to hang in this game. Getting blown out by Wyoming, then immediately facing a Big Ten school is not good for a teams confidence.

I expect the Aggies to put up more points, but slowing down Rodney Smith and company will be too much of a challenge.

Minnesota 45 New Mexico State 20

https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/9984020.jpeg?fit=1024%2C576&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/9984020.jpeg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Dan SchalkBig TenMountain WestNCAAFRecent PostsBig Ten,College Football,Minnesota Golden Gophers,Mountain West,New Mexico State Aggies,New Mexico State vs Minnesota FootballNew Mexico State vs Minnesota Football Preview and Prediction Date: Thursday, August 30 Game Time: 7:00 ET Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN Network: BTN College football season is in full swing after the first weekend of so-so games. New Mexico State was part of that first weekend of games, losing 29-7 to Wyoming...