Minnesota, by the numbers: New quarterback has the Gophers feeling good
ANN ARBOR -- Each week we take a look at the Michigan football team's next opponent, by the numbers.
Up next: Minnesota (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten).
Touchdowns thrown in two starts by Minnesota freshman quarterback Philip Nelson. Nelson got the starting nod from Golden Gophers coach Jerry Kill weeks ago against Wisconsin, and has been a pleasant surprise. He threw for 246 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions in a dominating win over Purdue last week.
Yards per catch last week by new Minnesota receiver MarQueis Gray. With Nelson's move to quarterback, Gray -- the team's former starting signal caller -- is an interesting new target in the Golden Gophers' new offensive look.
Michigan's pass defense is No. 1 both in the Big Ten and nationally. But Minnesota's is No. 2 in the conference. The Golden Gophers have picked off eight balls and are defending the pass as good as anyone in the league right now.
Pass breakups recorded by Minnesota defensive back Michael Carter last week, tying a school record.
While the Golden Gophers are stopping the pass, they're not stopping the run. Minnesota is giving up nearly 200 yards per game on the ground, 10th in the Big Ten.
Saturday will mark the first time Michigan has ever played at Minnesota's new outdoor TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota, of course, used to play inside The Metrodome.
Michigan has dominated the battle for the "Little Brown Jug" over the past 30 meetings between these two teams. Minnesota last won the trophy in 2005.
Career coaching wins by Minnesota coach Jerry Kill. Michigan coach Brady Hoke has routinely expressed how much respect he has for Kill, who used to coach against Hoke in the Mid-American Conference.
Yards the Michigan offense put up in a 58-0 drubbing of Minnesota in Ann Arbor last season.