Game Time with Grimm: Minnesota-Illinois Preview

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The Gopher Radio Network's Mike Grimm gives fans five things to watch (and listen) for during Saturday's season finale against Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium:

1. REPEAT HISTORY: This Gopher team repeated history once already this season with a win over Iowa for a second consecutive season. Players felt the fact they had won the previous year helped them believe they could win. Well, Minnesota beat Illinois last year, too, so they must harness those same positive vibes for this Saturday!

2. KICKING GAME: The good news for Minnesota's special teams this year is they have two kickoff returns for touchdowns, a blocked punt for a TD, and a key onside kick conversion. The bad news is they have lost the field position battle because of some poor punting and kick coverage in recent weeks. The Gophers will have to shore up those holes if they want to beat the Orange and Blue.

3. FAST START: There is no doubt the Golden Gophers play better in games in which they get off to a fast start and have things good happen to them. If they get a quick start on in their own stadium, they have a great shot at closing out the season with a victory.

4. WILLPOWER: Both the Golden Gophers and Fighting Illini have struggled this season, especially Illinois after its promising start. Each team has a fragile mindset, so whichever club comes out and seizes control of the game will likely be the victor.

5. RAY-DIO: This will be our final broadcast of the year from our home radio booth named for legendary Gopher radio announcer Ray Christianson. One of the bigger thrills for me as a member of the Gopher Radio Network has been getting to know the Hall of Fame announcer. A true gentleman and professional, Ray is still polite, well-spoken, and a wealth of knowledge. Every time we walk into the Ray Christianson Radio Booth, we know the standard has been set high by its namesake.

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