Game 6: Minnesota at Michigan
Five Things You Need To Know
1. The Gophers travel to Michigan this Saturday for their second road game of the season. Minnesota, which is 3-3 in its last six road games, beat New Mexico State 44-21 early this year in Las Cruces, N.M. in front of 16,418 fans. The stakes will be higher on Saturday when the Gophers and Wolverines clash in front of nearly 110,000 fans. Minnesota enters the game with a 4-1 record, but is coming off a Big Ten loss to Iowa. The Wolverines are 4-0 on the year and had a bye last week. Minnesota is 24-72-3 all-time against Michigan and is 12-39-1 at Michigan Stadium. However, both of the Gophers' most recent wins against Michigan have come on the road, as Minnesota won 23-20 in 2005 and 20-17 in 1986. Michigan has won the last five meetings between the two schools (teams did not play in 2009 or 2010).
2. On the line this week is the Little Brown Jug, which is the oldest trophy played for in the Big Ten. The Gophers and Wolverines have playing for the Little Brown Jug since 1903, when Michigan left a jug at Minnesota following a 6-6 tie. Michigan won the jug back in 1909, the teams' next meeting. The Wolverines lead the overall series 68-22-8 since the trophy's introduction. The Gophers' most recent victory came in 2005 in Ann Arbor when Jason Giannini made a last-second field goal to secure the jug with a 23-20 victory.
3. The Gophers are 19-for-20 (95 percent) in the red zone this year, which ranks second in the Big Ten (Penn State is 15-for-15, 100 percent) and is tied for 11th in the nation with Air Force, Louisville and East Carolina (all are 19-for-20). Minnesota has scored 15 touchdowns (tied for third in the Big Ten) in the red zone and kicked four field goals. The Gophers are tied for second in the nation with Boise State and Vanderbilt with 14 red zone rushing touchdowns (Texas A&M is first with 15). Eight of those runs, which includes five from the win against San Jose State, were 1-yard touchdowns.
4. The Gophers are ranked first in the Big Ten and tied for eighth in the nation (with Georgia Tech) in red zone defense. Minnesota's opponents have encountered the red zone 16 times, but have put points on the board only 10 times (62.5 percent). The Gophers have allowed four rushing touchdowns, three passing touchdowns and three field goals in the red zone. Minnesota has two red zone interceptions this year and also stopped its opponents twice on downs.
5. Sophomore Rodrick Williams has rushed the ball 109 times in his career (13 games) and has been stopped for negative yardage only three times. Williams enters this weekend's game at Michigan with a streak of 86 carries without a loss of yards. His only three negative rushes came in his first career game (loss of 2 yards against Northwestern on Oct. 13, 2012) and fourth career game (losses of 1 and 3 yards against Michigan on Nov. 3, 2012). Williams, who has never been stopped for a loss of yards on the road, has 560 career rushing yards while averaging 5.1 yards-per-carry.
Minnesota's complete game notes can be found here.