Nebraska won’t be waiting for Minnesota to stray at all from its game plan Saturday, because that’s something the Gophers generally don’t do.
It’s a big reason behind Minnesota sitting 7-3 and heading for a third straight bowl game under head coach Jerry Kill.
“I think they have an identity,” NU head coach Bo Pelini said Tuesday on the Big Ten teleconference. “They know what they want to do. They stay committed to running the football. They don’t get discouraged out of running the football. And I think they do a good job with it.”
The Gophers rank sixth in the Big Ten in rushing offense at 223.7 yards per game, with senior tailback David Cobb averaging 135.0. They have thrown the football far fewer times than any other team in the league (185).
“They stay with what they’re doing, and have a certain concept of what they want to do and how they want to do it,” Pelini said. “And execute it at a high level.”
When Minnesota does throw the ball, it often looks for tight end Maxx Williams.
“He’s a tight end, but he’s a big guy who can run and you can kind of use him as a wideout,” Pelini said. “They try to find different ways in the passing game to get him the football. I think they use his talent set really well.”
The Nebraska-Minnesota game at 11 a.m. on Saturday will be the final appearance at Memorial Stadium for 13 Husker seniors.
“It’s very emotional, knowing it’s the last time you’re going to go out there in front of your home fans,” Pelini said. “It’s kind of a wakeup call that your career’s coming to an end, for most guys. But these kids have meant a lot and they’ve done a lot for our program.”
Omaha World-Herald: Big Red
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