Minnesota vs. Indiana State Prediction, Game Preview

Minnesota vs. Indiana State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Golden Gophers and Sycamores.

Minnesota vs. Indiana State Game Preview

When: Saturday, Sept. 10 – Noon ET 

Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn. 
Broadcast: ESPNEWS 
One of the most-talked-about decisions of college football’s opening weekend came Thursday night, when Minnesota coach Tracy Claeys made the unorthodox choice to go for a two-point conversion when hs team went up by seven over Oregon State on Mitch Leidner’s 1-yard run with 1:27 remaining. Despite the Beavers needing a score and two-point conversion to tie it on their final drive had the Gophers kicked the extra point, Claeys explained that he was trying to end the game right then and there. That’s a reasonable explanation, I guess, but Claeys certainly hopes this one isn’t close enough to have to make that call again. 
Indiana State is a competitive FCS team playing in the Missouri Valley Football Conference that’s produced five-time defending national champion North Dakota State. It has a quarterback in Isaac Harker who threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 41-25 win over Butler. However, there’s little reason to believe Minnesota can’t ride its strong ground game to an easy victory and keep Claeys from stirring up more controversy with late-game decisions.

What To Know About Minnesota

If you haven’t heard of Rodney Smith yet, you’ll likely hear his name called plenty early on against the Sycamores. Smith rushed 25 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns in Minnesota’s win over Oregon State and is the Golden Gophers’ work horse. Leidner isn’t going to scare anyone with his arm, but he showed he can run by finishing with 76 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

What to Know About Indiana State

If Minnesota has trouble scoring, it likely will be because of Tsali Lough. The Indiana State defensive back had a monster game against Butler, recording a sack, an interception, forcing two fumbles and returning one of them 100 yards for a touchdown. If Lough comes even close to having a similar performance, it could be a long day for the Golden Gophers offense. And when the Sycamores have the ball, they’ll lean on Harker (35 pass attempts in the opener) while changing the pace with running backs Dimitri Taylor, Roland Genesy and Jaquan Keys, each of whom had at least 11 carries against Butler.


Offense: Minnesota – I’m expecting another big day from Smith. 

Defense:  Minnesota – The Gophers forced two turnovers and held Oregon State to 89 yards rushing. 
Special Teams: Minnesota – Its coverage team was very good in a tight game. 
Coaching: Minnesota – Claeys has a defensive background and stopping Indiana State shouldn’t be much of a problem. 
Intangibles: Minnesota – The Sycamores went 1-4 on the road last season, including a 24-point loss at Purdue.

Matchup To Watch

Lough vs. Minnesota’s offense

Granted it came against Butler, but Lough seemed to be everywhere and completely harassed the Bulldogs. It’ll be interesting to see if he can have another big effort against better competition.

Minnesota vs. Indiana State Betting Odds

Spread: No Line 

Over/Under: No Line

Minnesota vs. Indiana State Prediction

Smith runs for 140 yards and two touchdowns and the Minnesota defense stands tall in a lopsided win. 

Minnesota vs. Indiana State Final Score Prediction: Minnesota 37, Indiana State 10

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