Rutgers (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten) at Minnesota (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten), Saturday, 2:30 p.m. EDT (Big Ten Network)
Line: Minnesota by 14½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Minnesota leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Rutgers has a winning record at the seven-game mark for the first time since 2014, thanks to a bounce-back victory over Indiana last week that followed an offensive coordinator change by coach Greg Schiano. With No. 4 Michigan and No. 13 Penn State looming in November, this is a critical matchup for the Scarlet Knights.
The same goes for the Gophers, who have not won in October after a dominant 4-0 start raised hope of a Big Ten West Division title. Minnesota, which turned to redshirt freshman QB Athan Kaliakmanis last week in the loss at Penn State with sixth-year starter Tanner Morgan sidelined by a concussion, needs to jump-start the offense. The Gophers averaged 13.7 points over the previous three games, completing only 33 of 73 passes with seven interceptions and one TD.
Rutgers DL vs. Minnesota OL. The Scarlet Knights rank sixth in the FBS and third in the conference in rushing defense with an average of 87.4 yards allowed per game. The Gophers have not enjoyed the same dominance at the line they've been used to this month, though RB Mohamed Ibrahim still has a personal streak of 15 straight games with 100-plus rushing yards.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Rutgers: RB Samuel Brown V. The true freshman rushed for 101 yards and a TD last week against Indiana in his first career start. Brown's 28 carries were the most in a game for the Scarlet Knights since they entered the Big Ten in 2014.
Minnesota: K Matthew Trickett. The fifth-year specialist, in his second season with the Gophers, is tied for first in the conference with an 85.7% field goal rate. He's 7 for 8 — and 29 for 29 on extra points.
FACTS & FIGURES
This is the second trip to Minnesota for Rutgers in nine seasons of Big Ten play, last visiting in 2016. ... Rutgers is 8-5 in road games over the last three seasons, tied with Iowa and Michigan for the most such wins in the conference over that span. ... The Scarlet Knights lead the Big Ten with four blocked kicks, the third-most in the FBS. ... Minnesota has its first home game in 28 days, the longest such stretch since 2013. ... Despite giving up 45 points at Penn State last week, the Gophers are ninth in the FBS in scoring defense (16.4 points allowed per game) and 12th in total defense (294.4 yards allowed per game). That ranks fifth and sixth in the Big Ten, respectively.
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