Minnesota vs West Virginia Prediction, Pick, Guaranteed Rate Bowl Odds, Broadcast, Live Stream, Watch Online

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Two rabid fanbases head southwest as 8-4 Minnesota and 6-6 West Virginia prepare to practice in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona. The Gophers ended the year on a two-game winning streak against Indiana and Wisconsin thanks to a stellar defensive effort, now Badgers star running back Braylen Allen to just 47 yards.

West Virginia snuck into a bowl game after edging Texas and Kansas for consecutive weeks by single scores. Quarterback Jarret Doege put on one of his best games against the Longhorns, throwing 290 yards and three touchdowns to knock Texas out of bowl eligibility. However, WVU will be without star running back Leddie Brown following his declaration for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Although they have both played football for over 130 years, West Virginia and Minnesota have never faced each other. Both programs have won bowl games in the past two seasons, and West Virginia won that 2015 bowl game’s predecessor against Arizona State.

Minnesota vs West Virginia: what to know

Weathering the storm: Minnesota has had a crazy season, but an unprecedented string of running back injuries played a major role. After running back Mo Ibrahim injured himself in the opener against Ohio State, three other running backs had 100 runs due to injuries. Despite averaging just 4.2 yards per carry as a team, the Gophers still ranked third among the Big Ten in rushing yards per game. It’s not a flashy strategy, but it works.

Without stars: With Brown for the bowl game, West Virginia doesn’t have a single player on the roster more than 700 yards from the scrum. In his absence, the Mountaineers will rely heavily on second Tony Mathis. The Floridian ran for 256 yards on 59 carries in 2021, including 118 yards in a 34-28 victory over Kansas. More will also fall on Doege’s shoulders, which was an awkward situation for the experienced flagger.

Solid defense: Minnesota aren’t spectacular defensively, but the Gophers have held 11 straight opponents within 30 points since their loss to Ohio State. Minnesota lost two games in which the defense allowed just 14 points, and it ranks 12th in defensive success rate. The Gophers are especially good at breaking through tough third down situations thanks to a strong season from disruptive rusher Boye Mafe, who recorded nine tackles for a loss and six sacks in 12 games.

How to watch the Guaranteed Rate Bowl live

Game: Guaranteed rate bowl
Dated
: Tuesday December 28 | Time: 10:15 p.m. ET
Site: Chase Field – Phoenix, Arizona
TV: ESPN | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)

Guaranteed rate bowl prediction, choice

Featured Game | Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

Minnesota makes a living putting teams in offensive positions at a disadvantage, and West Virginia will play directly into the hands of the Gophers without Brown in the lineup. Expect the UM running backs to do just enough to keep the WVU defense on their toes in a low scoring affair. Prediction: Minnesota (-4.5)

What college football choices can you confidently make during bowl season, and which underdogs will outright win? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the gap – all from a proven computer model that has grossed nearly $ 3,600 in profits over the past five+ seasons – and find out.

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