MINNESOTA SPORTS FAN DAILY: Sunday, October 15, 2017

MSF Daily: 10/15/17

Vikings Underdogs as Packers Come to Town:

What: Minnesota Vikings (3-2) vs Green Bay Packers (4-1)
When: Sunday, October 15 – Noon
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis MN (TV: FOX, Radio: KFAN)
Vegas: S: +3, L: +145, O/U: 45

The Vikings defense is going to need their best performance of the year and the crowd will have to help them impact the play of Aaron Rodgers if they Vikings are going to have a chance in this game. I can’t see the Vikings sticking around if this game turns into anything resembling a high-scoring affair.

Without Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, and Sam Bradford (not to mention a missing O-lineman in Nick Easton), Pat Shurmur is going to have to get creative on how he is going to move the football. Expect some gadget plays and even some surprises throughout this game as the Vikings try to find a way to move the ball. The offensive line will need it’s best performance of the year too.

In other words, the odds are stacked against the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers will do that to you when you are missing your entire offense due to injury. However, a good Vikings’ defense can keep even the worst offense in a game.

READ MORE – KEYS TO VICTORY, STANDINGS

Gophers 4th Qtr Comeback Falls Short vs. Michigan State Saturday Night:

It was a very interesting night at TCF Bank Stadium. The game was postponed about 45 minutes because of lightning near campus, so it was an odd start. The ball was fumbled twice within the first couple minutes. You knew it was going to be one of those games.

The conditions were good for an old-school Big Ten brawl.

The Gophers started the game with Conor Rhoda but he continued to struggle, going 5/12 for 53 yards and 0 TD’s. He was finally replaced at the end of the first half, in favor of Demry Croft. Croft looked pretty good right away, completing a 21 yard pass to everyone’s favorite receiver, Tyler Johnson, out of Minneapolis North (more on him later). Unfortunately, the drive ended with an interception, but the whole offense looked more confident with Croft on the field.

The Gophers trailed 17-6, entering halftime. Their only two scores came from Emmit Carpenter field goals.

By the time the two teams both had 2 possessions in the 2nd half, the Spartans were leading 23-6 after they drove down for two field goals, while forcing the Gophers to punt twice. Things looked like they were about to get out of hand. The Gophers, however, had a different mindset.

After giving the ball back to Michigan State to start the 4th quarter, (SO) Thomas Barber (Marion Barber III younger brother) recovered a fumble, forced by Steven Richardson, and the tide started to turn. After Shannon Brooks recovered his own fumble on the first carry of the drive, Demry Croft hit Tyler Johnson in the end zone for Tyler’s first TD of this game.

With the score now 23-13, with 12 minutes left to play, the Gophers were right back in it.

READ MORE (Highlights, Reaction, Postgame Press Conference)

Shorthanded Wild Lose to Blue Jackets in OT:

A frustrating night would be an understatement for the Minnesota Wild last night. But, like Russo mentions in his game recap, it didn’t have to be that way. The Wild had a 2-goal lead int the 3rd period. They had the lead most of the night. Their undermanned offense, missing Granlund, Parise, Coyle, and Neidereitter put 4 goals in the net. Newly acquired Tyler Ennis shelved 2 goals himself, one of which was assisted by childhood best friend Jared Spurgeon. 19-year-old Luke Kunin got his NHL debut.

But the defense, which is much healthier than the offense, let the team down. Suter was an uncharacteristic -4. Staal, who is usually solid defensively, played a big part in the tying and winning goals for Columbus.

Bruce Boudreau was expectedly unhappy about the lapses and the fact that this team his pissed games down its leg early this season.

“It is embarrassing,” Boudreau said when asked about his veterans. “I don’t understand why. I mean, a lot of it I’ve always believed is self-preparation. It wasn’t what Columbus was doing because I’ve seen Columbus play 10 times better than that. But the simple plays that you’re supposed to be making, managing the puck that you’re supposed to be doing, turning pucks over, I mean, I know we haven’t played a lot of games and all that stuff, but you can make excuses all day long.

READ MORE – WATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

Wolves Make Small Roster Moves as They Prepare for Season Opener on Wednesday:

The Timberwolves are getting ready to start the season on Wednesday and they needed to make more roster cuts to get the team under the 15-player regular season roster limit. Former Maryland guard, Melo Trimble was one of the casualties and so was Duke’s Amile Jefferson. Veteran, Shawn Williams was also cut. All 3 players will likely end up in Iowa with the new Iowa Wolves G-League Team.

Marcus Georges-Hunt survived the cuts and remains as the 14th player on the roster. Thibs has said that he wants to keep the roster at 14, instead of the max-15, to help with roster flexibility in the future. Barring a trade or roster move, the roster is set for Wednesday.

Gophers Get 4-star ex-Kentucky Commit to Visit Campus this Weekend:

The Gophers took a tough loss last night in a game where they never lost hope. Down 2 possessions almost the whole game, the team stayed positive and continued to fight, eventually falling short in a 23-20 sloppy game on the wet, sloppy TCF Bank Stadium. A somewhat-surprise guest was in the building, thinking about helping the cause for 2018.

Alex Reigelsperger is a 4-star defensive end from Dayton, Ohio. He stands at 6’3″, 247 pounds. He decommitted from Kentucky on Monday and mad the U of M one of his first visits. Alex would be the Gophers’ top recruit for 2018 if he were to commit. You can watch some highlights on Alex HERE.

MSF Daily by Eric Strack @RealMNSportsFan