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TCU favored by more than 2 touchdowns against Gophers

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It's game day for the Golden Gophers as it looks to upset the second-ranked Texas Christian University Horned Frogs at TCF Bank Stadium, but very few think the upset will happen.

Kickoff is at 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.

TCU is favored by as many as 17 points by the majority of oddsmakers, including Bovada, BetOnline.com and Top Bet, according to Odds Shark. None of the oddsmakers have the Gophers better than a 14.5-point underdog.

Predictions

The Dallas Morning News has the Horned Frogs crushing the Gophers, 41-13.

"Starting the season on the road in the first marquee game of the college football season is a lot of pressure, but there’s no reason to believe Gary Patterson’s bunch can’t handle the hype. The offense will pick up right where it left off in the Peach Bowl with a chance to go a bit deeper in the playbook after a full year in Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie’s schemes. The defense may struggle, but Minnesota won’t be able to keep up with the Frogs well enough to make it a contest."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has it a bit closer, with TCU winning 45-28.

"Stellar offense rescues young defense that shows some growing pains."

Nothing to lose

All the pressure is on TCU, who many believe could earn a spot in the College Football Playoff. A win for the Gophers would send an immediate message not only to the Big Ten, but to the rest of the country.

“What have we got to lose?” Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill said, per the Star Tribune. “We just go out there and have some fun and play hard and see what happens.”

Attacking TCU's defense

There's no questioning TCU's offense. It is explosive and loaded with talent. But, as the Star Tribune noted, TCU's defense lost six of it's top seven leading tacklers from 2014, a true freshman is starting at middle linebacker and two of its top players on defense are suspended for the game.

Those factors could help Minnesota junior quarterback Mitch Leidner and the Gophers' offense keep pace with TCU. Kill has been impressed with Leidner in preseason practices, saying he has a "boatload of confidence," according to FOX Sports North.

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