The final two games of the regular season will determine whether the Gophers get another shot at Ohio state in the Big Ten Championship. The man who much of the success will rely upon is running back David Cobb, who according to the Lincoln Journal Star, was probably salivating watching game film of Wisconsin's demolition of Nebraska last week.
Cobb and the 25th-ranked Gophers play at No. 23 Nebraska on Saturday, and if Cobb's day is anything like Melvin Gordon's against Nebraska, the Gophers will likely still control their own destiny entering their final regular season game against the Badgers.
Gordon set an NCAA rushing record with 408 yards against the Cornhuskers. He had 359 yards at halftime and he didn't play in the fourth quarter. The Gophers are a natural ground-and-pound team the way it is, but Wisconsin's success running the ball around, through and over the Cornhuskers has Nebraska cornerback Josh Mitchell believing Minnesota quarteraback Mitch Leidner will do less passing than normal this week.
“They run the ball a lot and Wisconsin ran the ball a lot,” Mitchell said. “After watching that film, I would imagine that they’re going to try and duplicate some of the things that Wisconsin did. For them, it looks like a recipe for success. So we need to fix the little things that need to be fixed.”
While Kill expects Bo Pelini's team to fix the mistakes that led to Gordon's record-setting day, he's not ready to put Cobb on the same planet as the Badgers' Heisman candidate.
But Nebraska couldn't stop anything. Here's an infographic from the Badgers' athletics department showing just how bad it got.
Cobb, by the way, has a lot on the line over the final 3-4 (will be three games unless Minnesota plays for the Big Ten Championship) games of the season. The senior from Killeen, Texas is only 114 yards shy of tying Laurence Maroney’s single-season record of 1,464 rushing yards set in 2005, according to GopherSports.com.
"If that happens, then I will be excited," Cobb said, "but if it doesn’t and we win then I will be alright too."
Cobb's outstanding season is starting to attract attention from NFL media moguls. Check out what NFL Media's Albert Breer and Bleacher Report's Matt Miller think of him.
Cobb won't be the only dynamic running back on the field Saturday. Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah is one of the nation's leading rushers; but he'll likely be playing through a bit of pain against Minnesota after getting banged up last week.