New Mexico State at Minnesota 9/1/22 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The New Mexico State Aggies and Minnesota Golden Gophers face off on Thursday in a Week 1 college football showdown at Huntington Bank Stadium. There are a ton of storylines heading into this game, including Jerry Kill returning to the Twins Cities.

New Mexico State had a ton of changes this offseason including a coaching change with Kill, and there are many who think there will be some major rebuilding that goes on this season. The Aggies did play a Week 0 game against Nevada, and they didn’t look very good losing 23-12. New Mexico State played both Diego Pavia and Gavin Frakes under center, but going forward, it should be Frakes that plays. Frakes completed 9 of his 13 passes for 143 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Wide receiver Justice Powers had a big game catching two passes for 74 yards. On defense, the Aggies struggled to slow down the run, including giving up 109 yards to Toa Taua. In this game if New Mexico State wants any chance, they are going to need to do a better job of slowing down the run. 

On the other side of this matchup is Minnesota who finished last season with a 9-4 record and they hope to build on that this season. This is a veteran team, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Tanner Morgan is back but maybe even more important is offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca is too. Morgan’s best years happened earlier in his Gophers career when Ciarrocca was in charge. Mohamed Ibrahim suffered an Achilles injury last season but is back to 100 percent. PJ Fleck likes a run-first offense, and Ibrahim is going to be leaned on heavily. On defense, the Gophers strength should be the secondary, but I would expect them to put plenty in the box to stop the run. The Aggies are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven road games. The Gophers are 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games. The Gophers are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine games. 

New Mexico State struggled to move the ball in the first game of the season and it’s not going to be any different in this game. The Gophers are better on defense than Nevada. I also expect to see the good Morgan here and the Gophers offense will score at least 45 points. Back the Gophers laying the big number. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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