Gophers football 2024 game-by-game predictions (2024)

Every day we are inching closer to football season. Let's take a look at the Gophers' 2024 schedule and how things could shake out this year.

Drake Maye is now on the Patriots, and North Carolina seems to still have an open competition at quarterback with Texas A&M transfer Max Johnson and returning redshirt sophom*ore Conner Harrell. I think the Gophers will be motivated and well prepared for this Week 1 matchup and they will have enough firepower to slow down star running back Omarion Hampton and the Tar Heels.

Prediction: Minnesota 20, North Carolina 14

Sep. 7: vs. Rhode Island

During his career at New Hampshire, new Gophers quarterback Max Brosmer had a 2-1 record against Rhode Island, but he is coming off a 34-28 overtime defeat to the Rams last season. I think he will have Minnesota motivated to avoid disaster and start the season 2-0.

Prediction: Minnesota: 34, Rhode Island: 10

Nevada had arguably its worst two-year stretch as a program since joining Division I, going 4-20 the last two seasons. They now bring in former Texas defensive coordinator Jeff Choate in hopes of getting back on track. This game could be sleepy and a look-ahead spot with Iowa coming to town the next week, but I think the Gophers will have enough to stay focused and pick up a win.

Prediction: Minnesota: 30, Nevada: 6

Sep. 21: vs. Iowa

Arguably the biggest game on Minnesota's schedule comes in Week 4, welcoming the big, bad Hawkeyes to Huntington Bank Stadium. Cooper DeJean will not be back returning punts this season, but Iowa did finally replace longtime offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz with Tim Lester. I think it will still be the same Iowa football as old, but a healthy Cade McNamara might be the difference in this one.

Prediction: Minnesota: 14, Iowa: 17

Things don't get easier for the Gophers as they have to travel to Ann Arbor on Sept. 28 to take on the defending national champions. Michigan had to replace its head coach and quarterback, but there is still a lot of talent with star running back Donovan Edwards and intriguing signal caller Alex Orji. I think this game will be much more competitive than last year's matchup, but the Wolverines will ultimately have too much in their own building.

Prediction: Michigan: 34, Minnesota: 14

Oct. 5: vs. USC

USC is oddly in a very similar position as a program to the Gophers. They both have proven head coaches and each team will have a new quarterback this season. Miller Moss has a chance to be a breakout star for the Trojans under Lincoln Riley and I don't think Minnesota will have enough offensive firepower to keep up in this game.

Prediction: Minnesota: 30, USC: 42

With three straight tough matchups, the Gophers will travel to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1961. This game has all the makings of a low-scoring, sloppy affair. In the new Big Ten, UCLA might give a similar early Northwestern kickoff vibe. On paper, with new head coach DeShaun Foster, they might struggle this year, and I think Minnesota will sneak by in this one.

Prediction: UCLA: 17, Minnesota: 21

Oct. 26: vs. Maryland

With Taulia Tagovailoa gone from College Park, I think this is a get-right game for the Gophers. Maryland has a lot of questions at quarterback and they don't have the same level of playmakers they've had in the past. I think Brosmer has a big day, Darius Taylor gets close to 200 yards on the ground and Minnesota wins comfortably.

Prediction: Minnesota: 41, Maryland: 10

Illinois has a lot of questions heading into the season with no established running back and two new transfers on the offensive line. Minnesota has never beaten a Brett Bielema-led football team and I don't think this season will be any different. This has all of the makings for a classic Big Ten West game and the home-field advantage favors the Fighting Illini.

Prediction: Illinois: 24, Minnesota: 17

Nov. 9: @ Rutgers

If the Gophers want to be bowl eligible this season, this is a game they might have to win. There will be plenty of storylines with Athan Kaliakmanis as the new starting quarterback for Rutgers and former offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca calling plays for the second straight year. This is likely Rutgers' best team since Greg Schiano returned. I think the emotions will be high and Minnesota trips up on the road.

Prediction: Rutgers: 31, Minnesota: 28

The Gophers will welcome Penn State to Dinkytown for the first time since their upset victory in 2019. The Nittany Lions have all of the traits of a classic James Franklin team. Quarterback Drew Allar's development will determine their ceiling, but I don't think magic strikes twice, and Minnesota falls at home.

Prediction: Minnesota: 13, Penn State: 30

Nov. 29: @ Wisconsin

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will be played on Black Friday this year. In this scenario, Minnesota would be playing for a 6-6 season and a chance at a bowl game. I think Wisconsin still has plenty of questions up and down its roster and the Gophers match up quite well with them. P.J. Fleck picks up another signature win and they head to another bowl game.

Prediction: Wisconsin: 17, Minnesota: 20

Gophers football 2024 game-by-game predictions (2024)
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