Oct 1, 2011; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverine players hold up the Little Brown Jug after the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan Football: Michigan at Minnesota -- What May Happen -- Final Preview

Posted at 6:00am — 11/2/2012

Michigan Football: Michigan at Minnesota — What May Happen — Final Preview

The Jug Still Matters- Jugology and What May Happened Saturday.

In today’s modern world it is easy to ho-hum traditions of the past. Michigan lost the jug a few years ago on poor play at the end of the game. Getting it back became a goal and remains so ever since. With last year’s lopsided win, Michigan possesses the jug, Little Brown Jug that is.

Like many such storied rivalries, there is a story behind the jug that remains entertaining. It starts with the legendary Fielding H. Yost. Michigan was on a true roll in the early 1900’s winning twenty-eight straight games. Minnesota was one of the best teams in the nation. The story goes that Yost wanted a water container that Minnesota fans could not get their hands on. So, an ugly earth ware five-gallon container was purchased for fewer than fifty cents. A big storm and chaos by the fans struck with two minutes to go and the score tied, the game ended. Michigan left the jug on the field, a Minnesota maintenance guy, Oscar Munson, found it and the Athletic Director and Head Coach of Minnesota were delighted Yost left the jug. The jug was painted and labeled with a 6-6 score.

Yost, being Yost, wanted the jug back and Minnesota placed the condition forward that Michigan had to win it back. And so the Wolverines did, and have continued to do into the modern era.

Minnesota is coming in sky high after pounding Purdue. A look at the game film shows Purdue’s biggest problem was in the secondary as freshman Philip Nelson hit receivers wide open past the defensive backfield contain margin.

Minnesota also did a nice job of pressuring Purdue’s TerBush, causing turnovers. All in all it is difficult to tell how well Minnesota played and how bad Purdue played.

True freshman quarterbacks that have had success can stay on a roll until a defense provides a down to earth moment. Nelson has size and a good arm; clearly he is a big pick up for Minnesota. The offensive line did a nice job of giving Nelson time to go deep to open receivers. Minnesota will watch the Michigan film and see that the Wolverines have been a little short on deep coverage. Minnesota will go the seams; use the straight fly on the sidelines, and also the double move.

Oct 27, 2012; Lincoln, NE, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson (16) runs against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium in the first half. Nebraska won 23-9. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

The formations are typical of spreads and expect to see a pistol, one back, and two-back sets.

Michigan will almost certainly try to make life a little more miserable for Nelson than did Purdue. Expect UM to blitz and Minnesota to either go deep or hit the flat.

The Michigan offense will make a game plan on what Coach Borges believes is the best chance of winning type strategies. Certainly, Michigan will try and get Fitz and maybe Rawls some yardage sparing Denard the load. Michigan’s short passing game may be the key as to whether or not Michigan can establish game control.

If Denard can be spared injury, the Wolverines can come back from Minnesota for the last two home games of the year in decent shape. But Northwestern’s offense is a real problem and Iowa is this year’s Big Ten question of the week.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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Tags: Big Ten Conference Football Go Blue Little Brown Jug Michigan Wolverines Minnesota Golden Gophers

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