I think I've covered every statistical category, and every potential match up between these players. There is no doubt that Minnesota is on the better roll, having won their last 3 three games and 4 of their last 5 games. Not only did they win those 3 games, they won by an average of 20 points, much of that coming off of a 63-26 pounding of Indiana. The toughest part of Minnesota's schedule was at Purdue, against Michigan, against Penn State and at Wisconsin. That's a pretty rough stretch by anyone's account. Minnesota started the year at a 2-5 record and were able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and finish with a 6-6 record.
With this Texas Tech team I feel like they were really still learning how to play winning football at the beginning of the year. A win, a couple of losses, a win, a loss, etc. It was just a really uneven season. This season could have been much different were it not for the Missouri game and the Colorado games. In the Missouri game, Graham had his worst game, throwing essentially the same interception twice. Against Colorado, they ran the ball down our throats, and to be quite honest, Colorado were due for a win and Tech was their victim. The key of course is Harrell, so goes him, so goes the team. As it is with most quarterbacks on most teams, Texas Tech quarterbacks are distinctly connected to the success of their teams, if Harrell plays well, then so does Tech. I really believe that we've seen Harrell take some really big steps this year, this is a team that is headed in the right direction.
It's really hard to compare these teams. Whenever I think about intangibles, I can't help but think about the special players on each of the teams. It seems like the special players are the difference makers and are invariably the ones who turn the game in their favor. For Minnesota, I think that Matt Spaeth was an obvious candidate here, but he's not playing, and I think that the other possible candidate is Pinnix, but his season hasn't been spectacular by any means, but solid. I think the other player that can affect the game in a number of ways for Minnesota is Dominic James. As a returner and as a defensive back for the Golden Gophers, he seems to have had an decent impact on their team.
As for Tech, obviously Harrell, but if we look a little deeper I think that Filani has changed the game, and given more opportunities, I think that Shannon Woods can be a game changer. On the defense, Dawson is the logical choice. There are times where he tends to disappear, but he can be such a dominating player for Tech and without a doubt, he is usually the best player on the field.