Previewing Michigan-Minnesota

For the first time this season, there's only one Big Ten game on tap during the noon ET window. Michigan and Minnesota will have the stage to themselves as they compete for the Little Brown Jug at TCF Bank Stadium.

Let's take a quick look:

Michigan (5-3, 3-1 Big Ten) at Minnesota (5-3, 1-3), Big Ten Network: The Jug game got a lot more interesting after Week 9, as a Denard Robinson-less Michigan squad lost in Lincoln, while freshman quarterback Philip Nelson dazzled in his home debut as Minnesota thumped Purdue. Robinson, who has a nerve issue in his throwing elbow, is expected to play and start, but Michigan fans will be holding their breath as the injury can be aggravated fairly easily. The Wolverines seem better prepared should Robinson go down as wide receiver Devin Gardner, a former backup QB, took more snaps at quarterback this week in practice. Minnesota has its own injury issues as several key players, including top wide receiver A.J. Barker and safety Derrick Wells, are questionable for the game. Don't expect a whole lot of passing in this one as Michigan is tied with Alabama for the national lead in pass defense (145.9 ypg allowed), while Minnesota is seventh (159.9 ypg). If Nebraska beats Michigan State, Michigan needs a win to remain in the Legends division race, while the Gophers try to regain the Jug for the first time since 2005.