Michigan State looks to bounce back from a rough showing against its toughest opponent of the young season Saturday, losing to Washington, 39-28.

Minnesota, on the other hand, is looking to prove to the world that they are, indeed, for real. The Golden Gophers have easily dispatched each team they’ve faced this season, outscoring opponents 149-17.

A big reason why is Mohamed Ibrahim. The Gophers back has been nothing short of phenomenal since returning from injury and has posted 67 carries for 464 yards and 7 touchdowns this season.

ESPN’s FPI often gives the home team the nod in these close matchups, though. According to the metric, the Spartans have a 60. 8% chance of coming out on top Saturday.

The quarterback battle should have an enormous impact on this one too. Payton Thorne has played well this season, as has Tanner Morgan. The latter has been less mistake prone against admittedly inferior opponents, throwing for 618 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Thorne, conversely, has thrown for 768 yards, 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions across 3 games. Perhaps because of Ibrahim’s relentless efficiency, Thorne has dropped back to pass nearly 30 more times compared to Thorne.

Minnesota may be in trouble after top receiver Chris Autman-Bell left early in Week 3 against Colorado. He’s out for the remainder of the seasons necessitating a next-man-up mentality for the Goldens Gophers.

There are plenty of candidates to fill that void, including Brevyn Spann-Ford and Clay Geary. That step up needs to happen sooner rather than later for Minnesota.