Minnesota is a 31-point favorite over Bowling Green this week. But if you ask Golden Gophers coach PJ Fleck, he’s not taking the game as an automatic win.

“They’ve been in a lot of close games and we just got to be able to play our best football,” Fleck said in his weekly press conference on Monday. “The focus has to be going 1-0 in the Bowling Green season, and do what we have to be able to do to win that football game, which we’ll know more as we continue to game plan throughout the week but we have to be at our best, that’s for sure.”

The Golden Gophers are 2-1 this season, but lost star running back Mo Ibrahim for the season in their first game. That means they have to focus more on the passing game, which Fleck said is dependent on how the defense lines up on the other side.

“We’re going to take what the defense gives us,” Fleck said. “If we have to throw the ball 11 times a game, we’ll throw the ball 11 times again. If we have to throw it 35 times, we’ll throw 35 times. We want to be as balanced as possible and I think some people think ‘balanced’ is all about it’s 50/50. It’s doing what you have to do to win the football game, right? And as long as we continue to develop in all areas that way, then we’re doing what’s necessary with our offense, defense and special teams.”

Fleck’s also expecting another good fan turnout for the game, especially considering a good amount of Minnesota fans made the trip to Colorado for last week’s 30-0 Golden Gophers victory. The coach sure sounds happy with how the fans have rallied around his team.

“We have incredible fans who love the Gophers, and I think that is exciting for any head coach, any staff and any player that comes to play, especially in a very historical institution with so much tradition like the University of Minnesota,” Fleck said.

“I’m just so proud of the way they travel and the loyalty they continue to show. It’s so positive for our players to see. There’s so much stuff out there in the real world and outside of our walls … maybe not so positive at times. But to see our fan base and to see them travel all the way to Colorado, to see them show up at Ohio State and Miami Ohio. That’s what this place is capable of doing, and it was capable of doing it before and capable of doing it later on in the future.”

Kickoff between Minnesota and Bowling Green is set for Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU.