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Pregame Warmup: Northwestern vs. Minnesota

We're inching toward kickoff here in Evanston. A few notes before gametime:

- It's a chilly but gorgeous day here in Evanston. It's in the 40s with a northeast wind.

[Update] NU announces that Venric Mark is out (no surprise) and Kain Colter is the "emergency quarterback." Who knows what that means, but I believe Dan Persa received a similar designation at the beginning of 2011 and NU didn't put him in during the loss to Army, which certainly seemed to qualify as an "emergency situation." So don't hold your breath on seeing Colter.

- As I'm sure you've already heard, top defensive tackle Sean McEvilly is out again today. This will be the fourth game he's missed due to injury. Minnesota's rush offense vs. Northwestern's run defense will be the key matchup today. The Gophers want to be a power running team, but they've struggled to do that since the start of Big Ten play. They think this week provides a good opportunity to change that. If the Gophers can establish the run and control the tempo, they have a shot. NU's defensive tackles must step up. If they do, Minnesota isn't well-equipped to keep up with an NU offense that should revert back to normal this week.

- Check out our gameday study guide and Wildcat Gameday Preview for more.