Known as the greatest show in sports, the white out at Penn State is a dizzying display of school spirit. Typically, invites are reserved for traditional powerhouses such as Michigan or Ohio State. On this night, Minnesota would be making its first trip into the lion’s den for the famed white out. As it often has in the past, the decibels reached such deafening digits in Beaver Stadium that the Gophers were unable to get the snap off on their first offensive possession. Being forced to function with a backup quarterback set the Gophers with an additional disadvantage.Continue reading “Game 325: Minnesota @ #14 Penn State”
These Wildcats are not reminiscent of the 2018 and 2020 teams that won the Big Ten west. The defense has taken the hardest hit with the departure of their highly regarded defensive coordinator, Mike Hankwitz. The Gopher ground game would take advantage of Northwestern’s defensive rebuild all afternoon sending the purple closer to bowl ineligibility.Continue reading “Game 310: Minnesota @ Northwestern”
Supporting Purdue football has been a frustrating endeavor. Fan interest is waning, optimism is fleeting, and the stadium is becoming bereft of spirit – there just isn’t enough coal in the boiler.
The Gophers had a shot at something they haven’t achieved since 1967 – a Big Ten title. Of course, that would mean defeating Wisconsin in Camp Randall Stadium, a feat undone since 1994. It would also include beating Ohio State the following week, an accomplishment only realized twice since that magical 1967 season. Minnesota’s 2014 edition, however, could put a challenge into both the Badgers and Buckeyes. Today would be for the Big Ten West Division title. Paul Bunyan’s Axe was also at stake. This highly coveted trophy awarded to the winner of this border battle has been in Wisconsin’s trophy case for ten straight years -more incentive for Minnesota.
For a Chicagoan, a Northwestern game is just an el train ride away. I’ve been telling so many people that about the convenience of getting to Ryan Field on a football Saturday, yet I have never used that method to get there myself. Today happened to be the perfect day. Along with this first, this game would also be the very first game that I would attend by myself. Oh, the freedom! My friends enjoy traveling to games with me, but at the speed I like to go, I’ve always felt a bit held up. Today’s game in Evanston would be college football at top speed.
Since 1924, Minnesota had been playing on campus in the rustic, yet deteriorating Memorial Stadium. Due to its need for renovation and the lack of state funding, the university chose to abandon the classic old stadium and move the Gopher football program into the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome being built in downtown Minneapolis. Since 1982, Minnesota has been playing its games in the oversized bubble surrounded by steel and concrete.
The only part missing to Minnesota’s sparkling brand new TCF Bank Stadium is Paul Bunyan’s Axe in the trophy case. Wisconsin has owned this series since 1995 and would love to tarnish the inaugural season in the Gopher’s new digs by keeping the Axe in Madison.
Northwestern has been that annoyance on Minnesota’s schedule the past few seasons. Last minute heartbreak seemed to be Minnesota’s game plan against the ‘Cats. However, this season would be different. Northwestern made certain to keep the game close enough to palpitate hearts in the stands.
A storybook season has been unfolding for the Badgers. November has arrived and they are undefeated pointing at Pasadena and perhaps a national title. However, their method for success has been far from pretty. Wisconsin’s dump truck offense collects yards slowly and monotonously. Defense has been the Badger’s calling card as they have held every opponent they have played to under twenty points, and most under ten. They win convincingly even though by small margins.
Colorado State likely held the most anticipation for getting their first home game of the season underway. Having started the season with a heartbreaking loss to rival Colorado in Boulder and a crushing shutout loss to top ranked USC, playing in front of a friendly bunch of folks could prove to be the best remedy for their woes. The Golden Gophers travel from Minneapolis with an undefeated record attached to their luggage. The Rams may be glad to be home, but Minnesota may have not been the most welcome guest. The Gophers come in with an impressive running game, while Colorado State still searches for corks to plug their leaky defense.