TCF Bank Stadium: New Home For The University Of Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Team

M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A

Minnesota

Minnesota

yyyyeeeeaaAAAAHHHH!!!!! Gophers

Rah!!!

OK, it has been a really long time since I posted anything about Minnesota Golden Gopher Football here. When I started this blog 4+ years ago Gopher football was a part of it but for some it was annoying. Especially after then Head Coach Glen Mason was fired and through the hiring of current Head Coach Tim Brewster.

I blogged more about the head coach job search than my day job.

Continue reading "TCF Bank Stadium: New Home For The University Of Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Team" »


MN Headhunter’s Gopher Football Blog Interview From October 2007

Newer visitors to MN Headhunter are unaware that until January of 2007 I was doing frequent posts about Minnesota Golden Gopher Football. Some of my Recruiter, HR, and Tech friends grew annoyed with my frequent posts about who would replace Glen Mason and then commentary on Coach Tim Brewster.

So I started a new blog Gopher The Roses and moved content over there. The problem was/is, it was a whole lot easier posting here than doing it there. Not sure why, maybe my attention span. Or maybe the thought of how much work two blogs would be.

I don’t know.

Anyway, another Gopher Football blogger and I were interviewed for the Tim Brewster Show in October of 2007.

Below is the post I just put up at Gopher The Roses...

As posted May 04, 2008 at Gopher The Roses:

Last season Jeremy Miller who writes Golden Gopher Football and I were interviewed about our Gopher football blogs. I still have not had a chance to meet Jeremy but have swapped some email over the months.

Below is the video of the replay on a TV. The quality is a little off but the audio is good and you will get the idea of the interview.

Jeremy is featured first. I get in at the 1:45 minute mark.

The funny looking dude at the end is my fraternity and pledge brother Jason who I travel with once or twice a year. The 2008 season is looking like we are on a plane to Ohio State (Columbus) and by car to Wisconsin (Madison).

Technorati Tags:

Tony Dungy To Speak At Annual Alumni Association Event

Indianapolis Colts Head Coach and University of Minnesota alum Tony Dungy is the keynote speaker at the University of Minnesota Alumni Association annual event on May 8.

   

Here is the link to the event, Super Bowl Winner Tony Dungy Headlines 2007 Annual Celebration. Tickets go on sale February 22.

   

This is open to the public. Scroll down their page to see ticket prices.

   

Coach Dungy had already been confirmed prior to the Super Bowl victory. He is a great speaker and I like many, many others are looking forward to this event.


Rocky Mountain News: Tim Brewster Expected To Be Announced Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach

I know I promised that I would refrain from posting any more Gopher football content here on the business blog but this may be the finale to a 16-day saga following the firing of Coach Glen Mason.

   

Go to my new blog Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com, for the link to the news story.

   

A reminder that all of the Gopher Football blog posts here on MN Headhunter have been moved over there with new content added frequently.

   

Go Gophers


Announcing New Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Blog

The past week I have been working on Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. All of the posts here have been migrated over there.

   

So for my friends who are reading MN Headhunter for business news, job search tips, ideas on recruiting, etc you will no longer have to scroll down past posts or read feeds that you have no interest in.

   

However, if you are interested in the Gopher football posts you find more in depth information than I did here. There is a RSS feed set up too.

   

Go Gophers


Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Search And Possible Candidates

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

   

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Search And Possible Candidates

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers 41 and Texas Red Raiders 44, Review

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

Link for my reaction after the game Fire Coach Glen Mason?

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview

 

   

Original Post:

As I write this a little after midnight on January 2nd and around 31 hours since the official announcement by Athletic Director Joel Maturi of the firing, I think the politically correct term may be dismissal, there have already been a number of names tossed out as potential candidates to replace former head coach Glen Mason.

   

As this process moves along I will continue to update the list. Some of these names are in my opinion not at all possible for the university and/or the coach but here goes and in no particular order:

   

-Tony Dungy. A former Gopher player. Why on earth would he leave the Colts?

-Lou Holtz. Coached here for two years between Arkansas and Notre Dame. Has sworn he has retired.

-Mike Grant. Some of Bud Grant. A local high school coach with a top program in the state.

-Marc Trestman. I lost track of where he is now. A MN native. 17+ years in the NFL.

-Dan McCarney. Recent Iowa State head coach.

-Craig Bohl. North Dakota State Head Coach. Division I-AA. Great coach. Good recruiter.

-Frank Solich. Ohio University Head Coach. Former Nebraska coach.

-Skip Holtz. East Carolina Head Coach. Lou's son.

-Joe Glynn. Wyoming Head Coach.

-Mitch Browning. Was the recent Gopher Offensive Coordinator.

-DeWayne Walker. UCLA Defensive Coordinator. A former Gopher Cornerback in the early 80's.

-Paul Chryst. Wisconsin Offensive Coordinator. Would have connections to A.D. Joel Maturi.

-Mike Tice. Former Vikings Head Coach and current Assistant Coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

-Mike Price. UTEP Head Coach.

Updated January 2nd, 5:30 pm:

Take Tony Dungy off the list, Dungy passes on college job, assistant talking to Ariz..

   

Updated January 2nd, 4:00 pm:

I am not a listener of talk radio but this afternoon I tuned in to KFAN, a popular Minnesota sports talk radio station, and caught the last part of an interview with Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi.

   

From what I heard:

-Search firms have been spoken with but no group has been retained yet.

-This could be a quick search and plans to have a coach hired in 3-4 weeks. (That does not seem quick to me.)

-He has not met with Glen Mason, their conversation was over the phone.


Minnesota Golden Gophers 41 and Texas Red Raiders 44, Review

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

   

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Search And Possible Candidates

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers 41 and Texas Red Raiders 44, Review

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

Link for my reaction after the game Fire Coach Glen Mason?

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview

Original Post:

It has taken me a couple of days to get my thoughts together on the game. With the announcement of the Glen Mason firing I have been thinking about what’s next versus what was the other night.

   

Before getting started, in the previews of games I have included links to opposing team blogs. I found a couple of blogs but they had not been updated recently so I did not link to them.

   

On Saturday I came across Seth Jungman who writes the blog Double T Nation. He has a great look at the game from the Red Raider perspective. We have swapped a few email messages since the game. I wish I had found him before the game. We would have had some nice posts between us. He also has some information today on Bobby Knight getting his 880th victory.

   

Over all I do not have much to say regarding the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Insight Bowl.

   

The prediction I made in the Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview was for the most part dead on. I think I must have been one of less than a hundred people who thought the Gophers could win.

   

For 2 ½ quarters they proved me right:

-Texas Tech is an inconsistent but highly explosive team.

-They are a good, talented team but they are not Ohio State, Michigan or Wisconsin. I should toss Cal in there too.

-Their defense is good but not great.

-Give any team 30+ days to prepare for a team that is great in one category of the game and you should be able to slow it down. If not, you suck. Both played out. We shut them down and then we sucked.

-We forced turnovers.

-We did better in third down situations.

-TE Jack Simmons did a great job replacing Matt Spaeth.

-On offense we were balanced.

   

For the next 1½ quarters the Gophers (and most importantly their coaches) went in the tank:

-We stopped rushing 4 and 5 guys and went with 3.

-Simmons missed some key blocks.

-The stiff zone pass defense became a soft zone and then a non-existent zone.

-With no timeouts Texas Tech needed to run pass patterns and step out of bounds. Apparently we did not understand that.

-The plays called by the offensives coordinator(s) became extremely conservative with an occasional high risk pass play.

   

There were a few plays that the referees blew. A non-call on a Gophers pass play when one of our receivers was mugged. A likely phantom call, remember Penn State, when a back judge called a Gopher defensive back for interference when the side judge, if there was a call to be made, did not make one.

   

The second to the last play of regulation a Texas Tech running back clearly had a false start. It would have made the field goal 57 yards instead of 52. I get that the Red Raider kicker let loose on a ball (to tie the game) that would have been good from 60+ yards but maybe it would have had an impact in his brain. Who knows but I doubt it.

   

But those three plays would not have mattered if we could have had one more first down at the end of the game.

   

I have no idea why we called a play that had Bryan Cupito run a naked bootleg on 3rd and 8. I concede that if it had worked it would have been the biggest bowl game play thus far in any game. No one would have thought  we would do that. We would have held on and would run out the clock.

   

Instead Texas Tech ran a pass blitz bringing the defensive end inside with a linebacker looping around the end right where Cupito was running. Not Cupito’s fault.

   

In fact, I find little fault with the players. Sure there were a coupl of mistakes but that happens in every game by every team. That’s part of the game.

   

The players run the plays called by the coaches. The defense runs the schemes called by the coaches.

   

And now we get to my frustration of the game and really of the season, the coaching staff.

   

For 2 ½ quarters we played like the last three games of the season. With purpose, direction, aggressive, dominating, and playing to win.

   

The last 1 ½ quarters we played not to lose. Was as if the coaching staff thought we were up enough points that even with the high octane Texas Tech offense on afterburners there was no way they could come back 31 points.

   

I lay this at the feet of the coaches.

   

We made no adjustments. We did nothing to counter what Texas Tech did. If by chanced we did, they were not noticeable and they clearly did not work.

   

There were two moments in the game that annoyed me. The first, Glen Mason had that damn smirk he has grown famous for. It was near the end of the first half. Like he thought the game was done.

   

The second, after the Red Raiders tied it with the 52-yard field goal the only expression Coach Mason had was the raising of his eyebrows as if to say “Wow”. That’s it. No emotion. Nothing.

   

An appropriate finish to the Glen Mason era…


Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Search And Possible Candidates

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers 41 and Texas Red Raiders 44, Review

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

Link for my reaction after the game Fire Coach Glen Mason?

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview

   

Updated January 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm

In the morning papers:

-Mason: 'I am not going to apologize', Sid Hartman column

-Maturi acts early in getting rid of smug Mason, Patrick Reusse column

-Up Next?, list of potential candidates

-Mason's firing brings out mixed feelings for him, a good like at who did and did not like him

-You're Fired ... And You ..., a list of the outgoing coaches and staff

-Glen Mason Timeline, all of the high points and a lack of low ones

-With Mason gone, Maturi cleans house, a look at the past few months in the athletic department

   

   

Updated December 31, 2006 at 7:00 pm

It is interesting to note that it was one year ago today that Glen Mason signed his 5-year extension after what was at best not a pleasant negotiation between the university and Glen Mason.

   

The buyout is $2.2 million plus $1.4 million in deferred compensation that was already earned.

   

GopherSports.com, home of the Gopher Athletic Department, has this report and a link to watch the press conference, Glen Mason Dismissed As Golden Gopher Head Football Coach.

   

Here are updated articles following the press conference:

-Gophers fire mason, St. Paul Pioneer Press

-U fires Mason after Insight debacle, St. Paul Pioneer Press

-Gophers football coach Mason fired, Star Tribune

-Jan. 1, 2006: Mason, U agree to 5-year contract, Star Tribune article announcing deal last year

-Minnesota dismisses head coach after 6-7 season, ESPN.com

   

   

Original post December 31, 2006 at 4 pm

Earlier this afternoon the University of Minnesota announced a 5 pm press conference. Sources have told the following that football coach Glen Mason has been fired:

   

-Pioneer Press, Gophers fire Mason

-Star Tribune, U fires football coach Mason

-ESPN, Sources: Minnesota dismisses Mason after 6-7 season


Fire Coach Glen Mason?

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

Up until this evening I have stated time and again that I was not in favor of firing Glen Mason. Reasons included the running of a clean program, graduating players, zero issues with players getting into trouble, and the slow but steady progress of the program.

   

I may change my tune.

   

I am trying really hard to not blog angry. Frankly, I am still shocked at what happened. The Gophers were up 38-7 with 7:47 in the 3rd quarter and fell apart.

   

My guess is that inside himself, Glen Mason is pretty tore up about this. My problem is that during the game there was no emotion shown by him. I am not asking for Urban Meyer or Steve Spurrier but some fire, some energy, some emotion would be nice.

   

After Texas Tech kicked the field goal to tie the game with no time left the most Coach Mason could muster was a brief raising of the eye brows as if to say, “Wow”.

   

I have issues with the ultra-conservative play calling. I have issues with the continued 3-man pass rush. I have issues with the soft zone defense. I have issues with doing the same thing on every offensive and defensive series in the second half.

   

IT WAS NOT WORKING ANYMORE.

   

YOU NEEDED TO MAKE SOME CHANGES.

   

This is the third major debacle under Coach Mason with the 2000 bowl game against North Carolina State, 2003 against Michigan, and this evening.

   

Yes a first down here, a naked bootleg there, a pass interference call not going for you, a pass interference call that went against you would likely have changed the game. It was that close.

   

But your team gave up 31 points in around 22 minutes of game time and you made no changes. You did nothing to help your players. Were you thinking there was no way they could come back with only a quarter and a half to play?

   

Coach Mason, you cannot blame this on booing fans, students who may or may not have had a beer or two, or the referees. You and your staff need to look in a mirror on this one.

   

Because you found this blog post you may be looking for sites that deal more with whether to fire Glen Mason or not.

   

Here you go:

   

-FireGlenMason.com

   

-Fire Glen Mason Blog

   

-FireMason.com 

   

-Gopher Sports Blog

   

As of midnight Friday none of the sites had an update but I am sure by morning the ranting will have started.

   

In the mean time you can look at my prediction for tonight’s game here, Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview. I called the game, the first half pretty well. I still believed. All the way until that 52 yard field goal that tied the game.

   

Later on Saturday evening I will do a more thorough recap of the game.

   


Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

   

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Search And Possible Candidates

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers 41 and Texas Red Raiders 44, Review

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

Link for my reaction after the game Fire Coach Glen Mason?

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview

   

Original Post:

Here we go, the Minnesota Golden Gophers against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Insight Bowl.

If you go back about two months ago there were the dreamers, some would say insane people, who said the Gophers could close out with three victories and go to a bowl game. I was a little slow to go along with that but I did buy in after the Indiana game.

   

I think the Gophers are going to win tonight. Maybe I should say they can win tonight.

   

Things to know about the Texas Tech Red Raiders:

Yeah, yeah, yeah they pass the ball a lot. They average 363 passing yards a game. They are the #3 passing offense in the country.

   

QB Graham Harrell has thrown 562 passes, a 66.3 completion percentage, 4,110 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions.

   

9 of their wide receivers have 20 or more completions.

   

This is very impressive. Watching a Texas Tech game has been compared to watching a video game.

   

But they have issues. Texas Tech only put up 3 points on TCU and 6 on a crappy Colorado team.

   

They are not Ohio State, Michigan, or (cringe) Wisconsin who have balanced passing and rushing teams.

   

Their defense is not all that great.

   

There is hope Gopher fans…

   

Speaking of the Gophers, the defense ranks 115th against the pass giving up 254 yards per game. Most of those yards were given up earlier in the season against a defense that had no identity. Giving up 300 passing yards in this game would like bring the Gophers a victory.

   

I grant that Indiana, Michigan State, and Iowa do not have the passing game of Texas Tech but in many aspects the teams as a whole are comparable.

    

We did well on defense forcing turnovers, making big plays, and a pass rush. Most of the entire defense became very physical in their play. They became confidant.

   

My main concern on defense is we suck on third down. We have a hard time getting off the field.

   

This is a test for the coaches as much as it is for the players. You have had a month to watch videotape. You have had a month to create a plan. You do not need to shut them down, just slow them down.

   

On offense we need a balanced attack like we had the last three games of the season.

   

Some comparison should be given between Harrell and Bryan Cupito. This season Cupito has thrown for 2,556 yards, 19 touchdowns, and a 60% completion rate. That’s not bad for a run first offense.

   

We have a couple of key injuries in TE Matt Spaeth (should surgery) and OL Steve Shidell (broken leg) but their replacements are adequate. The offensive line shifts around a bit and

Jack Simmons replaces Spaeth. Simmons has seen quite a bit of playing time and while not the same player as the NFL bound Spaeth he is a good tight end.

   

Just about every defense we have faced in the Big Ten is as good as Texas Tech. We should not see anything new.

   

Prediction:

We need to score first and it needs to take some time. Coach Mason, if we have a choice PLEASE go on offense first.

   

Our offense should do well. Our defense has had a month to prepare for the track meet. I am still drinking the Kool-Aid. I have my sweatshirt and lucky maroon and gold beads (the ones from Ann Arbor two years ago) with me. I will be at Joe Senser’s in Bloomington.

   

We will see a Gopher victory.

   

Minnesota over Texas Tech.


TCF Bank Gopher Football Stadium Update

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

   

There have been a few news items in the past month on the progress of the stadium. For starters the university web page has a new look. Or at least it has since the last time I was there, TCF Bank Stadium. They have added a construction page to keep everyone up to date on their progress, which includes notes on road and parking changes, TCF Bank Stadium Construction.

   

There is a blog, Stadium Blog, but it has not been updated in a while.

   

On December 6th there was good news regarding the bond sale by the state. With a better interest rate taxpayers will $28.4 million less than we had planned, TCF Bank Stadium bond sale saves state $28.4 million.

   

Then a couple of days later we hear that the stadium could cost 6% - 8% more for a reinforced foundation, Gophers' stadium costs expected to rise. We all knew the water table is shallow in the area but I guess it closer to ground level in that area.

   

In case you are wondering there is an underground creek(s) in the area and rather than the stadium being dug into the ground it is being built up.

   

There have been quite a few buildings demolished near the stadium site and adjacent to the Station 19 building.

   

Finally there is this announcement for an open house next week which I will be attending, Get a Look at the Future Home of Gopher Football at an Open House on January 3. On that page you will see the top link is to a construction web cam. I had not mentioned it yet because the view is only of the stadium site itself, which is still being used as a parking lot. Other than cars coming and going or the occasional squirrel running around there is not much to look at.


Matt Spaeth Wins John Mackey Award, Named AP All America

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

   

Congratulations to Matt Spaeth for getting the recognition he deserves. Yes he owes a little of this to his team, the quarterback and the system he plays in but he is an outstanding player, teammate, and member of the university community.

   

Whoever drafts him is going to get a top-notch person and athlete.

   

The John Mackey Award is given to the tight end that best exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics, and community values of NFL Hall of Fame Tight End John Mackey.

   

Spaeth is the second Gopher in two years to be named Associated Press All-America Team, Center Greg Eslinger was on the list in 2005.

   

Matt Spaeth was also 1st team All Big Ten Team by both the coaches and media for the second year in a row.

   

Spaeth finishes his career as the all time tight end leader with 109 receptions and 1,293 receiving yards.


Golden Gopher Football Seniors And Team Award Winners

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

   

I was thinking the other day that I never recognized the senior class. These guys have been through a lot and I think when the bowl game later this month is over, they will be able to look at their career and say it was a success.

   

It is interesting to note there are only 9 guys, 10 if you include Brandon Owens and I do:

   

3      Bryan Cupito   QB  Cincinnati, OH
4     
Trumaine Banks   DB  Columbus, OH
11   
Mike Frankberg            QB  Detroit Lakes, MN

20    Brandon Owens            S    Delray Beach, FL

48    Mario Reese   LB  Mableton, GA

56    Tyson Swaggert            OG  Buffalo, MN

78    Joe Ainslie                        OT  Minnetonka, MN

84    Logan Payne            WR Lutz , FL                               
89   
Matt Spaeth  TE  St. Michael, MN

90    Eric Clark              DT  Tampa Bay, FL

   

   

At the team banquet the following awards were given:

   

BRONKO NAGURSKI AWARD (presented to the team’s most valuable player):
Matt Spaeth (Sr., TE, St. Michael, Minn.)
   
BRUCE SMITH AWARD (presented to the team’s outstanding offensive player):

Logan Payne (Sr., WR, Lutz, Fla. )
   
CARL ELLER AWARD (presented to the team’s outstanding defensive player):

Mike Sherels (Jr., LB, Rochester, Minn.)
   
BOBBY BELL AWARD (presented to the outstanding special teams player):

Tom Hennessey (Fr., FB, Somerset, Wis.)
   
BUTCH NASH AWARD (for competitiveness on the field and in the classroom):

Dominic Jones (So., CB, Columbus, Ohio)
   
PAUL GIEL AWARD (for total unselfishness and most concern about the University of Minnesota):

Dom Barber (Jr., FS, Plymouth, Minn.)
   
NEIL FREDENBURG AWARD (courage and love for the game):

Mike Sherels (Jr., LB, Rochester, Minn.)
   
DEFENSIVE DEMO (for outstanding performance on the defensive demonstration team):
Mike Hart (Fr., LB, Pewaukee, Wis.)
   
OFFENSIVE DEMO (for outstanding performance on the offensive demonstration team):

Matt Krueger (Fr., OG, Maple Plain, Minn.)

   

There are two people who should have an award named after them.

   

Bryan Cupito was the leader of this team. Cupito is the one who ran the offense, who called plays at the line of scrimmage, who checked to plays that made stars out of Marion Barber, Laurence Maroney and Matt Spaeth.

   

Brandon Owens, who is no longer on the official roster, had a career ending shoulder and neck injury against Penn State in 2005. He had a growing reputation as being a team leader and physical player. He was on the sideline for every home game since the injury with his arm in a sling.

   

Mike Sherels, will be a senior LB, and Tony Brinkhaus, will be a senior center, were named 2007 captains.


Minnesota Golden Gophers And Iowa Hawkeyes Preview And Final

Click Gopher Football for all of the posts, most recent first.

   

Preview

Seems like everyone born and raised in Minnesota has a relative living in Iowa. The game between Minnesota and Iowa is the last game for each team every year. A rivalry game but not nearly as bitter as the Wisconsin Badgers.

   

Iowa Hawkeye football has a massive following and they have two main chants during the game. “Let’s Go Hawks” which we hear all day and “I, O, W, A” after every score. Dang they can even spell.

   

Two chants, as simple as they are, that I hope to hear the students yell all day are “Who Hates Iowa” with a response by other students “We Hate Iowa”. And the second, “35 South” so they know how to go home after the loss. Not very high tech but if we hear them we know it has been a good day.

   

Good news for those on the area highways and interstate this weekend. Iowa people drive in the right lane unlike our North Dakota neighbors.

   

Minnesota comes in to the game with the winning streak started two games ago. Win all three, go 6-6 and get an invite to a bowl game. People will back off Mason and the seniors can feel good about how they go out.

   

Lose, and it will get real ugly around here.

   

Then there is I, O, W, A. Speaking of ugly, they were picked by the coaches and media as 3rd place in the Big Ten. Nationally they were thought to be a Top 15 team.

   

Whoa, look out for the falling Hawkeyes they are falling hard and fast.

   

I expect this to fall just short of a high scoring game. Iowa is smaller on both sides of the ball than years past. Their stud linebackers graduated last year.

   

Keys to this game are the same as weeks past. On offense throw the ball to open the run. Repeat after me, QB Brian Cupito to TE Matt Spaeth, and repeat often. Make your extra points. D.J. Jones gets some good returns on kicks and punts. On defense I am afraid of how many yards Tate will throw for. Not very worried about their running game. Can we get some more turnovers?

   

Minnesota and Iowa play for Floyd of Rosedale and this is the 100th meeting between the schools.

   

One last thing worth noting. A lot of us Gopher fans have been disappointed with our non-conference schedule. And more so now with the added 12th game, which will be the likes of North Dakota State.

   

Going in to this weekend the Gophers strength of schedule is 4th. Yes that is right, 4th in the country. With the Iowa game that will likely go down.

   

And to the Badger fans moaning about getting no respect. You did not play Michigan or Ohio State. Going in to this weekend your strength of schedule was near 80 and that is before you play Buffalo. Get a clue…

   

Prediction

I am feeling very confident about this game, maybe an easy victory. I also am feeling very over confident and think I am setting myself up for a long off-season.

   

Iowa Hawkeye Blogs

Kinnick North, this guy lives in Minneapolis

   

Big Ten Predictions

Last week’s results 6-0 (30-6)

And there it is, my first perfect week!!! Can I do it two weeks in a row? (Me neither)

   

Minnesota over Iowa

Wisconsin over Buffalo

Ohio State over Michigan

Penn State over Michigan State

Illinois over Northwestern

Purdue over Indiana

   

Final

Minnesota Golden Gophers 34 and Iowa Hawkeyes 24

I start this by saying, whew. It feels a lot better today than it did a month ago to be a Gopher fan.

   

The three game sweep of Indiana, Michigan State, and Iowa is complete. I have found the glass is half full optimism I admittedly lost earlier this season. And from the previous posts, damn that Kool-Aid tastes good.

   

To our friends from Iowa who were at the game, that was fun. It was fun to watch you be quiet most of the time. It was fun to watch you leave early. It was fun to think about your 2+ hour drive back across the border. It was fun to watch the Gopher seniors do the victory lap with The Pig.

   

Most of all, it was fun to think about all the trash you have been talking the past week about coming up here and kicking our butt. About how bad our team was. About how the Dome sucks. Although we do agree on that but I am sticking up for the home site.

   

And you lost to us. So what does that make you?

   

Clearly I am intending this for a few select A Holes who go online in chat forums, blogs, and yes by email and post BS.

   

To those that sat around me, I appreciate your ability to come here and have a good time. To be as respectful as we were. And to have a good time.

   

OK, enough on that. Yes, I was a little tweaked by a few Hawks fans during the week and before the game.

   

Besides the normal maroon and gold Minnesota gear and the black and gold of Iowa, including the black t-shirt with a picture of the Metrodome with “Kinnick North” written above it, a new t-shirt made its debut, “Fire Glen Mason”.

   

Hopefully for now Gopherland can be happy and content.

   

The defense had another big game with four interceptions and a fumble recovery including the big one at the end of the first half by Mike Sherels.

   

Amir Pinnix and Jay Thomas rush for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns.

   

On the down side Jason Giannini missed another extra point and was replaced by Joel Monroe.

   

All in all, a great way to end the regular season.

   

Notes

-This was the 100th meeting between Minnesota and Iowa with Minnesota leading the series 59-39-2.

-Attendance was 64,940.

-The senior classes of 2005 and 2006 are the only classes to see four bowl games in their career.

-Amir Pinnix crossed over the 1,000 yard milestone finishing with 1,093.

-Jay Thomas rushing touchdown makes three weeks in a row with a TD.

   

Statistics

Rushing

Amir Pinnix, 119 yards and 2 touchdowns

Jay Thomas, 79 yards and 1 touchdown

   

Receiving

Logan Payne, 64 yards

Ernie Wheelwright, 64 yards and 1 touchdown

Matt Spaeth, 44 yards and 1 touchdown

   

Passing

Bryan Cupito, 18-30 for 267 yards with 1 interception and sacked 1 time

   

Defense

Kevin Manion, 2 interceptions

Mike Sherels, 1interception

Mario Reese, 1 interception

Willie VanDeSteeg, 1sack


Minnesota Golden Gophers And Michigan State Spartans Preview And Final

Click Gopher Football for all of the posts, most recent first.

   

Preview

For the Michigan State Spartan football team they have a lame duck coach in John L. Smith who has been allowed to finish the season. They lost a 16-point lead and the game to Notre Dame. They overcame a 35-point deficit to beat Northwestern. Drew Stanton, Spartan Quarterback, has his last game at home in front of fans that have been strong supporters of his. Who knows which team shows up.

    

We have the first of three needed victories for a bowl game. Yep, still drinking the Kool-Aid.

   

Last week Brian Cupito had 378 yards passing with 4 touchdowns. The Spartan defense has given up 28 TD passes, most in Division 1-A. I am thinking our game against Indiana worked out the bad karma we had going on.

   

Prediction

Not being very confident I resorted to a time honored tradition, I am picking Minnesota by way of the best 4 out of 7 coin flip. Minnesota won that 4-2. So the Gophers it is.

   

Michigan State Football Blogs

The Enlightened Spartan

Spartan Bob

   

Big Ten Predictions

Last weeks results 5-1 (24-6)

Iowa loses to Northwestern, oh the horrors that must be happening in Iowa City.

   

Minnesota over Michigan State

Wisconsin over Iowa

Michigan over Indiana

Ohio State over Northwestern

Penn State over Temple

Purdue over Illinois

    

Final

Minnesota Golden Gophers 31 and Michigan State Spartans 18

The game was not on TV. ESPNU does not count as TV. Too bad, this would have been fun to watch. Although not seeing a fake punt from our own 20 something yard line was good. So we went form being conservative early in the season, to opening it up a little, to drunken driving. I apologize for the analogy but it is the best I can come up with.

   

Then again it is being aggressive if not a little desperate.

   

But we stopped them on 4th and goal. Way to go defense.

   

Pinnix gets tackled in the end zone for a safety, which was a bummer but after all of that we gave up two points instead of seven.

   

And then the defense stopped Michigan State again. Two series in a row.

   

The offense showed up to do its work while the defense looked awesome. Scratch that, sounded awesome. The no TV thing.

   

Drew Stanton was knocked out of the game, literally. I have a lot of respect for him but I do not understand how he is one of five finalists for the Unitas Award. I can name quite a few QB’s I could pick ahead of him.

   

Another big game for the defense. Three times they held the Spartans without a point while in the Red Zone. Two weeks in a row with a defensive touchdown.

   

3 rushing yards for Michigan State. Fantastic!!!

   

Notes

-Willie VanDeSteeg is named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

-Matt Spaeth is now #1 for receiving yards by a tight end.

-Bryan Cupito moves to #1, Corey Sauter now #2, for career passing yards.

-Mario Reese forced his 3rd fumble of the season ranking 4th in the Big Ten.

-Willie VanDeSteeg with a career high 4 sacks.

   

Statistics

Rushing

Amir Pinnix, 113 yards

   

Receiving

Logan Payne, 96 yards and 1 touchdown

Matt Spaeth, 51 yards

   

Passing

Bryan Cupito, 16-28 for 243 yards

   

Defense

Willie VanDeSteeg, 4 sacks

Stave Davis, 1 fumble recovery and 1 touchdown

Dom Barber, 2 interceptions

Mario Reese, 1 sack