Skip to main content

D2 powers UMD, MSU-Mankato open season in ESPN3 national spotlight

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Football fans in Minnesota are in for a treat on the third day of September.

Not only are the Golden Gophers opening the season under the lights at TCF Bank Stadium against second-ranked Texas Christian University, but the top two Division II teams – Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota State-Mankato – will go toe-to-toe in a rematch of last year's NCAA quarterfinal round.

UMD enters the season ranked No. 1 while the Mavericks from Mankato are ranked No. 2 in the preseason Sporting News Top 25 poll. The hype for the game increased significantly when ESPN3 announced it would make the matchup its national "Game of the Week," according to the Star Tribune.

In last year's DII playoffs, Minnesota State, ranked No. 1 in the country at the time, steamrolled the Bulldogs by nearly four touchdowns, 44-17. The Mavericks went on to the national championship game where it lost to Colorado State-Pueblo, 13-0.

UMD's athletics page notes that the two powers combined to go 27-2 last season – UMD finished 13-1, Minnesota State finished 14-1 – while tying for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title.

Minnesota State and UMD finished 2-3 in the final Top 25 rankings last season.

Per the Star Tribune, UMD is riding a 19-game regular season winning streak; the school record is 23 straight regular season wins.

Next Up

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.


Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.


MSU-Mankato season of triumph comes with pain

Their undefeated streak continued though their last game of the regular season. Saturday Minnesota State University-Mankato handily defeating Upper Iowa, 70-7. The season ends with an 11 and 0 record. Later today they learn who they face in the play offs. But WCCO reports that the team has gotten more attention for what happened off the field as it has for the streak of victories.