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


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 D2Football.com 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

Governor Tim Walz

Walz will announce timeline 'to end all COVID-19 restrictions'

The details will be revealed in the governor's planned Thursday address.

Associate wearing PPE 2

Amazon to open new facility in St. Cloud this year, creating 'hundreds' of jobs

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis shared the news in his State of the City address this week.

State Patrol

State Patrol: Semi driver kills self after being stopped by troopers

The incident happened Wednesday morning in the Miracle Mile shopping center parking lot in Rochester.

state fair beer

Money Gal: Don't forget the most important items in your budget

Kelly started Money Gal Coaching after paying down more than $46,000 in debt in just 20 months.


Crash kills motorcyclist near Treasure Island casino

The crash took place just before midnight.

The Lunds & Byerlys on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis, three weeks prior to opening.

New Lunds & Byerlys opens in Minneapolis this month

It's been built in the spot formerly occupied by Bergan's SuperValu.

valleyfair food workers 1

Valleyfair food workers getting a pay raise for 2021 season

The starting wage will increase from $11.25 an hour to $15 an hour.

Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 11.10.59 AM

Peloton recalls treadmills after child's death, dozens of other injuries

Officials say owners should stop using them immediately.

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 6.42.54 AM

St. Paul man gets prison, ordered to pay $12M for burning of 3rd Police Precinct

He was among four Minnesota men charged in connection to the fires at the Third Precinct following George Floyd's murder.


Some MN high schools are refusing to pay MSHSL's pandemic fee

The installment fees were approved as a "short-term" budget fix.

Grand Portage State Park

Senate GOP threatens State Parks, DNR shutdown if 'Clean Cars' rule isn't scrapped

Republicans are willing to hold up the omnibus environment bill to stop the MPCA from enacting Clean Cars rules.


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.