Skip to main content

Gopher fever: Reasons for the turnaround – and Gator Bowl bound?


Before the start of the 2013 Gopher football season, no smart bettor would have ever wagered where the University of Minnesota is today, namely 8-2, with a nice streak of mid-season victories, sitting only behind Michigan State in the Legends Division of the Big Ten.

Moreover, they've climbed in the latest USA Today Coaches poll at number 23, and are sitting at number 25 in the BCS Poll.

For longtime observers who haven't felt good about the program for, oh, say, decades, this is quite a turnaround. How?

The Star Tribune's Joe Christensen list five reasons for the solid improvement, including special teams and an opportunistic defense.

He also adds quarterback Philip Nelson's consistent play, and the surprise of Maxx Williams as a receiving threat, but perhaps the most compelling is David Cobb's emergence as a big-time rusher in the absence of the injured Donnell Kirkwood.

To wit: "Cobb ranks fifth in the Big Ten, averaging 94.2 yards per game. He averages 5.4 yards per carry and has rushed for at least 138 yards in the past three games."

In another post, Christensen throws out some stats he thinks are important as well, comparing this season to last.

Probably the most key one is that the Gophers were -2 on turnovers this time last year, and are +6 at this point this season.

That translates to fewer points given up, and more scored – which, of course, translates to wins.

Meanwhile, the Pioneer Press says the Gophers might get a Gator Bowl bid if things keep on rolling.

Gator Bowl President Rick Catlett said the Gator Bowl has four Big Ten teams that it believes will be available for it to select at the end of the regular season – Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan., CBS and are all projecting a Gopher Gator Bowl.

Next Up

940 Margaret St, St Paul, MN 55106, United States - May 2019 (1)

4-year-old girl struck by hit-and-run driver in St. Paul

The girl was struck by the driver around 5 p.m. Monday.

Minneapolis police

Baby found safe inside car that was stolen in south Minneapolis

The incident happened near 32nd Street and Chicago Avenue around 7 p.m.

Anthony Edwards

Ant puts on a show to help Timberwolves beat Pacers

A third-quarter surge gave the Timberwolves their seventh win in their past eight games.

Mikko Koivu

Wild to retire Mikko Koivu's No. 9 jersey

Koivu will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Boebert-Omar - Flickr Gage Skidmore

Rep. Boebert refuses to apologize for Islamophobic comment toward Rep. Omar

A phone call Monday between the two lawmakers ended abruptly.

Patrick Peterson

Vikings place Patrick Peterson on COVID-19/reserve list

The Vikings cornerback said he was vaccinated in August.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.


Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Mixed reports on Dalvin Cook's injury status

The Vikings running back could miss two games...or he could play Sunday.