Gophers start game week with visit to Fort Snelling National Cemetery

They honored Gophers great Bruce Smith on the 50-year anniversary of his death.

It’s game week for the Golden Gophers football and that means 100 percent of the focus is on preparing for Thursday’s game against Buffalo, right?

Not in head coach P.J. Fleck’s world.

Early Monday morning, Fleck had his players out at Fort Snelling National Cemetery to honor the 50-year anniversary of the death of Bruce Smith by placing a Captain’s Coin on Smith’s grave marker.

Smith, the greatest Gopher of all time, died Aug. 28, 1967 after a battle against cancer. Smith led the Gophers to national championships in 1940 and 1941 and was named the Heisman Trophy winner two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Smith went on top play in the NFL after serving as a Navy fighter pilot in World War II.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972 and his No. 54 was retired by the University of Minnesota in 1977.

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