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Decker earns All-Big Ten honors

After MinnesotaâÄôs Oct. 17 game against Penn State, Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno was asked about Gophers senior wide receiver Eric Decker . âÄúBoy, he's some player,âÄù Paterno said. This after Penn State had just limited Decker to one reception for 42 yards . Paterno met Decker after the game; it was a moment Decker remembers well. âÄúItâÄôs awesome; itâÄôs unbelievable,âÄù Decker said of the kind words Paterno had for him. âÄúI was kind of speechless, because you canâÄôt comprehend how many games heâÄôs seen, how much football heâÄôs watched and how much coaching heâÄôs done.âÄù


Hawkeyes shut out Minn., keep Pig

IOWA CITY, Iowa âÄî Minnesota had the ball on IowaâÄôs 2-yard line for the fourth-straight play. Now late in the fourth quarter, the Gophers had driven from the HawkeyesâÄô 29 after sophomore defensive tackle Jewhan Edwards fell on a fumbled snap, but in the previous three downs they hadnâÄôt moved any closer to the end zone. Junior quarterback Adam Weber dropped back, felt pressure and was sacked for a 5-yard loss; Iowa ball with just 6:20 to play.


Hawkeyes shut out Minn., keep Pig

IOWA CITY, Iowa âÄî Minnesota had the ball on IowaâÄôs 2-yard line for the fourth-straight play. Now late in the fourth quarter, the Gophers had driven from the HawkeyesâÄô 29 after sophomore defensive tackle Jewhan Edwards fell on a fumbled snap, but in the previous three downs they hadnâÄôt moved any closer to the end zone. Junior quarterback Adam Weber dropped back, felt pressure and was sacked for a 5-yard loss; Iowa ball with just 6:20 to play.


Offenses struggle on both sides

The potential measures of offensive futility from SaturdayâÄôs contest are abundant and striking. Candidates include the combined 5-for-33 on third down, the combined 372 yards and the combined 1.4 average yards per rush. But perhaps nothing sums it up better than this: 17 punts to 12 points scored in the game; nine for the Hawkeyes, eight for the Gophers. There were 649 yards worth of punts, frighteningly close to doubling the offensive output of the two teams .


Gophers struggle as Iowa keeps Pig

Iowa wins the toss and receives. Look for the Hawkeyes to establish the run early with redshirt freshman running back Adam Robinson. They're big up front and probably feel they can move the ball on the ground successfully. On the first drive, that's certainly been the case. Robinson racked up 51 yards, but inside the red zone, the Gophers closed the gaps, forcing Iowa into a third-and-6 situation. Redshirt freshman quarterback James Vandenberg attempted a quick slant but it went through his receiver's hands and the Hawkeyes settled for a field goal.


Battle for Pig offers shot at revenge

In 1982, Tim Brewster was a tight end at the University of Illinois. His Illini, coached at the time by Mike White, went to play Iowa at Kinnick Stadium . When they arrived, the visitorsâÄô locker room was covered floor to ceiling in meat locker paper. Why? Because Hawkeyes coach Hayden Fry had famously painted everything âÄî even the bathroom fixtures âÄî a light shade of pink, the idea being it would make opponents passive and somehow less competitive. So White covered it all up, just in case. âÄúYou didnâÄôt see an ounce of pink anywhere,âÄù Brewster said.


Regardless of perception, Minnesota glad to be bowl eligible

It was an interesting scene in the press room Saturday after MinnesotaâÄôs underwhelming 16-13 victory over Football Championship Series opponent South Dakota State . The question of the afternoon implied that the win was disappointing âÄî a moral defeat, if you will. After all, arenâÄôt FCS teams supposed to be a breeze? But in so many words, everyone said the same thing: âÄúA win is a win.âÄù The Gophers arenâÄôt concerned about style points. No team in the Big Ten really is; they donâÄôt need to be. For example, look at the first week of the 2009 season.


Jackrabbits left reeling after losing winnable road test

At first glance, it may seem like the only thing the University of Minnesota and South Dakota State have in common is small mammals for mascots, which may be fitting for both programs. The Jackrabbits set season records for attendance this year, averaging 13,265 fans per game at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium . On Saturday, they played the Gophers at brand new TCF Bank Stadium, where 50,805 seats were sold out for the entire season.


Wrestlers set for season opener

College wrestling doesnâÄôt have a preseason, but for Minnesota, the Bison Open comes awfully close. It certainly has that lopsided quality youâÄôd expect. The Gophers boast 155 individual champions as the tournament, hosted by North Dakota State, enters its 40th year . The host Bison have the second most titles with 59. In 2008, Gophers wrestlers claimed championships in eight of 10 weight classes. Now add this: Minnesota is better in 2009.


Ohio State and Iowa fight to smell roses

ItâÄôs that time of year again. Four BCS rankings have been released and dozens of teams around the country have four or five wins and have waning postseason hopes. Bowl hysteria has arrived.