Minnesota will conclude its regular season at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday, against its toughest opponent yet: Wisconsin. The Gophers face daunting odds to break No. 5 Wisconsin’s unbeaten record. The No. 5 Badgers is the highest ranked opponent for Minnesota yet, and it will be a challenge while fighting for a rivalry win, bowl eligibility and an upset on senior day.
Minnesota’s seniors are a unique group among college football. Not for their record, not for the team’s performance, but this class has seen three head coaches over the course of their career. The group of 16 seniors will play their final game at TCF Bank Stadium against Wisconsin on Saturday.
Forward Brent Gates Jr. hears the name junior a lot these days. His nickname is ‘Junior’, and now fitting enough, he is in his junior year at Minnesota. Gates Jr. is finding scoring success this season. He has scored four goals in his last eight games.
Head coach P.J. Fleck received a contract extension that will keep him at the University of Minnesota through the 2022 season, the team announced on Wednesday. The extension adds an additional year to what was agreed on for his first contract. He will be paid an extra $50,000 in the extended year. The original contract was five years, $18 million — roughly $3.6 million per year. This new deal will bring the total to over $20 million.
No. 5 Wisconsin (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) plays Minnesota (5-6, 2-6 Big Ten) at TCF Bank Stadium in, potentially, the Gophers last game of the season.
With 277 rushing yards allowed, the Gophers lost yet another Big Ten game. Minnesota (5-6, 2-6 Big Ten) had been a team characterized by its dynamic running attack and the defensive capabilities up front, but that wasn’t the case in their 39-0 loss to No. 23 Northwestern (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten), where both facets of the defense did not stop the Wildcats' offense.
For this weekly column, the Minnesota Daily talks to somebody knowledgeable on the Gophers next opponent. This week, Minnesota will travel to Evanston, Illinois to face the Wildcats. We talked to Ben Pope, who covers football for the Daily Northwestern. Pope is a reporter for the Wildcats' football and men's basketball teams.
Sam Rossini came to the Gophers this year on a path similar to many others. He's learned to play at the collegiate level day by day, and it is unclear whether he will see the ice this weekend as No. 7 Minnesota hosts No. 13 Harvard for the two teams’ first matchup in two years. Rossini has the second best shooting percentage on the Gophers and is averaging 0.50 goals per game as a freshman defenseman.
Defensive lineman Steven Richardson hasn't showed his impact in his season stats, but his presence on the defensive line has opened gaps for other Minnesota rushers to come through.
Minnesota lost on Friday 5-4 in overtime, and tied 6-6 on Saturday against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Michigan this weekend, dropping their record to 7-4-1 this season.