Date: Oct. 5, 2019
Time: 2:30 p.m. CT
Site: Minneapolis, Minn.
Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
Series: Minnesota 38-30-3
SEVEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Minnesota returns home this week to face the Illinois Fighting Illini. The Gophers lead the all-time series against the Illini 38-30-3 and have won three of the last four against Illinois. In addition, the Gophers are 13-5 in their last 18 games against Illinois and are 22-12-2 all-time at home against Illinois. Minnesota has won three straight against Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium. Saturday’s contest will also be Minnesota’s 101st Homecoming game and the 12th against Illinois. The Gophers are 59-38-3 all-time on Homecoming and have won four of their last five Homecoming games. Minnesota is 6-4-1 all-time against Illinois on Homecoming. The teams last met on Homecoming in 2017 when Minnesota won 24-17.
2. Dating back to last season, Minnesota has won six straight games (at Purdue, Georgia Southern, at Fresno State, South Dakota State, vs. Georgia Tech and at Wisconsin), which is tied for the seventh longest winning streak in the nation. Clemson has the longest winning streak in the nation at 20 games and is followed by Ohio State (11), Appalachian State (10), Florida (9), Wake Forest (7) and Iowa (7). Minnesota follows at six wins and is tied with Auburn and Baylor. The Gophers are one of 18 teams who are still undefeated this year.
3. The Gophers have won four straight one-possession games to start the season becoming the first team since Penn State in 1985 and just the fifth in FBS history, according to Elias Sports Bureau, to do so. Penn State won six straight to start the season in 1985, which is the most in FBS history. Texas and Clemson each won four straight in 1958 and Notre Dame won five straight in 1939. The Gophers had previously won only four or more one possession games across an entire season six times in the modern era, (2016, 1981, 1977, 1968, 1964 and 1961) but had never won more than three one possession games in a row prior to this season.
4. Minnesota is 4-0 for the first time since 2013 and is 4-0 with two road wins for the first time since 1949. Minnesota won its first two road games for the first time since 2009 and started 1-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2014. The Gophers are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have won six straight for the first time since the 2003-04 seasons. Minnesota has also won four straight away from home for the first time since 2003.
5. Minnesota is averaging 34.75 points this year. The last season Minnesota averaged that many points was 2005 (35.8 points). Minnesota is 8-2 in its last 10 games and the Gophers have scored 334 points in those 10 games. Minnesota didn’t total 334 points (total points in last 10 games) in 2007 (12 games), 2008 (13 games), 2009 (13 games), 2010 (12 games), 2011 (12 games), 2012 (13 games), 2015 (13 games) or 2017 (12 games). Minnesota scored 376 points in 13 games in 2018.
6. Minnesota is 4-0 this year, 8-2 in its last 10 games and 16-13 overall under head coach P.J. Fleck. Fleck’s 16-13 record in his first 29 games is the best for a coach in school history since the legendary Murray Warmath started 18-9-2 from 1954 through the first two games of the 1957 season. Warmath would go on to coach Minnesota for 18 seasons and led Minnesota to a Big Ten championship and national championship in 1960.
7. Minnesota’s all-time record is 699-522-44, which means its next win will be the 700th in school history. The Gophers are 4-0 this year and it’s next win will make the Gophers the 28th school to record 700 wins. Minnesota’s 100th win was at Wisconsin in 1903 (17-0), while its 200th win was against North Dakota in 1923 (27-0). It’s 300th win was against Illinois in 1941 (34-6) and the 400th win came against UCLA in the 1962 Rose Bowl (21-3). Minnesota’s 500th win was against Northwestern in 1981 (35-23) and its 600th win was against Louisiana-Lafayette in 2003 (48-14).
TYLER JOHNSON SPEAKS
MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm talked with Gopher record-setting WR Tyler Johnson of Minneapolis:
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)