Date/Time: Sept. 18, 2021 / 12 p.m. CT
Site: Boulder, Colo.
Stadium: Folsom Field
Series Overall: Minnesota Trails 0-3
Streak: Minnesota Lost 3
Series in CO: Minnesota Trails 0-1
Streak: Minnesota Lost 1
Last Meeting: Minnesota lost 21-20 in Minneapolis (9/19/92)
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Minnesota enters Saturday’s contest with 20 straight non-conference victories, the longest active streak in the country. Iowa is second with 13 straight wins, while Kentucky (12) and Alabama (10) are the only other teams in the country with a streak longer than six games. The Golden Gophers haven’t lost a non-conference game since Sept. 3, 2015, at home to then-No. 2 TCU. Included in the streak are 16 regular season wins and four bowl victories (complete list of wins on Page 4). Also in the streak are three straight road wins against non-B1G teams, tied for the 10th longest streak in the FBS. The Gophers’ last road loss out of conference came Sept. 13, 2014, at TCU. Minnesota is 12-0 under P.J. Fleck in non-conference games.
2. Minnesota is 59-65-9 all-time in road openers, including a 2-2 mark under head coach P.J. Fleck. The Gophers have won three in a row, however, when the first road contest of the season comes against a non-conference opponent, winning at Fresno State in 2019, Oregon State in 2017 and Colorado State in 2015.
3. With redshirt senior Mohamed Ibrahim out for the season with a lower leg injury that occurred in the season opener against Ohio State, the Gophers turned to redshirt sophomore Trey Potts Saturday against Miami (OH) and Potts came through in a big way. Making his first career start, Potts ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries, smashing his previous personal highs in all three categories. In fact, Potts’ 34 carries are the most by any player in the country this season, while his 178 yards are the 10th highest total. Impressively, Potts’ performance nearly matched his career output entering the contest. In eight career games prior, he had gained 206 yards and scored two touchdowns on 36 carries.
4. Saturday marks the 100th game of P.J. Fleck’s collegiate coaching career. Now in his ninth season overall, he has posted a 57-42 mark in his previous 99 games. Fleck is in his fifth season at Minnesota, posting a 27-20 record to date. He is 10th already in school history in games coached, and ninth in wins, needing one more win to tie Clarence Spears (1925-29) for eighth place. Fleck’s .574 win percentage is third best among the 11 Minnesota coaches with at least 45 games under their helm behind only Henry L. Williams (.786, 1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (.716, 1932-41, ’45-50). Fleck’s 26 wins through his first four seasons at Minnesota was second best in program annals, behind only Williams’ 42 victories.
5. Tanner Morgan is 19-9 as a starter and has completed 427 passes (seventh most in school history) of 695 attempts (eighth most) for 6,345 yards (sixth most) in his career. His career completion percentage of .614 ranks first in school history, as does his 156.21 pass efficiency rating. Morgan also has 49 career touchdown passes, which rank fourth in program history. He is one away from joining Adam Weber (72), Bryan Cupito (55) and Asad AbdulKhaliq (55) as the only Gopher QBs to reach at least 50 career touchdown passes. If Morgan can throw at least one TD pass at Colorado, he would tie Abdul-Khaliq for fewest games to get to 50 TD passes and could also get there in the fewest attempts.
SIXTH YEAR SENIOR SPEAKS
Gopher sixth-year senior offensive lineman Connor Olson of Monticello sat down with MNN sports director Mike Grimm:
(info and pictures courtesy of Gopher Sports)