Minnesota Weather, Gophers Win Rodeo Bowl

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Go Gophers! Philip Nelson
Go Gophers!
Quarterback Philip Nelson with an M logo branding iron at the Rodeo Bowl.
Go Gophers!
Wednesday began with Minnesota-like weather and ended with a Gopher victory.

Temperatures in the lows 30s greeted the Gophers when they woke up on Dec. 26 in Houston. There was not any snow, but there were gusting winds that brought a slight chill to Minnesota's afternoon practice at nearby St. Thomas High School.

Coach Jerry Kill did not seem to mind the change in temperature, instead focusing on his team and the hospitality of the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas staff.

"It's not too bad," said Kill. "The weather has been good and everybody has treated us tremendously and we've gotten a lot done."

Minnesota officially wrapped up its final on-field bowl practice yesterday. The Gophers will hold a walk-through at Reliant Stadium on Thursday after a team luncheon with Texas Tech.

Kill said he has been pleased with the team's extra practices, especially with regard to some of the younger players on his team and his now mostly-healthy offensive line.

"It's made a difference certainly with our redshirt kids, because we've got an opportunity to evaluate them even more," said Kill. "Some of them have really done a great job and stepped up. It's also given us a chance to get Jon Christenson and Eddie Olsen healthy for the first time."

The Gophers returned to the team hotel after practice and then ventured off to George Ranch Historical Park for the annual Rodeo Bowl organized by the bowl staff. The seven-event competition pitted Minnesota against Texas Tech and allowed the two teams to see each other for the first time.

The Gophers won the Rodeo Bowl 5-2 posting wins in the Offensive Line Touchdown Dance Competition, Rope The Mascot, Chalk Branding, Calf Ribbon Pull and Hay Bale Toss.

Minnesota was awarded a trophy for winning the Rodeo Bowl and sang an enthusiastic version of the Rouser after earning the win. Both teams then enjoyed a hearty barbecue dinner before departing the park and returning to their respective hotels for the night. 

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