University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Joel Maturi has announced that the Gophers have signed a home-and-home series with the University of Southern California.
Minnesota will host USC at TCF Bank Stadium on Sept. 18, 2010. The Gophers will visit the Trojans at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sept. 3, 2011 to open the season. The two games with USC take the place of a 2010-11 home-and-home series with Washington State, which has been canceled.
“Playing against arguably one of the best football teams of this decade really indicates the type of challenge Coach Brewster and our football program wants to take on,” Maturi said. “I think this series should really excite our fans, our players and our potential recruits.”
“This is a great opportunity for the University of Minnesota to match up with one of the finest football programs in the nation,” head coach Tim Brewster said. “I think it will be extremely exciting to our fans and to all Minnesotans for us to play a team the caliber of USC.
“As I’ve said from the beginning, I want to upgrade our non-conference schedule to help with our national recruiting base,” Brewster added. “I’ve said that I would like to play a marquee BCS opponent on national television one time a year. I’m excited about the series with USC and would like to commend Associate Athletic Director Marc Ryan on his ability to schedule those games.”
The Gophers have also announced a number of other non-conference games. Minnesota has added at least one game to each of its future schedules from 2010 through 2015. In addition to the USC games, the Gophers will host South Dakota in 2010 and North Dakota State in 2011.
“In addition to our commitment to playing at least one BCS opponent each year, we’re also committed to playing FCS opponents from our region,” Maturi said. “We think that’s a good thing for those institutions, their fans and their alumni in this area. It’s great for Minnesota as well. Those games also allow us to play another home game and give our fans another opportunity to see the Gophers in TCF Bank Stadium each season.”
In 2012, Minnesota is slated to open the season on Sept. 1 at UNLV. That game had originally been scheduled for 2010. In addition, the contest at Air Force originally slated for 2012 has been canceled.
Minnesota has added home games versus San Jose State and Western Illinois in 2013. San Jose State will return to TCF Bank Stadium again in 2014. Additions to the 2015 slate include a home season-opener with South Dakota State and a home game against Ohio.