Sept. 11, 2017
|Middle Tennessee (1-1) at Minnesota (2-0)|
|Date||Saturday, September 16|
|Time||2:30 p.m. Central|
|Location||TCF Bank Stadium (50,805 capacity)|
|Bag Policy||Stadium Bag Policy|
|Metro Transit||Get to the Game|
|Television||BTN | BTN2Go|
|Radio||KFAN 100.3 | Gopher Radio Network|
|Internet||Listen Live | I Heart Radio App|
|Game Notes||Minnesota: Notes // Fleck Press Conference | Mid. Tenn.: Notes|
|Social Media||@GopherFootball | Facebook | Instagram|
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO ROW
1. Minnesota welcomes Middle Tennessee to TCF Bank Stadium for the third ever meeting between the two schools. The Gophers won 24-17 at Middle Tennessee in 2010 and prevailed 35-24 at home in 2014. Minnesota is in its ninth season at TCF Bank Stadium and Gophers are 33-24 overall in the on-campus facility and 18-7 against nonconference opponents. Minnesota has won its last six nonconference games at home (last loss was to No. 2 TCU in 2015). Minnesota is 6-1 all-time against Conference USA (2-0 against Middle Tennessee and Rice and 2-1 against Florida Atlantic).
2. P.J. Fleck is now 22-3 in his last 25 games as a head coach (only Alabama's Nick Saban 24-1 and Clemson's Dabo Swinney 23-2 are better, while San Diego State's Rocky Long is also 22-3) and his first two wins at Minnesota have been memorable. Fleck, who is the second youngest coach in the Power 5 (Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley is younger) was named the 30th head coach in school history on Jan. 6, 2017. He won his Minnesota debut against Buffalo, which made him the school's first head coach to win his season debut since John Gutekunst and the Gophers beat Bowling Green 31-7 in 1986 (before Fleck, Minnesota's six most recent head coaches all lost their first game). Minnesota's dominating win at Oregon State made Fleck the first Gopher coach to win a true road opener (not including neutral-site games) since 1954 when Murray Warmath and the Gophers won 46-7 at Pittsburgh. Fleck is also the first coach (without an interim title) since Warmath to start 2-0 at the U.
3. Minnesota beat Oregon State 48-14 on the road. The 48 points were the most the Gophers scored on the road since they beat Northwestern 49-21 in 1980. Minnesota's 34-point margin of victory at Oregon State was its largest road margin since it beat Kent State 44-0 in 2006. Minnesota's 48 points were the most it had scored against an FBS opponent since a 51-14 home win against Iowa in 2014.
4. Minnesota's 34-point win at Oregon State was its third largest margin of victory against a Pac-12 team (beat Arizona 62-0 in 1939 and Washington 46-7 in 1957) and its largest ever on the road. Minnesota is now 4-1 all-time against Oregon State and has scored 30 or more points in all four wins and 40 or more points in three of the wins. The Gophers were only the third Big Ten team to play at Oregon State since 1971 and were the first to win, as the Beavers beat Iowa in 1971 and Wisconsin in 2012.
5. Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks have the potential to be two of the most elite running backs in school history. In 27 career games, Smith has rushed 450 times for 1,996 yards, which ranks 16th all-time in school history. With four more yards he will become the 14th Gopher ever to rush for 2,000 career yards. In 24 games, Brooks has rushed 292 times for 1,519 yards, which ranks 30th in program history. Smith and Brooks need to get to 2,353 yards to tie Garry White (1977-80) for tenth all time. Smith is 357 yards shy, while Brooks needs 834 yards. Both Brooks and Smith can strike at any moment. Brooks career long touchdown run is 75 yards and came against Illinois in 2015. Smith ripped off a 70-yard touchdown at Maryland in 2016.
You can read Minnesota's complete game notes here.
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