Rick Knobe’s Venture into Minnesota Territory
The TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Gophers is an amazing place. Coach Les Schroeder and I attended the Minnesota homecoming game against the Ohio Bobcats Saturday at 2:30. To be here you have to like the combination of maroon and yellow. Those colors are everywhere, including in the dessert we ate before the game.The weather was sunny and about 70 degrees. Attendance was slightly more than 53,000.
I have never attended a Gophers game. Les has, at the old HHH Metrodome, sometime between when he was in diapers and puberty.
.At the beginning of the game we are told by a stern sounding .media booth announcer that any outbursts, cheers etc will not be tolerated. Any such activity will result in expulsion! Apparently we are expected to act like professionals.
The Gophers have defeated the Bobcats 8 times, lost once.Their first contest ended in a tie at 35 in 1969. The last game was in Ohio two years ago this month. Gophers 42, Ohio 20.
The first score came from Ohio. A pass. The Minnesota secondary was nowhere near the receiver.
First Quarter score: Minnesota 0 Ohio 7
Second Quarter starts with a 40 yd..run for a touchdown by Shannon Brooks, freshman running back from Atlanta, Ga.. Tie game.
With eight minutes left in the half, Ohio has used all of their time outs. Disorganized offense. The disorganized offense managed to score on a short touchdown pass. Score is Minnesota 7 Ohio 14.
Minnesota scores on a Mitch LIeidner quarterback sneak with 3:20 left in the quarter.
At the half, tied at 14.
The Gopher band takes up about 1/3 rd of the field. They didn't move much or quickly. However, they formed the letter "M" well and sounded good. The homecoming king and queen looked much like upper Midwest Norwegians, without the horns and pigtails.
The media area holds a couple of hundred folks. It is three tiered, much like a lecture hall. We are behind large glass panels, so are cut off from the air and the sounds of the game. Also we are on the upper tier. A great view of the field but the scoreboard is cut in half by a six inch wide frame between the upper and lower windows.
Minnesota starts the third quarter with some great offense. However, they can't find the end zone and have to settle for a field goal. Four minutes into the quarter:
Minnesota 17 Ohio 14
End of third quarter, same score.
Between quarter observations: Ohio has trouble getting men on and off the field. They used three time outs in the first three quarters, so they wouldn't be penalized. Minnesota has a good defense, and they show signs of greatness on offense, however, receivers dropped several passes which should have been caught.
Minnesota starts the fourth quarter with a fumble. End result, Ohio scores on an eleven yard run. Ohio 21 Minnesota 17
Minnesota offense comes alive with several successful runs and passes. A touchdown is eludes them, but a field goal happens.with slightly less than 9 minutes left.
Ohio 21 Minnesota 20
After several good plays by Ohio they get close to the end zone. However, like the Gophers they can't complete. After two false start penalties, one against each team Ohio hits a 41 yd. field goal.
Ohio 24 Minnesota 20 with three minutes left.
Minnesota moved the ball down the field with authority. With :30 seconds left the Gophers are on six yard line. They call a time out.
They score on a run!!!! Clock is still at :30.
Minnesota 27 Ohio 24
After several pass attempts by Ohio with little success they call a time out with seven seconds on the clock. They attempt at 53 yard field goal, but take too much time. Now it was a 58 yard try.
.Rather than kick they throw up a "Hail Mary" It didn't work
Final Minnesota 27 Ohio 24