Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
Memorial Stadium is different than some of the other huge stadiums I've visited; somehow it just seems more massive. From my vantage point, the field looks 150 yards long, and there is definitely room to fit most of the Nebraska citizenry in here. (Not sure if you necessarily would want to, though -- from the looks of the tailgating and the partying going on in downtown Lincoln, just a few blocks from here, game day is a holiday whether you have tickets or not.)
Here's a statistic that surprised me: The Cornhuskers are trying to finish off a perfect 7-0 season at home today -- their first since 2001. Hard to believe they've had a solid decade with at least one loss in this place.
Jerry Kill is out on the field, talking to his kickers and watching them practice, gauging the wind as he did last week. The wind looks similar to last week's at Illinois -- blowing from the south end zone to the north, though not quite as strong as it was in Champaign.
The Gophers are in gold pants with white jerseys, while the Huskers will wear their traditional red and white. And the pregame should be interesting -- there is a rumor going around that rather than being led out of the tunnel by coach Bo Pelini, as traditional, the Huskers will be led by Tom Osborne, who is attending his 500th game as a Cornhusker employee (assistant coach, head coach and athletic director) -- and his last home game. Osborne retires at the end of the year. I saw several fans outside the stadium carrying signs honoring Osborne, so it figures to be an emotional day here.
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