STATEMENT GAME LAME

An inability to get over the hump in big games defined the Glen Mason Era and led to his ultimate downfall. But the trend has continued for the Gophers under Tim Brewster and now Jerry Kill.

2008: With a 7-1 record (3-1 in the Big Ten) heading into a home showdown against Northwestern, Brewster’s Gophers were riding high. But they lost 24-17 and didn’t win again all season, finishing 7-6.

2009: The Gophers were 5-4 after a raucous Halloween victory over Michigan State. But with a chance to become bowl-eligible the next week at TCF Bank Stadium, they lost 35-32 to an Illinois squad that finished 3-9. Minnesota went 1-3 down the stretch, with the lone win a squeaker over South Dakota State.

2012: The Gophers took momentum into the Big Ten season after a 4-0 nonconference start that included a 17-10 victory over Syracuse. But it evaporated quickly in conference play with a 31-13 drubbing at Iowa in the opener.

2013: In similar fashion, Minnesota started 4-0 against a relatively soft nonconference slate and faced Iowa again — this time at TCF Bank Stadium. But the Gophers dug a 20-0 hole and couldn’t complete a late comeback in their first home sellout since the Syracuse game.