Ra'Shede Hageman and De'Vondre Campbell, two former Gophers defensive standouts and teammates at Minnesota in 2013, played important roles for the Falcons in their 44-21 victory over the Packers that earned Atlanta a trip to the Super Bowl.

Hageman, in fact, had one of the most talked-about defensive plays of the game when he made a strong bull rush up the middle and then sacked Aaron Rodgers from his stomach by reaching out and tripping the Packers' QB with his hand.

The play came on 2nd-and-10 with Atlanta leading 17-0 just before halftime. The Falcons scored another TD just before half to take a commanding 24-0 lead.

Hageman was also in on two tackles for losses in the second half as the Falcons cruised to the victory. Campbell, meanwhile, also had three tackles from his linebacker spot. He was also credited with one of the Falcons' seven hits on Rodgers.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.