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.
LOS ANGELES -- Jerry Kill may wish he was home today, but Gopher fans who traveled here for the season opener might disagree.
The weather in Southern California is perfect for football, as usual: High 70s, sunny, and with a light breeze keeping things cool.
The press box has a beautiful view of downtown L.A. and the Hollywood Hills behind it; reminds me of last year's opener, with the foothills in the distance in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The Gophers are in their standard road uniforms, white tops and maroon pants, and as always happens at road games, you wonder where the rest of the team is. College teams travel only 70 players, so one-third of the team is back in Minneapolis, watching on TV.
Among them: linebacker Brendan Beal, who suffered a knee injury on the final play -- well, what turned out to be the final play, when he went down -- of Wednesday's practice. The severity of his injury hasn't been determined yet, but the Gophers fear he will miss a substantial amount of time. Tough break for a kid who already has missed a season with a torn knee ligament.
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