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.

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Gophers OK moving UNLV game to Thursday

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gopher road games Updated: February 16, 2012 - 11:46 AM

     The Gophers have agreed to open the 2012 season two days early.
     At Nevada-Las Vegas' request, the Gophers will play UNLV in Sam Boyd Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 30, rather than the originally scheduled Sept. 1 kickoff.
     "It is customary in college football for the visiting team to do its best to accommodate these types of requests," Marc Ryan, senior associate athletics director, said in a statement. "Coach [Jerry] Kill felt that there were a number of positives for our program in agreeing to the move."
     Among those is a chance for some TV exposure, if the Rebels can reach an agreement with a carrier. UNLV has made contact with some broadcasters, director of media relations Mark Wallington said last week, but has not yet agreed to a deal.
     Kickoff time has not been determined, but the Gophers wanted the new date announced quickly in order to minimize the impact on fans planning to travel to Las Vegas for the first game between Minnesota and UNLV.
     It's the fifth time since 2001 that the Gophers have opened their season on a Thursday. Minnesota's home opener against New Hampshire is scheduled for Sept. 8.

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