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.
Just got set up in my seat in the press box of the Carrier Dome. It's absolutely a perfect day for football, but we wouldn't know it being inside and all. Oh, well, This is the last time inside this season.
The Carrier Dome is a low-rent version of the Metrodome. Think about that. It's like the Metrodome, only worse. One end of the facility hangs ten championship banners....won in lacrosse, of course.
Still, the place holds almost 50,000 fans, and 46,000-plus tickets were sold as of Friday. This place figures to be as full as it's been in a long time, and will likely be loud. It will be important for the Gophers to do what it takes -- both on offense and defense -- to quiet the crowd early.
So, what does that mean? It means shutting down the Syracuse running game, then making it difficult on Greg Paulus to convert on third and long. On offense it means early sustained drives.
I'll be very intrerested to see how the Gophers' inexperienced kickers respond to their first game.
I'll be be updating you at halftime with thoughts on the first two quarters. Until then, consider this:
This is from Jim Souhan. I"m sitting next to Kent in the Carrier Dome and will be using Twitter during the game. You can follow me at SouhanStrib.
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