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.
The Gophers will have their sixth consecutive 11 a.m. kickoff next Saturday, when they play at Nebraska, in a game televised on ESPN.
The game time was announced late Saturday night. The Gophers (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) are coming off a 31-24 loss to Ohio State, and Nebraska (8-2, 4-2) is coming off a 59-24 loss at Wisconsin.
Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1) sits alone atop the Big Ten West division and plays at Iowa this week. But if the Gophers win their next two games -- at Nebraska, then at Wisconsin -- they could still win the division title. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head records.
Next Saturday's game between the Gophers and Ohio State at TCF Bank Stadium will start at 11 a.m. -- making it five consecutive 11 a.m., kickoffs for Minnesota.
The Gophers are 8-2 in their past 10 games in that time slot, including 3-1 in this stretch against Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois and Iowa.
The Ohio State game will be televised on ABC. The Buckeyes (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) are coming off a huge 49-37 win over Michigan State, which all but ensured a Big Ten East title. The Gophers (7-2, 4-1) are tied atop the Big Ten West with Nebraska and Wisconsin, two teams that will meet next Saturday in Madison.
The game time for the Gophers' Nov. 8 game against Iowa was announced Monday, and it will be another 11 a.m., kickoff for Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium.
That will make it four consecutive 11 a.m., kickoffs for the Gophers, who are 2-1 so far in this stretch with home wins over Northwestern and Purdue, and a loss Saturday at Illinois.
The Iowa game will be televised on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. The Gophers (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) have a bye this week, while Iowa (5-2, 2-1) plays Northwestern.
Five games into the season, the Gophers have yet to face an 11 a.m., kickoff, but that is about to change. Their next three games -- against Northwestern, Purdue and Illinois -- will all start at 11 a.m.
The Purdue and Illinois game times had been set, and the Northwestern game time was announced Monday. So Minnesota's next game is against Northwestern at TCF Bank Stadium on Oct. 11, at 11 a.m., televised by Big Ten Network.
Game times for the season's final four games have not been set.
The Gophers announced Wednesday that their kickoff time against Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 6 will be at 2:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee, from Conference USA, went 8-5 last season with a loss to Navy in the Armed Forces Bowl.
The game times for five of the first eight Gophers games are now set:
Aug. 28: Eastern Illinois (Home) 6 p.m., Big Ten Network
Sept. 6: Middle Tennessee (Home) 2:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
Sept. 13: TCU (Away) 3 p.m., Fox Sports 1
Sept. 20: San Jose State (Home) TBA
Sept. 27: Michigan (Away) TBA
Oct. 11: Northwestern (Home) TBA
Oct. 18: Purdue (Home) 11 a.m., TV TBA
Oct. 25: Illinois (Away) 11 a.m., TV TBA
Nov. 8: Iowa (Home) TBA
Nov. 15: Ohio State (Home) TBA
Nov. 22: Nebraska (Away) TBA
Nov. 29: Wisconsin (Away) TBA
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