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.
Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson and punter Peter Mortell were named Big Ten Players of the Week on Monday for their performances in Saturday's 42-39 victory at Indiana.
Nelson was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week, along with Penn State running back Bill Belton. Nelson had career highs for passing yards (298), completions (16) and touchdowns (four). He returned from a hip pointer injury to hit Maxx Williams for the go-ahead, 50-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.
Nelson is the first Gopher to earn Big Ten offensive player of the week honors since Adam Weber on Nov. 1, 2009.
Mortell averaged 43 yards on his five punts, placing two inside the 20-yard line.
Gophers kicker Chris Hawthorne was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week today after going 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and 4-for-4 on extra points in Saturday's 34-23 victory over Nebraska.
Also, the Gophers announced that their Nov. 9 game against Penn State will start at 11 a.m., and it'll be televised on ESPN2.
Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week today after rushing for four touchdowns and 151 yards against Iowa.
Leidner also completed five of 12 passes for 71 yards in a victory over San Jose State.
The last Gopher to be named Freshman of the Week was Philip Nelson, on Oct. 29, 2012. Nelson, now a sophomore, missed Saturday's game with a strained right hamstring. Leidner, a redshirt freshman, was making his first career start.
The Gophers announced this morning that their Sept. 21 home game against San Jose State will start at 11 a.m., and will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.
That means the Gophers will conclude non-conference play with back-to-back 11 a.m., starts at TCF Bank Stadium, including this Saturday against Western Illinois. The Gophers' homecoming game against Iowa on Sept. 28 starts at 2:30 p.m.
Five of this year's game times are still TBA. Here's a link to the schedule.
MARCUS JONES HONORED
Marcus Jones was named Big Ten Special Teams Co-Player of the Week on Monday, along with Purdue's Akeem Hunt. Jones had a 65-yard punt return touchdown at New Mexico State and had a 98-yard kick return touchdown against UNLV in the season opener.
Bob Stein, an All-American defensive end for the Gophers in 1967, is one of 77 former FBS-level players on this year’s College Football Hall of Fame ballot.
Stein, 65, was a two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection for the Gophers and a National Scholar Athlete. He played in the NFL from 1969-1975 and was part of Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs team that defeated the Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
Stein went on to become the first president of the Timberwolves and remains a Twin Cities attorney.
This year’s Hall of Fame class will be announced on May 7.
NOTABLE VIKINGS ON THE LIST
The ballot includes at least six players with ties to the Vikings: Bob Berry (Oregon QB), Eric Bieniemy (Colorado RB), Ted Brown (North Carolina State RB), Randall Cunningham (UNLV QB/Punter), D.J. Dozier (Penn State RB), Darrin Nelson (Stanford RB).
To see the entire ballot, click here.
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