Forgotten anniversaries: 1973 Gophers football

  • Updated: June 18, 2013 - 9:29 PM
hide

Cal Stoll compiled a 39-39 record in seven seasons as head coach of the Gophers.

Photo: Star Tribune file,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Plenty of Minnesota sports anniversaries and years are embedded in our collective sports minds. Merely mention 1987, 1991 or 1998, for example, and the Twins’ two World Series titles plus the Vikings’ 15-1 season spring immediately to mind. But what about some lesser-known anniversaries? We’re here to take a look back at some of those, in increments of five years, dating backward from 2013.

Today: The 1973 Gophers football team and five things you might have forgotten about that season.

• The Gophers in 1973 finished 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten. Minnesota has not equaled that conference mark in any season since then. They have gone 5-3 numerous times, most recently 2003 under Glen Mason, but they have not gone 6-2 since that season 40 years ago.

• The Gophers were most certainly a running team. Their leading rusher that season, according to Gophersports.com, was Rick Upchurch, who averaged nearly 6 yards per carry (141 rushes for 841 yards). He was one of four players to top at least 400 yards on the ground. Conversely, their leading receiver was tight end Keith Fahnhorst, who had a rather unspectacular 10 catches for 102 yards.

• The head coach? Cal Stoll, who was in his second season after taking over for Murry Warmath. Stoll departed after seven seasons with what at the time looked like a pedestrian 39-39 career record. Joe Salem, Lou Holtz, John Gutekunst, Jim Wacker, Glen Mason, Tim Brewster and Jerry Kill have followed. Only one of them — Mason — has a career record above .500 at Minnesota.

• The Gophers’ losses were to Kansas and Nebraska (nonconference) as well as Ohio State and Michigan, who tied atop the Big Ten at 7-0-1. Minnesota also won six of its final seven games. Despite that robust record, the Gophers did NOT go to a bowl game. Lest we forget, that was the era before there were approximately 92.3 billion bowl games. In fact, there were only 11 of them.

• In a bit of serendipity, a highlight video of the 1973 season recently was posted on the school’s athletics website, Gophersports.com. There is footage that should make you nostalgic for the football played 40 years ago.

Michael Rand

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close