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.
Every college football player would like to be ranked in the top 10. But this isn't exactly what Ryan Collado had in mind.
The senior defensive back was watching ESPN's SportsCenter on Saturday, when the days' top 10 plays came on. Suddenly, at No. 4 -- there he was.
Giving up a touchdown.
"Yeah, I saw it," Collado said with a wince. "Number 4."
Actually, Collado's name wasn't mentioned; the highlight was attention-grabbing for the way that Northwestern receiver Jeremy Ebert wrested the ball away from him as they fell to the ground.
"Ryan was in perfect position. I mean, absolutely perfect position," Gophers coach Tim Brewster said of the 25-yard Dan Persa-to-Ebert connection for a touchdown. "He had his man covered, he turned around, he got both hands on the ball. And the guy took it away."
That's what's so painful, Collado said. He had position in front of Ebert and believed he was about to make a game-saving interception. "It was the most heartbreaking pass coverage I've ever been in," Collado said. "Christyn Lewis, right next to me, told me he knew it was an interception. I caught in right in my hands."
But Ebert, who is roughly three inches taller, came over the top and got his hands on it, too. "As I fell, he landed before me. His momentum carried him and he just torqued it out," Collado said.
The play closed Minnesota's eight-point lead to just two, and the Gophers eventually lost 29-28. That's why Collado sees his unfortunate TV appearance as a symbol of Minnesota's season.
"I was where I needed to be, just like (the Gophers) have been. And we just don't execute when we have to," he said, blaming himself for Ebert's spectacular catch. "That's why it's so frustrating."
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