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Continued: Hartman: Frazier focuses only on battling Packers

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 21, 2013 - 12:30 AM

They will have to be even better Saturday if they want to beat Wisconsin at TCF Bank Stadium. The Badgers have been even more impressive, averaging 307.9 yards per game (second in the Big Ten to Ohio State’s 315.1 ypg). They are 231 yards from breaking the Badgers’ single-season team rushing record with two regular-season games remaining. They rushed for 554 yards last week against Indiana.

The Wisconsin State Journal pointed out this week that the Badgers’ rushing average of 7.01 yards per carry is the second-highest mark in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 1996.

Gophers coach Jerry Kill said in his Big Ten news conference this week that he has shaped much of his offensive philosophy on the Badgers.

“This thing all started with coach [Barry] Alvarez,” Kill said. “Watched them all the way, when [former Heisman Trophy-winning running back] Ron Dayne played. There’s no question we’ve always tried to play a physical brand of football, wherever we’ve been, even at Northern Illinois [when] we played Wisconsin.”

He later added: “There’s no question, even our administration, you look at Wisconsin and what it has done, you have to respect it.”

No doubt the Gophers will have to play the best game ever played at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday if they want to beat the Badgers.

TwinsFest alterations

TwinsFest has had a great history in the Metrodome, but the Twins will not be able to hold it there this winter because the dome will be being demolished to make way for the new Vikings stadium.

“We’ve moved the event to Target Field and we’ll certainly take advantage of some of the things Target Field has, but it ultimately will change the scope of the event,” Twins President Dave St. Peter said. “It will become a smaller, more intimate event, and because of that ticket sales will be a little bit different. You’ll buy a specific ticket for a specific day versus a ticket that could be used all three days; you’ll either have a Friday, Saturday or Sunday ticket.

“Those tickets will be somewhat limited per day, so I think buying tickets early is going to be important. We have moved up our announcements in terms of player availability. That will all come out over the next couple of weeks.”

Tickets for TwinsFest, which is scheduled for Jan. 24-26, will go on sale Dec. 11.

Jottings

• One of the reasons Wisconsin’s defense is so improved is the play of senior nose guard Beau Allen. Allen, a Minnetonka native, was a preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection.

• Look for an announcement in the near future that the Timberwolves will take over a big part of the vacant space in the Block E facility as a basketball practice facility and likely Wolves and Lynx office space.

• Gophers men’s hockey coach Don Lucia was asked how it felt to go against his son, Mario, in the recent Notre Dame series in South Bend, Ind. “You know, I think it was a little bit hard on everybody, maybe more so for my wife than she anticipated going in for the weekend,” he said in a Sunday interview. “But I guess it worked out well. We ended up splitting [the Gophers lost 4-1 on Nov. 8 and won 5-4 the following night] and both sides could be happy.”

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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