2011 Minnesota Golden Gophers Football

Big Ten football fans

Minnesota vs North Dakota State Football Preview



The Minnesota Golden Gophers will try to even their record heading into Big Ten play when they host the FCS North Dakota State Bison on Saturday evening at TCF Bank Stadium.

North Dakota State is 2-0, and has outscored their first two opponents 98-6.  The Bison are ranked 12th in the FCS coaches poll, and boast the top-ranked scoring offense in FBS.

About half of the NDSU roster is made up of Minnesota natives.  36 Bison players hail from Minnesota.

The Bison is 4-3 against FBS teams since 2006.

In the teams' only previous matchup, the Bison upset the Golden Gophers 27-21 at the Metrodome in 2007.  An estimated 30,000 North Dakota State fans invaded Minneapolis to support the Bison, and a similar contingent of NDSU supporters is expected this Saturday.

Last week, the Gophers outlasted Miami ( Ohio) 29-23 at TCF Bank Stadium, in Minnesota's first game since head coach Jerry Kill suffered a seizure on the sideline toward the end of an upset loss to New Mexico State.

Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray had a breakout performance last week, rolling up 334 yards of total offense.  Gray threw for 163 yards and ran for 171 more, a single-game record for a Gophers quarterback.

Starting running back Duane Bennett scored the eventual game-winning touchdown when he blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone, giving Minnesota a 29-16 lead with 10:23 left in the game.  Bennett, who struggled carrying the ball, was nonetheless named Big Ten special teams player of the week.


By: Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer