Date and Time:September 1, 2022 / 8 p.m. CT
Stadium: Huntington Bank Stadium
Series in general: Minnesota leads 2-1
Streak: Minnesota won 2
Series in MN: Series tied 1-1
Streak: Minnesota won 1
Last meeting: Minnesota won 48-10 in Minneapolis (8/30/18)
TV: BTN // Mark Followill (PXP), Matt Millen (Analyst), Elise Menaker (Reporter)
Radio: KFAN | SiriusXM: 133 or 196 | SXM App: 958 // Mike Grimm (PXP), Darrell Thompson (Analyst), Justin Gaard (Reporter), Tanner Hoops (Host), Dan Rowbotham (Engineer)
FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
1. University of Minnesota football begins its 139th season and sixth under head coach PJ Fleck, Thursday night when it hosts the State of New Mexico at Huntington Bank Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 pm with a national television audience on BTN.
two. Minnesota is 96-36-6 all-time in season starts, including wins in four of its last six starts (3-2 with Fleck, including 3-0 against non-conference opponents). Additionally, he has won four straight season starts against non-conference foes. The Golden Gophers are 100-31-7 all-time in home openers with an identical four-game winning streak in their last six home openers (also 3-2 with Fleck). Minnesota, which is opening a season at home for the 10th straight year, is 8-5 in home starts since Huntington Bank Stadium opened in 2009. This will be the second time the Gophers have opened a season against New Mexico State, also doing so in 2018 with a 48-10 victory. The Aggies were also Minnesota’s first home team in 2011, a 28-21 NMSU win.
3. The 2022 Golden Gophers will be led by a veteran unit on the offensive side of the ball, highlighted by the quarterback’s “Encore Four” tanner morganrunning backwards Muhammad Ibrahimwide receiver Chris Authman Bell and offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz. All four chose to return to Minneapolis for a sixth and final season. Morgan, Ibrahim and Autman-Bell are among the best in multiple career statistical categories at Minnesota, while Schmitz is a preseason All-American according to numerous outlets and is on the watch list for the Lombardi Award, Trophy Outland and the Rimington Prize. Meanwhile, the defense returns to nine players who started at least one game last year and three of its four best tacklers.
Four. Minnesota is coming off a 2021 campaign in which it finished with an overall record of 9-4 and a mark of 6-3 in the Big Ten. The Gophers reached at least nine wins for the second time in the past three years under PJ Fleck‘s orientation. Multiple nine-win seasons in a three-year span haven’t happened in Minnesota since six consecutive seasons of nine or more wins from 1900-1905. Additionally, Minnesota produced a record of .500 or better in Big Ten play for the ninth time in the last 50 years. Along with a 7-2 league record in 2019, Fleck is the first Gophers coach since Murray Warmath (1960, 1961 and 1967; six wins each) to win at least six conference games more than once.
5. The 2022 campaign is the sixth for the head coach PJ Fleck in Minn. He enters the year with a 35-23 record. In Minnesota football history, only Henry L. Williams (55, 1900-04) had more wins in his first five seasons than Fleck’s 35. Additionally, Fleck’s 21 wins in Big Ten play are the most in a coach’s first five years with the Waffles. Overall, Fleck already ranks sixth in program history in wins and Big Ten wins, and is tied for seventh in games coached (58). His .603 winning percentage is third-best among the 11 Minnesota coaches with at least 45 games under him behind only Williams (.786, 1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (.716, 1932-41, ’45-50).
You can read the full Minnesota game notes here.