MINNEAPOLIS -- After enduring the rain/sleet/snow and freezing temperatures in the Minnesota Gophers’ 38-17 loss to the Badgers at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 30, fans might feel like a trip to Florida in January sounds nice right about now.
While the loss bounced Minnesota from the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis next week and a likely spot in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan 1, it looks like the Gophers are headed to either the Outback Bowl in Tampa or the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
Both Florida bowl games are set for afternoon on New Year’s Day and are projected to have opponents from the Southeastern Conference.
Five of eight major bowl projections had Minnesota going to either of the Florida bowls before they lost to Wisconsin on Saturday.
Three had the Gophers pegged for their first Rose Bowl since 1962. A return to the “Granddaddy of Them All” has been put on life support after the one-sided loss to Wisconsin.
Receiver Tyler Johnson tied one Gophers record and had one of his own marks broken on Saturday.
Johnson hauled in his 31st career touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s loss, tying Ron Johnson’s program record. The senior will have a chance to claim the record for himself in Minnesota’s bowl game.
In that same quarter, Johnson saw a mark fall, as sophomore Rashod Bateman reached 1,170 receiving yards on the season, one yard more than Johnson had last season when he broke the previous mark.
For the record, Johnson is at 1,114 yards this season, meaning he could still take the record back from Bateman, depending on the yardage marks the two wideouts post in the bowl.
Quarterback Tanner Morgan set a new mark for single-season passing yards (2,975), passing the previous record held by Adam Weber. Morgan set the single-season passing yards mark last week in a 38-22 win over Northwestern.
Starting right tackle Daniel Faalele appeared to injure his left knee in the first quarter of Saturday’s game. He went into the locker room and didn’t return to the game.
Starting tight end Jake Paulson had his right foot in a protective boot and was on crutches after exiting the Northwestern game early last week.
Backup running back and kick returner Cam Wiley had his left leg in a brace and was walking with a crutch. He, too, played against Northwestern.
Two juniors join seniors
Two redshirt juniors joined 13 seniors pregame festivities to honor those participating in their last game at TCF Bank Stadium.
Ben Davis, an offensive lineman from Elk Grove, Calif., and Conner Novak-Goar, a defensive lineman from Eden Prairie, have decided to leave the program with eligibility remaining.
At 33 degrees, Saturday’s kickoff was the 11th-coldest at TCF Bank Stadium. … The announced crowd of 53,756 is the largest in the venue’s current seating configuration.