Reusse: As young gunslinger at Purdue, Brees had Gophers' number

Posted by on January 13, 2018 2:17 am
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Categories: Minnesota

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The University of Minnesota started playing football in what’s now the Big Ten in 1896. When it comes to conference rivalries, you will not find much in the way of zaniness to compare with the eight games played between the Gophers and the Purdue Boilermakers leading to this century.

The Gophers scored 278 points in those eight games from 1993 to 2000, an average of 34.8, and went 2-6. Jim Wacker was 8-32 in the Big Ten from 1992 through 1996 as Gophers coach, and two of the victories were in the Metrodome against Purdue: 59-56 in 1993 and 39-38 in 1995. In between, the 1994 Gophers lost 49-37 at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Those three games resulted in a total of 278 points and 3,356 total yards. Wacker and Purdue’s Jim Colletto were fired after the 1996 season. Glen Mason came to Minnesota, and Joe Tiller brought the Big Ten’s first spread offense to Purdue.

The Boilermakers described Tiller’s offense as “basketball on grass.” The first time Tyrone Carter encountered it was on the Metrodome’s turf, as a Gophers sophomore safety in 1997.

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