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Throw Back Thursday: The TCU-Gophers Connection

The Gophers share more history than just Jim Wacker with TCU. They actually played each other back in 1974, oh and their 1970s mascots looked funny too.

Goldy Gopher and Addie The Fighting Frog both from the 1970s
Goldy Gopher and Addie The Fighting Frog both from the 1970s
@hipster Gopher

First Things First

So today was going to be a profile of the one and only heart-a-pumpin, corpuscles-a-jumpin, Jim Wacker. The memorable Coach Wacker coached both TCU (1983 to 1991) and the Gophers (1992-1996).

I had a lot of great stuff but that SOB Tom Powers beat me to it. What Tommy P doesn't have is a geezo beezo picture with those awesome Apex jerseys or a solid youtube video of Jim in his TCU days pumping his boys up in the locker room.

The 1974 Gophers and Horned Frogs Matchup

There is another Minnesota/TCU football connection, an actual game played by the two teams back in 1974. Even though it was almost exactly 40 years ago there are some striking parallels.

TCU came to Memorial Stadium with the Gophers under some heavy criticism having only beaten North Dakota 42-30 the previous week. Sophomore QB Tony Dungy had separated his shoulder against North Dakota and his status was uncertain. The quarterback situation behind Dungy was two unproven freshman Corey Olsen and Marc Trestman (who?).

Tony Dungy scrambling (and probably getting sacked) in the 1st half of the 1974 Minnesota vs TCU game.

Despite the Gophers offense struggling against a good TCU defense, all three Gopher QB's played in the game and combined for just enough to get past the Horned Frogs. The final score was 9-7, and the narrow victory lead to some interesting comments.

"God bless TCU" Coach Stol told reporters, "They remind me a lot of my teams at Wake Forest. Small, but scrappy as the devil. They never gave up. I really like them." (Minneapolis Star, Sunday September 29, 1974).

Indeed, TCU missed a field goal with 12 seconds left that would have won them the game.

Talking about the haters who booed the Gophers, Tony Dungy addressed the lack of offense, "I don't care if the score of all the rest of our games is 9-7, just so long as we win them all." (Minnesota Daily, Monday September 30, 1974)

And it's important to mention that both schools had mascots in the 1970s that looked like this:


Win vs Ohio 24-10 9/8 1979 Memorial Stadium
Win vs Rice 31-24 9/8 1984 Metrodome
Loss vs Utah 29-35 9/8 1990 Metrodome
Win vs Louisiana-Lafayette 44-14 9/8 2001 Metrodome
Win vs Miami (Ohio) 41-35 (3OT) 9/8 2007 Metrodome
Win vs New Hampshire 44-7 9/8 2012 TCF Bank Stadium
Loss vs Ohio 17-23 9/9 2000 Metrodome
Loss vs California 17-42 9/9 2006 at Berkeley, California
Win vs Western Michigan 10-7 9/10 1977 Memorial Stadium
Win vs Rice 21-17 9/10 1983 at Dallas, Texas
Loss vs Washington St 9-41 9/10 1988 Metrodome
Win vs Pacific 33-7 9/10 1994 Metrodome
Win vs Colorado St 56-24 9/10 2005 Metrodome
Loss vs New Mexico St 21-28 9/10 2011 TCF Bank Stadium
Win vs Indiana 28-0 9/11 1971 Memorial Stadium
Win vs Indiana 32-13 9/11 1976 Memorial Stadium
Win vs Ohio 57-3 9/11 1982 Metrodome
Win vs Indiana St 27-10 9/11 1993 Metrodome
Win vs Louisiana-Monroe 35-0 9/11 1999 Metrodome
Win vs Illinois St 37-21 9/11 2004 Metrodome
Loss vs South Dakota 38-41 9/11 2010 TCF Bank Stadium
Win vs Ohio 19-17 9/12 1981 Memorial Stadium
Win vs Northern Iowa 24-7 9/12 1987 Metrodome
Loss vs San Jose St 30-39 9/12 1992 Metrodome
Win vs Houston 14-7 9/12 1998 at Houston, Texas
Win vs Air Force 20-13 9/12 2009 TCF Bank Stadium
Loss vs Indiana 14-20 9/13 1975 at Bloomington, Indiana
Win vs Ohio 38-14 9/13 1980 Memorial Stadium
Win vs Bowling Green 31-7 9/13 1986 Metrodome
Win vs Iowa St 53-29 9/13 1997 Metrodome
Win vs Ohio 42-20 9/13 2003 at Athens, Ohio
Win vs Montana St 35-23 9/13 2008 Metrodome
Loss vs Ohio St 19-34 9/14 1974 Memorial Stadium
Win vs Wichita St 28-14 9/14 1985 Metrodome
Win vs San Jose St 26-20 9/14 1991 Metrodome
Win vs Ball St 26-23 9/14 1996 Metrodome
Win vs Toledo 31-21 9/14 2002 Metrodome