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Minnesota Gophers: 10 win 2003 football season #TBT

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Fourteen years ago the Gophers won 10 games. Try to remember it fondly.

Asad Abdul-Khaliq, who was named Team MVP in 2003 after leading Minnesota to a 10-3 record.

Only 1 time since 1905 the Gophers football team has won 10 games, that year was 2003. It was Glen Mason’s 7th season. Asad Abdul-Khaliq was a senior leader who won with a great offensive line, and two 1,000 yard running backs. But all anyone wants to remember is the Michigan game. That’s a shame because it was undoubtedly a great season. There was the Penn State game which I covered about a year ago, Rhys Lloyd’s winning kicks against Wisconsin and in the bowl win over Oregon.

Slight tangent--The 10 win thing is a bit misleading because all of the last 100 years haven’t been all trash. Most football schedules in the Gopher glory years of the 1930s and 1940s were 8 game schedules and Bernie Bierman didn’t believe in sending his teams to bowls.

2003 season recap

Here is the summary of the Sun Bowl over Oregon.

Both offenses moved the ball almost at will, piling up points and yards with ease. The Gophers did their damage on the ground (241 rushing yards), while the Ducks kept the Gophers on their heels by passing for 376 yards.

Oregon (8-5) had one final desperation chance, but Gophers senior Justin Isom intercepted [Kellen Clemens] with 10 seconds left. Only then could the Gophers breathe a sigh of relief.

The Gophers, however, made a key stand with the game on the line. Leading 28-27, [Asad Abdul-Khaliq] fumbled the ball on a sack in Oregon territory, and Igor Olshansky recovered it at the Oregon 33-yard line with 7:37 left.

The Gophers won 31-30 and finished the season ranked #24. With Marion Barber and Laurence Maroney coming back the feature seemed so bright.