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History of Friday Games #TBT

Minnesota played it’s first game in 1882, since then there have been very few Friday night games.

Guess which coached the most Friday Gopher games.

*Hipster note this article does not recognize a certain game that may or may not have been played on Friday October 10, 2003.

As far as I can tell the Gophers have played 7 football games on Fridays. The first official game back in 1882 happened to be on a Friday and six Friday bowl games.

I’m not checking the day of the week for all 1,255 games the Gophers have played but it would appear after the 1882 game the next Friday football was played 117 years later. That would be the 1999 Sun Bowl. Five bowl games since 1999 have also been played on a Friday, including the 2004 Music City Bowl victory over Alabama.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the seven Friday games:

Friday September 29, 1882 Gophers vs Hamline

Minnesota won a 4-0 game, that was called due to darkness. Played on the State Fair grounds in St. Paul. Minnesota would lose the rematch in October, the Gophers were just one of 24 teams to play football in 1882.

[I was unable to find video footage of this game]

Friday December 31, 1999 Gophers vs Oregon in the Sun Bowl

The first of Glen Mason’s four Friday bowl games. Even though Billy Cockerham was the bowl MVP, the Gophers lost 20-24. This game was Tyrone Carter’s final Minnesota game he became the team, and for a while NCAA, record holder with 528 career tackles.

Friday December 31, 2004 Gophers vs Alabama in the Music City Bowl

After defensive coordinator Greg Hudson resigned, the Minnesota defense put on it’s best display of the season holding ‘Bama to 21 rush yards en route to a 20-16 win.

Friday December 30, 2005 Gophers vs Virginia in the Music City Bowl

If not for the next game on this list, I might say this was the most epic collapse in the programs history of Friday games. Minnesota had an 11 point lead going into the second half. The game was overshadowed at the time by Glen’s contract dispute. Which lol ok let’s just go to the 2006 bowl game.

Friday December 29, 2006 Gophers vs Texas Tech in the Insight Bowl

THIRTY ONE UNANSWERED POINTS. The Gophers had been winning 38-7 and ended up losing 44-41 in OT, and Glen got fired two days afterward. Besides it being tied for the largest comeback in NCAA history.

Friday December 28, 2012 Gophers vs Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

In a rematch of the 2006 friday bowl game the Gophers rushed for 222 yards but back to back penalties by lineman Zac Epping doomed Minnesota 31-34.

Friday December 27, 2013 Gophers vs Syracuse in the Texas Bowl

Minnesota lost 21-17. This game is remarkable because it was Tracy Claeys bowl game, after Jerry Kill went on leave. Also Phillip Nelson started the game as QB but was benched in favor of Mitch Leidner who went 11 out of 22 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns in a losing effort.