The latest battle for the Little Brown Jug will happen under the lights at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Big Ten on Monday announced that the Gophers season opener against Michigan on Oct. 24 will have a 6:30 p.m. start and a national audience on ABC (KSTP-Ch. 5).
In addition, the Big Ten announced the Gophers will have three Friday games this season – Oct. 30 at Maryland (6:30 p.m., ESPN), and home contests against Iowa on Nov. 13 (6 p.m., FS1) and Purdue on Nov. 20 (time TBD, BTN). Starting times for the remainder of the Gophers schedule will be announced later.
The opening matchup against Michigan will feature two teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 – the No. 24 Gophers and No. 19 Wolverines – and will mark the first time Minnesota will begin the season against another ranked opponent since it was No. 16 when it faced No. 2 USC in 1968. Michigan leads the trophy series 71-23-3, including a 33-10 victory in the teams’ last meeting in 2017 during P.J. Fleck’s first season as Gophers coach. Minnesota’s last win over the Wolverines came in 2014, a 30-14 triumph in Ann Arbor, Mich. The last meeting at TCF Bank Stadium was in 2015, when Michigan escaped with a 29-26 win with a final-play goal-line stop.
The national TV appearance will be the fifth in the past six games for the Gophers, with the exception being the Outback Bowl win over Auburn on ESPN. The Gophers, who finished the 2019 season with an 11-2 record and No. 10 ranking in the final AP poll, has won its past six night games and is 8-3 in night games under Fleck. In non-Saturday games, the Gophers are 6-0 with Fleck as coach.