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Four Phil Steele Facts: Minnesota Golden Gophers

Numbers never lie. What do they tell us about these hucksters.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Steele puts out the best college football preview magazine every year. It’s not even a contest. In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of his first publication we at Bucky’s 5th Quarter are going to find four interesting facts about each team on Wisconsin’s schedule, including the Badgers, and break them down for you.

Phil, we love your magazine and we also love your mustache.

NUMBER 1: 37,915

The Gophers had their lowest average attendance since 1992 last season! There really and truly is so much hype around this program, it’s incredible. I am actually interested to see what the attendance is like this year since people are actually talking about the Gophers this summer. I worked at a bar for a number of years in the Minneapolis suburbs and had more conversations about the Badgers football team than the Gophers.

NUMBER 2: 26.5

Minnesota hasn’t particularly been known for much on the football field over the past seven years, but they usually have had an almost ok defense. Last year, they gave up 26.5 points per game which is the most they’ve allowed since 2011. They have the same number of starters returning as they did last year and they lost their top two tacklers and they gave up an average of 386 yards per game last year, also their worst number since 2011.

Minnesota v Wisconsin
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images


In only two games during conference play did the Gophers out gain their opponent (both wins versus Indiana and Purdue). Their other win in B1G play came against Wisconsin where the Gophers were out-gained by 34 yards but still won by three touchdowns. Being plus four in the turnover department may have had something to do with the final score and I don’t really see that luck repeating itself.


This the current winning streak that the Gophers have over the Badgers. They hadn’t won against UW since I was a freshman in college and, on the internet, I’m old as hell! Apparently the Axe game has been playing in the Wisconsin locker room on loop all offseason so one would imagine that the Badgers will come out fired up to get the Axe back. If they don’t? I might have to move, and that would be a bummer because outside of the state university’s sports teams...Minnesota is a pretty nice place.