A rarity: Gophers and Vikings both winPublished 9:34am Monday, September 10, 2012
Column: Aaron Worm, Behind the Mic
It only happened once last year. It was the weekend of Oct. 29 and 30. The Gophers beat Iowa 22-21, and the Vikings held off Carolina 24-21. It was the only time out of 10 opportunities that both the Gophers and Vikings won on the same weekend.
It happened just once as well in 2010. So is it a big deal that both teams won this weekend and are undefeated? I would say yes, for I think all Minnesota fans are hungry for some positivity from our state teams.
Fans of other teams will poke fun at the fact I am celebrating a weekend where the Gophers beat a FCS team, and the Vikings knocked off a poor Jacksonville team, but both teams won just three games last year, so I am going to enjoy this.
I almost had to trash this entire article, when Jacksonville scored a touchdown late to take the lead. I already had come up with a new headline, “Oops, the Purple did it again.” The Vikes blew leads in their first two home games last season and almost let another one get away Sunday but were rescued by their rookie kicker. I know I question a lot of things the Vikings front office does, but at least for one weekend letting Ryan Longwell go and picking Blair Walsh in the sixth round out of Georgia was a good move. Longwell, now 38 years old, wouldn’t be able to hit from 55 yards away. Walsh’s kick that sent the game to overtime would have been good from 60 if not even farther.
The Vikings even did a good job of convincing the fans, media and everyone in the NFL, that even if Adrian Peterson was active to play, Toby Gerhart was going to get more carries than AP. Sorry Peterson fantasy owners, if you took the bait and started Gerhart or someone else instead of Peterson, I am sure it backfired on you. (Peterson had 84 yards rushing and two touchdowns, Gerhart 16 yards rushing.)
Now from a national standpoint, the Gophers 44-7 win over New Hampshire is not a big deal and shouldn’t be.
In Minnesota, we are happy we didn’t lose to another FCS team. The Gophers loss to eventual FCS National Champions North Dakota last year, and in 2010 loss to a South Dakota team that included Tiger graduate, and current Albert Lea High School assistant football coach R.J Polley. I think MarQueis Gray will be playing in the NFL someday, not at quarterback but maybe as a wide receiver or on special teams. With his skills and being 6 feet 4 inches and around 250 pounds, there’s a place for him at the next level. He only threw for a 100-yards on Saturday but did throw two touchdown passes. Gray also rushed for 109 yards, and two touchdowns, one that was on a 75-yard run where he flew by everyone.
Could it happen again this weekend? Gophers host Western Michigan, and Minnesota is at Indianapolis. Why not? In the case it doesn’t, enjoy the feeling you’ve got right now. By the way Iowa, Wisconsin and Green Bay all lost this week. Minnesota fans have the right to smile a little bigger this week. This kind of weekend may never occur again this season.
KATE Radio Sports Director Aaron Worm’s column appears each week in the Tribune. He can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. weekdays on The Breeze.