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Gophers to play Kansas in Insight Bowl

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Gopher Nation is headed back to the Valley of the Sun for the holidays.

Athletics director Joel Maturi announced Sunday that the University of Minnesota (7-5) has accepted an invitation to play the University of Kansas (7-5) in the 20th annual Insight Bowl on Dec. 31 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. (CST) kick off and will be televised nationally by the NFL Network.

Minnesota's invitation to play in the 2008 Insight Bowl marks the Golden Gophers' eighth bowl berth in the last 10 seasons and the program's 13th postseason bowl game overall. It will also be the second Insight Bowl appearance for the Gophers, who faced Texas Tech in the 2006 game.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our football program in the Insight Bowl and I am pleased to accept the invitation on behalf of the University of Minnesota," Maturi said.

Led by the All-Big Ten passing duo of sophomore quarterback Adam Weber and wide receiver Eric Decker, no program in the country enjoyed a bigger turnaround during the 2008 college football season than Minnesota as the Gophers recorded a six-game improvement from 2007 under second-year head coach Tim Brewster.