Andy Greder / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota United hosted a blowout goodbye party at its rented home Sunday, Oct. 21. On a sunny and warm fall afternoon, plenty of trappings surrounded the Major League Soccer game — a pre-party at a brewery, fashionable entrances, live music, a toast from the club's owner and a fireworks finale. But like throughout the club's two-year lease at the college football venue, it never felt just right. After being eliminated for the MLS Cup playoffs weeks ago, the Loons couldn't put a bow on the lost season, falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
LINCOLN, Neb. — Gophers starting quarterback Zack Annexstad suffered an internal, midsection injury Saturday, Oct. 20, and was taken to a nearby hospital at halftime of Nebraska's 53-28 win at Memorial Stadium. Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck said he saw something effecting Annexstad late in the first half. "He was coughing a lot and our trainers did a great job of jumping into action," Fleck said. Annexstad was released from the hospital and joined the team for their flight back to Minnesota on Saturday night, a team spokesman said.
LINCOLN, Neb. — The Gophers and Rutgers are the only remaining winless teams in the Big Ten this season. Nebraska, which had started league play at 0-4, ran past Minnesota in a 53-28 win Saturday at Memorial Stadium. It was the most points Minnesota has allowed since Michigan's 58-0 win in 2011, and it was was full payback for the Gophers' 54-21 win over the Cornhuskers last year. The Gophers defense took the brunt of the blame, allowing 659 total yards, including a whopping 10 plays of 20-plus yards.
MINNEAPOLIS — Darwin is just different. Over his first six months in Minnesota, United's center attacking midfielder Darwin Quintero has impressed teammates, coaches and fans with his skill, will and indescribable moments of brilliance. With 11 goals and 13 assists in 25 games, he is one of only six players in Major League Soccer with double digits in both categories this season. He will be front and center Sunday, Oct. 21, when the Loons attempt to break the record for biggest home attendance for a soccer game featuring a Minnesota club.
MINNEAPOLIS — The investigation into Gophers running back Shannon Brooks' fight with his male roommate is expected to conclude early next week, a spokeswoman for the Minneapolis city attorney's office said Friday, Oct. 19.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Joe Moore Award has been given to college football's best offensive line each season since 2015, and the Gophers didn't earn as much as a second glance from that selection committee through the opening five games this season. After dominating New Mexico State (2-5) in the season opener, the Gophers saw the number of sacks allowed creep up each of the next four games, while they were routinely stymied on the ground, rushing for less than three yards per carry.
ST. PAUL — Brent Kallman will remain a Loon when Minnesota United opens Allianz Field in St. Paul next season. The defender from Woodbury, Minn., has a contract in place with the Major League Soccer club for the 2019 season, sources told the Pioneer Press. With Kallman, United will retain its longest-tenured player into the club's unveiling of its new $250-million stadium in the Midway neighborhood next April.
MINNEAPOLIS — A paper sign reading "0-0" hangs on the wall outside the Gophers football coaches' offices to signify the start of what head coach P.J. Fleck has called "Season 2." At the halfway mark of the overall campaign, Minnesota wants to reboot after a 3-3 start, which includes the current 0-3 skid in Big Ten play. The Gophers start Season 2 on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Nebraska (0-6, 0-4) in a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS — Gophers running back Shannon Brooks and his surgically repaired knee were cleared to play for the first time Saturday, Oct. 20, against Nebraska, but an ongoing Minneapolis city attorney's office investigation into allegations of domestic assault against him have put that season debut in serious doubt. "His status is evolving each day," Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Tuesday.
COLUMBUS, Ohio—The promos started during the Vikings game last Sunday, continued through the NFL's Thursday night game and rolled into the MLB playoffs Friday night. It all seemed like commercial overkill of a nationally televised game with third-ranked Ohio State being a 29-point favorite over the under-.500 Minnesota Golden Gophers. Then the first half Saturday, Oct. 13, at Ohio Stadium held four lead changes and piqued interest of a potential monumental upset of a college football playoff contender.