1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team

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1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers football
Consensus national champion
Big Ten champion
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
AP No. 1
1941 record 8–0 (5–0 Big Ten)
Head coach Bernie Bierman (10th season)
MVP Bob Sweiger
Captain Bruce Smith
Home stadium Memorial Stadium
Seasons
← 1940
1942 →
1941 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 1 Minnesota $ 5 0 0     8 0 0
No. 5 Michigan 3 1 1     6 1 1
No. 13 Ohio State 3 1 1     6 1 1
No. 11 Northwestern 4 2 0     5 3 0
Wisconsin 3 3 0     3 5 0
Iowa 2 4 0     3 5 0
Purdue 1 3 0     2 5 1
Indiana 1 3 0     2 6 0
Illinois 0 5 0     2 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team represented the University of Minnesota in the 1941 Big Ten Conference football season. In their tenth year under head coach Bernie Bierman, the Golden Gophers compiled an undefeated 8–0 record and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 186 to 38.[1] The team finished first in the Associated Press poll, giving the Gophers their second consecutive and fifth overall national title.

Halfback Bruce Smith was named an All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, INS, Time-Life, United Press (UP), Associated Press (AP) and Look Magazine.[2] Smith was also awarded the Heisman Trophy, the only Golden Gopher to win the award.[3]

Tackle Dick Wildung was named an All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, INS, Time Life, AP and UPI.[2] Wildung, Smith, halfback Bill Daley, end Bob Fitch and guard Len Levy were named All-Big Ten.[4]

Back Bob Sweiger was awarded the Team MVP Award.[5]

Total attendance for the season was 239,227, which averaged to 47,845. The season high for attendance was against Northwestern.[6]

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 27 at Washington* Husky StadiumSeattle W 14–6   43,000
October 11 Illinois Memorial StadiumMinneapolis W 34–6   50,345
October 18 Pittsburgh* No. 1 Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis W 39–0   35,000
October 25 at No. 3 Michigan No. 1 Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, Michigan (Little Brown Jug) W 7–0   84,658
November 1 No. 9 Northwesterndagger No. 1 Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis W 8–7   64,464
November 8 Nebraska* No. 2 Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis (Rivalry) W 9–0   42,893
November 15 at Iowa No. 1 Iowa StadiumIowa City, Iowa (Rivalry) W 34–13   43,200
November 22 Wisconsin No. 1 Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis (Rivalry) W 41–6   52,984
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.

Game summaries[edit]

Michigan[edit]

Week 5: Minnesota at Michigan
1 234Total
• Minnesota 0 700 7
Michigan 0 000 0

On October 25, 1941, Minnesota, ranked #1 in the AP Poll, played Michigan, ranked #3 in the country. Minnesota won the game by a 7 to 0 score on a five-yard touchdown run by halfback Herman Frickey in the second quarter. The touchdown was set up by a 78-yard punt and a 43-yard pass, both by 1941 Heisman Trophy winner Bruce Smith. Minnesota gained 179 rushing yards in the game, while Michigan tallied 135 rushing yards. In the fourth quarter, Michigan twice drove deep into Minnesota territory, but both drives ended with pass interceptions by Minnesota's quarterback Bill Garnaas. The loss was the eighth in a row for the Wolverines against the Golden Gophers. The crowd of 85,753 at Michigan Stadium was the largest to that date to see a football game between two Big Nine Conference teams.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 1, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 179 [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 182 [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 180 [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 181 [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 160 [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Arch Ward (October 26, 1941). "Minnesota Bears Michigan, 7-0: Gophers Score Touchdown in Second Period; 85,753 See Losers' Line Outplayed". Chicago Tribune. p. 2-1. 
  8. ^ Allison Danzig (October 26, 1941). "85,753 See Gophers; Bruce Smith Hurt After Punting 78 Yards and Hurling Pass for 43". The New York Times.