1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team

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1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers football
National Champions
Big Ten Champions
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
AP #1
1941 record 8-0 (5-0 Big Ten)
Head coach Bernie Bierman (10th year)
MVP Bob Sweiger
Home stadium Memorial Stadium
Seasons
« 1940 1942 »
1941 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Minnesota $ 5 0 0     8 0 0
#5 Michigan 3 1 1     6 1 1
#13 Ohio State 3 1 1     6 1 1
#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 college 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
09/27/1941 at Washington* Husky StadiumSeattle, WA W 14-6   43,000
10/11/1941 Illinois #1 Memorial StadiumMinneapolis, MN W 34-6   50,345
10/18/1941 Pittsburgh* #1 Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis, MN W 39-0   35,000
10/25/1941 at Michigan #1 Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI W 7-0   84,658
11/01/1941 Northwestern #1 Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis, MN W 8-7   64,464
11/08/1941 Nebraska* #2 Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis, MN W 9-0   42,893
11/15/1941 at Iowa #1 Iowa StadiumIowa City, IA W 34-13   43,200
11/22/1941 Wisconsin #1 Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis, MN W 41-6   52,984
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.

Game notes[edit]

Michigan[edit]

Week 5: Minnesota at Michigan
1 2 3 4 Total
• Minnesota 0 7 0 0 7
Michigan 0 0 0 0 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. ^ "Minnesota Yearly Results (1940-1944)". College Football Data Warehouse (David DeLassus). Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 179 
  3. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 182 
  4. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 180 
  5. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 181 
  6. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 160 
  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.