1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team
|1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers football|
Consensus national champion
Big Ten champion
|Conference||Big Ten Conference|
|1941 record||8–0 (5–0 Big Ten)|
|Head coach||Bernie Bierman (10th season)|
|Home stadium||Memorial Stadium|
|1941 Big Ten football standings|
|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|
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. 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. Smith was also awarded the Heisman Trophy, the only Golden Gopher to win the award.
Tackle Dick Wildung was named an All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, INS, Time Life, AP and UPI. Wildung, Smith, halfback Bill Daley, end Bob Fitch and guard Len Levy were named All-Big Ten.
|September 27||at Washington*||Husky Stadium • Seattle||W 14–6||43,000|
|October 11||Illinois||Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis||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 Stadium • Ann Arbor, Michigan (Little Brown Jug)||W 7–0||84,658|
|November 1||No. 9 Northwestern||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 Stadium • Iowa 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. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.|
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.
- "1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
- Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 179[permanent dead link]
- Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 182[permanent dead link]
- Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 180[permanent dead link]
- Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 181[permanent dead link]
- Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 160[permanent dead link]
- 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.
- 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.