1980 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team

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1980 Minnesota Golden Gophers football
Conference Big Ten Conference
1980 record 5–6 (4–5 Big Ten)
Head coach Joe Salem (2nd season)
MVP Marion Barber Jr.
Captain Marion Barber, Jr.
Home stadium Memorial Stadium
← 1979
1981 →
1980 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 4 Michigan $ 8 0 0     10 2 0
No. 15 Ohio State 7 1 0     9 3 0
No. 17 Purdue 7 1 0     9 3 0
Iowa 4 4 0     4 7 0
Minnesota 4 5 0     5 6 0
Indiana 3 5 0     6 5 0
Wisconsin 3 5 0     4 7 0
Illinois 3 5 0     3 7 1
Michigan State 2 6 0     3 8 0
Northwestern 0 9 0     0 11 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1980 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team was an American football team that represented the University of Minnesota in the 1980 Big Ten Conference football season. In their second year under head coach Joe Salem, the Golden Gophers finished in fifth place in the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten), compiled a 5–6 record (4–5 against Big Ten opponents), and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 250 to 210.[1]

The team's statistical leader included quarterback Tim Salem (son of head coach Joe Salem) with 887 passing yards, fullback Garry White with 959 rushing yards, Chester Cooper with 210 receiving yards, and tailback Marion Barber Jr. with 66 points scored.[2] Several Minnesota players also ranked among the Big Ten leaders in various statistical categories, including the following:

  • Marion Barber led the Big Ten with 11 rushing touchdowns and ranked seventh with 769 rushing yards.[3]
  • Garry White ranked second in the Big Ten with 5.4 yards per rushing attempt, third with nine rushing touchdowns and 1,136 yards from scrimmage, and fourth with 959 rushing yards.[3]
  • Tim Salem ranked fifth in the Big Ten with 13 interceptions, eighth with a 47.6 pass completion percentage and ninth with 887 passing yards and an 80.1 passer efficiency rating.[3]

Marion Barber was the team captain and received the team's Most Valuable Player award. Barber, fullback Garry White, and defensive end Jeff Schuh were named All-Big Ten first team. Offensive guard Ken Dallafoir, free safety Mike Robb, linebacker Jeff Schuh, and defensive tackle Dana Noel were named All-Big Ten second team. Defensive lineman Brent Harms, defensive lineman Fred Orgas and free safety Mike Robb were named Academic All-Big Ten.[4]

Total attendance for the season was 265,105, which averaged to 44,184. The season high for attendance was against rival Iowa.[5]


Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 13 Ohio* Memorial StadiumMinneapolis W 38–14   35,114
September 20 at No. 2 Ohio State Ohio StadiumColumbus, Ohio L 0–47   87,916
September 27 No. 5 USC* Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis L 7–24   55,115
October 4 at Northwestern Dyche StadiumEvanston, Illinois W 49–21   17,747
October 11 at Purdue Ross–Ade StadiumWest Lafayette, Indiana L 7–21   69,399
October 18 Michigandagger Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis (Little Brown Jug) L 14–37   56,297
October 25 Iowa Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis (Rivalry) W 24–6   58,158
November 1 at Illinois Memorial StadiumChampaign, Illinois W 21–18   51,202
November 8 Indiana Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis W 31–7   30,092
November 15 Michigan State Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis L 12–30   30,329
November 22 at Wisconsin Camp Randall StadiumMadison, Wisconsin (Rivalry) L 7–25   54,229
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.

Game summaries[edit]


On September 13, Minnestota defeated the Ohio Bobcats, 38–14, at Memorial Stadium in Minneapolis. Freshman quarterback Tim Salem, the son of Minnesota head coach Joe Salem, passed for 162 yards in his college debut. Marion Barber, Jr. also rushed for 127 yards, and Garry White scored three touchdowns to lead the Golden Gophers.[6]

at Ohio State[edit]

On September 20, in its first game against a Big Ten opponent, Minnesota lost to Ohio State (AP No. 2), 47–0, before the largest crowd (87,916) in Ohio Stadium history. Ohio State led, 33–0, at halftime in the one-sided contest. Minnesota running back Garry White fumbled twice, and quarterback Tim Salem threw three interceptions to help the Buckeyes' cause.[7]


On September 27, Minnesota lost to USC (AP No. 5), 24–7, in Minneapolis. The game drew a crowd of 55,115, the largest to attend a Minnesota football game in seven years. 1981 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Allen rushed for 216 yards on 42 carries and scored two touchdowns for USC.[8]

at Northwestern[edit]

On October 4, the week's only conference game matched Minnesota against Northwestern at Dyche Stadium (Evanston, Illinois). Minnesota won, 49–21, led by running backs Marion Barber, Jr. (118 rushing yards, three touchdowns) and Garry White (129 rushing yards, two touchdowns).[9]

at Purdue[edit]

On October 11, Purdue defeated Minnesota, 21–7, in West Lafayette. In the first half, Purdue took a 21-0 lead, as Mark Hermann completed 14 of 19 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Purdue was shut out in the second half, and Hermann had only 28 passing yards in the second half, but Purdue's 21 points in the first half were enough for the victory.[10]


In the annual Little Brown Jug game, Michigan defeated Minnesota, 37-14, in front of a crowd of 56,298 at Memorial Stadium in Minneapolis. Minnesota held Michigan to 202 rushing yards, but quarterback John Wangler completed 16 of 22 passes for a personal-high 227 yards, and Anthony Carter caught nine passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Ali Haji-Sheikh added three field goals.[11]


On October 25, in the annual battle for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy, Minnesota defeated Iowa, 24–6, before a crowd of 58,158 in Minneapolis. Iowa fumbled eight times, gave up eight sacks, and managed to score only two field goals. Marion Barber, Jr. scored three rushing touchdowns for Minnesota.[12]

at Illinois[edit]

On November 1, Minnesota defeated Illinois, 21–18, before a homecoming crowd of 51,202 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. Illinois quarterback Dave Wilson completed 22 of 59 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns. The game was marred by 12 fumbles and 22 penalties. Minnesota's running backs, Marion Barber, Jr. and Garry White rushed for 162 and 103 yards, respectively.[13]


On November 8, Minnesota defeated Indiana, 31–7, in Minneapolis. Indiana quarterback Tim Clifford was knocked out of the game in the first half by "a savage blindside tackle" by Jeff Schuh. Minnesota running back Garry White rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns.[14]

Michigan State[edit]

On November 15, Michigan State defeated Minnesota, 30–12, before a crowd of 30,329 in Minneapolis. Michigan State quarterback John Leister passed for 209 yards and three touchdowns. Minnesota quarterback Tim Salem completed only 5 of 15 passes, threw two interceptions, and fumbled twice.[15]

at Wisconsin[edit]

On November 22, in the annual battle for Paul Bunyan' Axe, Wisconsin defeated Minnesota, 25–7, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. Wisconsin quarterback, Jess Cole, in his second start, scored four touchdowns.[16]


1980 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
RB 41 Marion Barber Jr. Sr
Pos. # Name Class
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt


  1. ^ "1980 Minnesota Golden Gophers Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  2. ^ "1980 Minnesota Golden Gophers Stats". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "1980 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  4. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), pp. 179–182[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Keiser, Jeff (2007), 2007 Media Guide (PDF), p. 160[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Minnesota 38, Ohio U. 14". Akron Beacon Journal. September 14, 1980. p. C7.
  7. ^ "OSU slams Gophers, 47–0". Detroit Free Press. September 21, 1980. p. 1G, 5G.
  8. ^ Mal Florence (September 28, 1980). "Marcus Allen Has a Big Day at Minnesota". Los Angeles Times. p. III-1.
  9. ^ "Barber-led Minnesota overwhelms Northwestern, 49–21". Detroit Free Press. October 5, 1980. p. 3E.
  10. ^ "Purdue, Too". The Indianapolis Star. October 12, 1980. p. 4-1, 4-12.
  11. ^ Mick McCabe (October 19, 1980). "U-M jars Gophers for Jug, 37-14". Detroit Free Press. pp. 1H, 15H.
  12. ^ "Hawkeyes commit 'offensive suicide,'24-6". Des Moines Register. October 26, 1980. pp. 1D–2D.
  13. ^ Jim Barnhart (November 2, 1980). "Illinois passes football; Minnesota passes Illini". The Pantagraph. p. B3.
  14. ^ "I.U.'s forecast: cold December". The Indianapolis Star. November 9, 1980. p. 4-1, 4-7.
  15. ^ James Tinney (November 16, 1980). "'Start season now,' say surging Spartans". Lansing State Journal. p. C1.
  16. ^ "Wisconsin 25, Minnesota 7". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. November 23, 1980. p. 5H.