Roundup: ESPN wants Goldy

Another sign of national respect has bubbled to the surface of this exciting Gopher football season -- the bright lights of ESPN will be shining on a key early Big Ten game.

The Gophers will make their 2003 national TV debut on Sept. 27 when they open the Big Ten season at Penn State. The kickoff is set for 11 a.m.

Minnesota is working on a two-game winning streak over the Nittany Lions. They haven't played at State College since their monumental 1999 upset over the No. 2 Lions, when Dan Nystrom's field goal at the gun clinched a 24-23 victory. The Gophers also beat Penn State 25-16 at the Metrodome in 2000.

Minnesota is ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today coach's poll, and takes on Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday at 7 p.m. in Minneapolis.

Volleyball slips: The Gopher volleyball team slipped to No. 22 in the USA Today/AVCA Top 25 poll, which was released Monday.

Minnesota was ranked 20th last week, but split a pair of matches at the UF Hilton Classic in Gainesville, Fla., over the weekend. They beat Xavier 3-0 on Friday, but lost to No. 3 Florida 3-0 on Saturday. Still, the Gophers remained in the Top 25 for the 20th straight week.

Other Big Ten teams ranked include Penn State (11th), Michigan State (15th) and Wisconsin (24th).

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