Gophers football team climbs to No. 13 ranking

Take that Penn State. Take that Northwestern. Bring on the Michigan Wolverines. Friday's Gophers football game against Michigan could be the biggest in your lifetime, and have serious implications on Gopher Rose Bowl hopes. Find out what the team thinks about the upcoming game, and read about the rest of the weekend events at the U, including how you can win a chance to design a Gopher hockey zamboni.

Now things are starting to get interesting.

After winning its four nonconference games and proving naysayers wrong with wins on the road at Penn State and Northwestern, the 6-0 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team may be playing its most important college football game in, for many of us, our lifetime Friday against Michigan.

The Gophers improved to 6-0 with a 42-17 win over Northwestern Saturday and climbed to a No. 17 ranking in the Associated Press poll, and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. They are off to their best start in 43 years, and host the Wolverines at the Metrodome Friday at 7 p.m. as the higher ranked team.

Wow!

Fans are starting to talk Rose Bowl, some are even talking about the Sugar Bowl. But first the Gophers must take care of business against Michigan, which was once a top 5 teams this season. The Wolverines lost to Iowa 30-27 and are now ranked No. 20 in the AP poll and No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

How big a game is it Friday? Just ask Gophers safety Eli Ward.

"It's probably going to be the biggest game for everyone on the team in their career," Ward told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I know it's definitely going to be the biggest game in my career. We'll definitely be fired up."

Gophers can still get tickets to Friday's games. To order contact the Minnesota athletics ticket office at 612-624-8080, 1-800-U-GOPHER or via email at go4tix@umn.edu.

Good Start For U Women Hockey Team:

The University of Minnesota women's hockey team opened the 2003-04 campaign with a 10-0 exhibition win over the Aurora Panthers Sunday at Ridder Arena.

The Gophers scored two goals in the first, two in the second and six in the third en route to the 10-0 shutout. The Gophers had 12 of 17 skaters posting a point, including seven with a multiple-point game.

Jody Horak earned the starting spot between the pipes posting nine saves. Brenda Reinen relieved Horak midway through the second period and faced only three shots on goal for the remainder of the game.

The Golden Gophers travel to Calgary, Alberta to take on the Oval X-Treme, Oct. 10-11.

U Volleyball Team Wins

The Minnesota volleyball team (9-7, 2-2) defeated Illinois (11-3, 2- 2) in four games by scores of 30-21, 24-30, 30-21, 30-19 on Saturday at the Sports Pavilion in front of 3,618 fans. With win Minnesota claims its second straight Big Ten victory evening its conference record to 2-2.

I Want to Design a Zamboni

No it's not a remake of the once popular song by Martin Zellar and the Gear Daddies. Instead, it's a contest to come up with the design for the Minnesota Hockey Zamboni.

Chipotle, the gourmet burrito and taco restaurant, has launched the Zamboni Burritofication Contest in University of Minnesota-area stores.

Golden Gopher hockey fans are asked to submit designs for one of the two Zambonis that resurfaces the ice at both Mariucci and Ridder Arenas.

Fans can stop by one of the stores listed below or visit www.chipotle.com and navigate to PLAY CONTESTS & SUCH to pick up a copy of the official rules and regulations, a copy of the design sheet and an official entry form.

Use Chipotle¹s burrito, logo, official Confidential font or any combination thereof to come up with a unique design. Creativity is a must but perfection is not. The winning design will be sent to Chipotle's resident graphic artist who will take the design and apply it to the actual Zamboni template.

If your design is chosen, you will win: • Two free burritos or order of tacos, a week, for one year • Four tickets to one U of M Men¹s Hockey game • Four tickets to one U of M Women¹s Hockey game • An autographed U of M Men¹s Hockey jersey • Your photo with your winning Zamboni design on the Chipotle Web site

The contest runs now through October 12th. The Zamboni and its winning designer will be unveiled at the Saturday, Nov. 1, Golden Gopher men's game against the Denver Pioneers.

Pick up an entry form at the following stores:

(1) Stadium Village, 800 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis

(2) 7 Corners, 229 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis

(3) St. Anthony, 225 Hennepin Avenue East, Minneapolis

Matt Krumrie covers Gophers sports for GoldenSports.Net. He can be reached at Gopherhockeyinsider@yahoo.com

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