We are happily moving on from baseball season — the Twins are closing out their once hopeful season with a sorry end. Now, onto football! Eric and Wally are back to give you the all the details you need to know.
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WALLY LANGFELLOW: Thanks, Tim. How are you?
ERIC NELSON: Tim. Great to be on the airwaves with you.
INTERVIEWER: That game Saturday against Michigan state. Who would've thunk the Gophers could put on a show like that?
WALLY LANGFELLOW: Boy, that's for sure. Again, they've played so well defensively. They dominated Michigan State at Michigan State no less. Michigan State was a ranked team at the time. Now your Gophers are a ranked team. They're ranked 21st in the latest coaches poll, 23rd in the latest writer's poll, which is the AP poll. So they're in the top 25. They're 4 and 0 on the season. They have been dominant against all four of their opponents.
They host Purdue on Saturday. And it's homecoming. It's an 11:00 AM kickoff, which isn't exactly appetizing for particularly the college students who perhaps were out Friday night. But it is an 11:00 AM homecoming kickoff on Saturday. They'll be favored to win again.
And head coach P. J. Fleck is getting recognized as well. He is among the favorites right now if the season were to end today for coach of the year honors in all of college football. So things are going the right way for the University of Minnesota. Obviously they hope to continue that on Saturday against the Purdue Boilermakers.
ERIC NELSON: For some Gopher hardcore fans, they are saying, yeah, this is too good to be true. There's going to be a hiccup or a slip up down the road. But I believe this Gopher team is for real. Let's start with their outstanding running back Mo Ibrahim, who, over a year ago, had a serious foot injury against Ohio State, missed the rest of the season. Now he's back and better than ever.
He's putting up cartoon-like numbers on the ground. He's got 567 yards already, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He scored eight touchdowns. He's got 41 in his Gopher career. That's the most of any running back in the history of U of M football. He just surpassed the great Darrell Thompson.
He's in the Heisman trophy conversation. It's been a long time since a Gopher football player has even been mentioned with the Heisman, which is the premier college football trophy and award in the postseason. As for the quarterback Tanner Morgan, he's got seven touchdown passes, just one interception. And NFL scouts are taking notice of what he's doing, Tim.
INTERVIEWER: And turning to the NFL, the Vikings finally end with a bang instead of a whimper. They got criticized for not being able to close out games last year. They did it last Sunday.
WALLY LANGFELLOW: Yeah, they did, Tim. And impressively, with those two late touchdowns, the one to K. J. Osborne, the game winner late in the game. And it put him at 2 and 1. And really, if you look at their schedule, these are almost must wins for Minnesota because once they get done in London this weekend, they come home to Chicago.
Then they will have played all NFC North opponents at home, which means that they've got to go to all of their NFC North opponents upcoming still in the season. They still have Miami on the schedule, Buffalo. So their schedule does not get any easier.
But this weekend, as I mentioned, they're in London. They play the New Orleans Saints. The last time that the Vikings were overseas in the UK was five years ago when they played Cleveland. And they won that game. And then nine years ago, a game that Eric and I were both at when they played the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium in London.
So it will be interesting. Really it's a home game for the Saints technically on the schedule. However, it's a neutral site game. And so the Vikings should take advantage of a team, the Saints, who have won just one of their first three games and pushed to 3 and 1. I think from that standpoint, it should be a good day for the Minnesota Vikings.
Oh, by the way, if you want to watch it on television, it'll be on locally on channel five. But you're going to have to set your alarm if you're a late sleeper. They start at 8:30 AM Minneapolis time on Sunday. So be sure to get up early if you want to watch the Minnesota Vikings this coming Sunday in the UK.
INTERVIEWER: A whole Sunday of football there. So it sounds like there may be a game anyway in Minneapolis this weekend.
ERIC NELSON: There is a chance, Tim. We, of course, are following Hurricane Ian down there in Florida. And it's battering the Tampa Bay region. And Sunday night football on NBC, which is the highest rated primetime show for the last 10 plus years on network television, that is supposed to be Kansas City and Tampa Bay. That would be a rematch of Super Bowl 55.
But there's a good chance because of the hurricane the NFL will move this game. And if the league does this, Minneapolis is ready to host the event at US Bank Stadium. And you hate to see Florida go through what the entire state is dealing with, the hurricane. It would be bad optics though for the NFL to play a game if Tampa Bay really does get slammed like we think it's going to with Hurricane Ian.
So you might have the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, going against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, who is the GOAT, greatest of all time, the legend. This would be a lot of fun for Minnesota sports fans. And I think Kansas city fans, the Chiefs Kingdom as they're known, they'll make that drive up I-35. It's not that far, six to seven hours depending on what part of Kansas City you're in. And they will invade the Twin Cities this weekend.
And by the way, the NFL has moved games before because of weather whether it be hurricanes, wildfires, blizzards. The Vikings once had to play in Detroit because there was a snowstorm that collapsed the metrodome roof. So this is not unprecedented. And it might happen.
INTERVIEWER: I remember that so well, the dome buster. But, of course, we can't finish here without talking about the Twins. Bailey Ober Tuesday night, whoa. What kind of a season could this have been?
WALLY LANGFELLOW: Well, yeah. And he's been on and off the injured list, Bailey Ober has, much like their entire roster for that matter. He pitched well. They let him pitch deep into the game, which has not been a habit of Rocco Baldelli this year. But he did let him pitch deep into the game, which is a good thing as well, maybe a good sign for things to come next year.
They do have some young talent. It'll be a matter of how they handle things in the off season because really, Tim, it has been a disaster this year. I mean, this team was in first place for most of the season. And they have just dropped off the edge of the cliff here in the month of September. And obviously, they hope to be able to turn things around next year. Right now though, they're battling for second place, them and the Chicago White Sox. Which team will finish in second place? That's really the only question that remains in 2022.
INTERVIEWER: So, Eric, you ready to head back to Target Field next spring?
ERIC NELSON: Oh, no question, Tim. It's still a fabulous venue. And I love to go there especially if you get there on one of those quintessential Minnesota summer nights, and you have the skyline view. And it's a destination ballpark.
But let's be blunt here. The Twins are going to have to get better to lure fans in. As Wally said, they were in first place for a good chunk of this season. And they still struggled to draw fans for a number of reasons. They had some bad draws. Teams like the Dodgers and Yankees came in midweek Houston.
But that said, I thought there should've been more people flocking to the ballpark. Now, the Twins believe they're getting a new video board next season. It's going to be a monster. It's going to need its own area code. It's going to be that big. And they're getting new uniforms. So I think the Twins are trying to get out in front of this that, hey, the 2023 brand will look different than 2022. But Twins fans are pretty savvy. They're going to still have to win ball games to get people back there on a consistent basis.
INTERVIEWER: All right. Well, thanks, guys. You have a great weekend
WALLY LANGFELLOW: Thanks, Tim.
ERIC NELSON: All right. Thanks, Tim.
INTERVIEWER: That's Wally Langfellow and Eric Nelson. Wally's the founder of Minnesota Score Magazine and the cohost of 10,000 Takes sports talk show. Eric is the other host of 10,000 Takes and the Minnesota Vikings reporter for CBS Sports Radio Eye On Football.
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