College football: Big win lifts Gophers to No. 7 in national poll

Minnesota football players hold up the Governor's Victory Bell
Minnesota football players hold up the Governor's Victory Bell after their 31-26 win against Penn State on Saturday in Minneapolis.
Stacy Bengs | AP

The Minnesota Gophers are a top-10 college football team.

The undefeated Gophers made a big leap in the new Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday, moving up six spots to No. 7 in the wake of Saturday's 31-26 win over Penn State. It’s the highest ranking for Minnesota since it reached No. 5 in the AP poll in November 1962.

Saturday’s victory gave Minnesota a 9-0 record this season; the Gophers have won 11 games in a row, tied for the third-longest active win streak in the nation.

Speaking after Saturday's win, Gophers coach P.J. Fleck gave credit to the Minnesota fans.

"That's the best college football environment I've ever played in as a head coach," he said at his postgame news conference. "Cause it was at home, and it was for us. It was marooned out and those gold towels were everywhere. And our fans didn't sit down. They stood up. They made noise. They made it difficult for Penn State. And I'm just so proud to be a Gopher."

Meanwhile, Penn State — which had been ranked No. 5 — dropped to No. 9 after its first loss of the season. Find the full poll here.

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Minnesota faces another tough test next weekend, with a road game at No. 23 Iowa.

Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. intercepts a pass
Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) intercepts the ball intended for Penn State wide receiver Justin Shorter (6) during a game Saturday in Minneapolis.
Stacy Bengs | AP

Honors for Winfield

Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. is the Walter Camp FBS National Defensive Player of the Week, after making two interceptions in the Gophers' win over Penn State.

Winfield also led the team with 11 tackles.

He has seven interceptions this season, tying Minnesota's school record first set by Jeff Wright in 1970.