MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota football team got one of its biggest wins in program history on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday.
The then No. 13-ranked Gophers got a late interception from Jordan Howden to seal a 31-26 win over No. 5-ranked Penn State. When the game clock hit zero, many of the more than 51,000 fans in attendance left their seats to celebrate with the Gophers on the field.
Before coaches PJ Fleck and James Franklin could embrace, they came to the aid of a photographer who had fallen to the ground as fans rushed the field. Fleck and Franklin both stopped in the tracks and helped the photographer to his feet. He did not appear to be injured.
Fox 9 Sports Photographer Billy Storm captured the moment.
Fleck and Franklin then shared an embrace after one of the most thrilling games in the 10-year history of TCF Bank Stadium. The game was a sellout for the first time since 2015, and the Gophers made the big plays in the big moments to get the win.
Minnesota improved to 9-0 for the first time since 1904. The Gophers are 6-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1961. They also improved to No. 7 in the country in both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Polls. That’s their highest ranking since 1962.
Antoine Winfield Jr. was also named the National Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting Sean Clifford twice in the game. Winfield Jr. now leads the Gophers with seven interceptions on the seasons, which ties a school record.
The Gophers travel to Iowa next Saturday and can clinch the Big Ten West division title with a win and a Wisconsin loss to Nebraska.