Minnesota is preparing to host Ohio State in a made-for-TV, 2021 college football kick-off special on Sept. 2 inside Huntington Bank Stadium.
And the Golden Gophers are going to be donning some new threads and lids in the process. They're not calling it a black-out, but it's impossible not to notice the Gophers' dark, new black jerseys and pants with graphic-inlaid numerals and equally dark maroon helmets. Yes, the helmets feature Fleck's “Row” phrasing on the front-crown label, the first word in his “Row the boat” mantra.
Following the team's Saturday afternoon practice, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck had instructed support staff to have the locker room lights powered off and the new uniform on display for the players.
Fleck and the Gophers are trying to recapture their record-setting form from 2019, when they won 11 games and punctuated their season with a win against Auburn in the Outback Bowl. Minnesota dipped to just 3-4 during 2020's COVID-19-abbreviated campaign and had games against Wisconsin and Northwestern cancelled due to the virus.
In addition to opening with the reigning Big Ten champion Buckeyes, runners-up in last year's College Football Playoffs, Minnesota also has an early-season trip to Colorado sandwiched between home games against MAC foes Miami and Bowling Green.