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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: U football team tops Eastern Illinois 42-20

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MINNEAPOLIS   --  The University of Minnesota football overcame a bit of a sluggish start and rolled past Eastern Illinois 42-20 last night in the season opener for both teams. 

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Minnesota led the game 14-0 at halftime, but built the lead to 35-0 at one point in the fourth quarter.  Sophomore quarterback Mitch Leidner of Lakeville ran for two touchdowns and tossed another.  Sophomore receiver Donovhan Jones caught his first career college touchdown and freshman running back Berkley Edwards scored the first two TD's of his college career.  The Gophers host Middle Tennessee State on September 6th at 2:30 p.m.

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Gophers 2014 Football Slate

(Undated)  --  Here is the 2014 schedule for the University of Minnesota football team (all home games at TCF Bank Stadium):

Thursday, August 28 - Gophers 42, Eastern Illinois 20 (final)

Saturday, September 6 - vs. Middle Tennessee State, 2:30pm

Saturday, September 13 - at TCU, 3pm

Saturday, September 20 - vs. San Jose State, TBD

Saturday, September 27 - at Michigan, 

Saturday, October 4 - BYE WEEK

Saturday, October 11 - vs. Northwestern, TBD

Saturday, October 18 - vs. Purdue, 11am

Saturday, October 25 - at Illinois, 11am

Saturday, November 1 - BYE WEEK

Saturday, November 8 - vs. Iowa, TBD

Saturday, November 15 - vs. Ohio State, TBD

Saturday, November 22 - at Nebraska, TBD

Saturday, November 29 - at Wisconsin, TBD

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The Minnesota Vikings notched a 19-3 win over Tennessee in Nashville last night to turn in a perfect 4-0 exhibition season.  Minnesota's Joe Banyard ran for 111  yards on 11 carries to lead the Purple.  Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater started and threw a touchdown  pass on the game's first drive.  He was 4-of-9 for 17 yards before being replaced by Christian Ponder, who finished with 121 yards on 12-of-15 passing. Earlier this week, veteran Matt Cassel was named the Vikings' starting quarterback.  Minnesota opens the regular season at St. Louis on Sept. 7.

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Vikings 2014 Schedule

(Undated)  --  Here is the 2014 schedule for the Minnesota Vikings (all home games at TCF Bank Stadium):

Friday, August 8 (preseason) - Minnesota 10, Oakland 6 (final)

Saturday, August 16 (preseason) - Minnesota 30, Arizona 28 (final)

Saturday, August 23 (preseason) - Minnesota 30, Kansas City 12 (final)

Thursday, August 28 (preseason) - Minnesota 19, Tennessee 3 (final)

Sunday, September 7 - at St. Louis, noon

Sunday, September 14 - vs. New England, noon

Sunday, September 21 - at New Orleans, noon

Sunday, September 28 - vs. Atlanta, 3:25pm

Thursday, October 2 - at Green Bay, 7:25pm

Sunday October 12 - vs. Detroit, noon

Sunday, October 19 - at Buffalo, noon

Sunday, October 26 - at Tampa Bay, noon

Sunday November 2 - vs. Washington, noon

Sunday, November 9 - BYE WEEK

Sunday, November 16 - at Chicago, noon

Sunday, November 23 - vs. Green Bay, noon

Sunday, November 30 - vs. Carolina, noon

Sunday, December 7 - vs. NY Jets, noon

Sunday, December 14 - at Detroit, noon

Sunday, December 21 - at Miami, noon

Sunday, December 28 - vs. Chicago, noon

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Tonight is another big night of high school football across the state of Minnesota.  Roughly 80 prep games were played last night, with another 100 contests slated for tonight.  Class 4A defending champ Hutchinson plays at Annandale tonight.  The returning 3A title team St. Croix Lutheran hosts DeLaSalle.  Chatfield is the reigning Class 2A championship club and will play at Rushford-Peterson tonight.  Chatfield is already 1-0 this season. Class 1A defending champ Mahnomen visits Pine River-Backus this evening.  Returning nine-man title team Grand Meadow plays at LeRoy-Ostrander tonight.  Eden Prairie is the Class 6A defending championship team and will host Oak Park of Michigan on tomorrow.  Owatonna was the lone defending state champion in action  last night, beating Winona 14-6.  Owatonna won the Class 5A title last year.  

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MInnesota Twins players Jordan Schafer and Brian Dozier each knocked in two runs during a six-run 10th inning, as the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals, 11-5, to avoid a three-game sweep.  Schafer went 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored for the Twins, who snapped a four-game skid. Dozier also had three hits with three RBI and two runs scored.  Anthony Swarzak (3-1) recorded the final two outs in the ninth to pick up the win.  Tommy Milone got the start for Minnesota and gave up four runs on nine hits over five-and-one-third-innings.  Alex Gordon hit a solo homer and ended with two RBI for the Royals, who lead the Tigers by a game-and-a-half games for first place in the AL Central.  Detroit beat the Yankees earlier Thursday. Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed five runs  on nine hits over six innings.  Bruce Chen (2-4) gave up six runs on five hits in the 10th to take the loss.

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The Minnesota Lynx will meet the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Western Conference Finals tonight in Arizona.  Minnesota swept San Antonio 2-0 in the first round to advance.  Phoenix crushed Los Angeles twice to move on.  The Mercury won three of the four meetings in the regular season.  The Lynx and Mercury had to the top two records in the WNBA this season.  Minnesota is the defending champion and has been to three consecutive WNBA Finals.  Here is the upcoming schedule for the best-of-three Western Conference finals:

Friday (Game One):  Minnesota at Phoenix, 9pm

Sunday (Game Two):  Phoenix at Minnesota, 2:30pm

Tuesday (Game Three):  Minnesota at Phoenix, 9pm (if necessary)

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The Minnesota Lynx are hoping for a big playoff crowd for the home game in their WNBA Western Conference Finals on Sunday.  The best-of-three series opens in Phoenix tomorrow night and shifts back to the Twin Cities for Sunday's game.  That will be the lone game in the set to be played in Minnesota.  Ticket information is available at the team's Webpage.

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Tony Stewart is ready to return to the track.  The embattled NASCAR driver will race in Sunday's Sprint Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Stewart has missed the circuit's last three races after his car struck and killed 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr. in a dirt-track race earlier this month in upstate New York.  Ward had gotten out of his car and wandered onto the track with the race under caution to seemingly confront Stewart for spinning him out.  A police investigation is ongoing.  Stewart has not been charged in the incident.

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