MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Vikings look to extend dominance over Detroit
The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions kick off their NFL seasons with a game on Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit. Minnesota is coming off a 10-and-6 finish last season, which ended with a loss to the Packers in the NFC Wild Card round. Detroit went just 4-and-12 last year. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier says he is happy with the focus his team has shown this week in practice and in meetings. he says he likes the mindset of his guys right now. Kickoff on Sunday is set for noon.
The Detroit Lions released their first injury report of the year, which revealed defensive end Ziggy Ansah suffered a concussion during practice August 24th. Ansah was at practice Thursday, running on the sidelines, but will not be allowed to play until he is cleared by doctors. Safety Louis Delmas was limited in practice with a sore knee. The Lions will announce their game designations in today's injury report.
Sunday's matchup between the Vikings and Lions will be the 104th meeting between the two long-time division foes. Minnesota has claimed victory in 68 of the 104 games, including both contests last year. In fact, the Vikings have won 22 of the previous 27 overall matchups since 1999. Detroit has claimed two of the last three games in Detroit, however. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is 2-and-2 in his career against Detroit. This will be the fifth time the two clubs have faced each other in a season opener with Minnesota holding a 3-and-1 record in the previous four lid lifters.
The University of Minnesota football team will leave later today via charter flight for tomorrow night's game at New Mexico State. The team finished the week of preparation with an afternoon practice yesterday, a week after beating UNLV in the season opener 51-23. The Golden Gophers will fly into the airport in El Paso, Texas and then bus to Las Cruces, New Mexico, home of New Mexico State. Tomorrow's game kicks off at 7 p.m
When the Golden Gopher football team scored the final points of the season-opening victory over UNLV last Thursday, the sidelines was abuzz about the final number. When kicker Chris Hawthorne's extra point went through the uprights, it marked the 51st point of the ballgame for Minnesota. The final score was 51-23. Head coach Jerry Kill says the entire team was rooting for that extra point to be good so they could hit 51. The reason? That was the number warn by their former teammate Gary Tinsley, who passed away in the spring of 2012. Kill says he was touched by the fact that many of the players recognized that as it was happening last week. Kill says Tinsley will never be forgotten and his memory still serves as a positive influence on the team.
Some of the top prospects in the Minnesota Wild organization are taking part in this weekend's Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan. Wild prospects are competing against prospects from St. Louis, Dallas, and Detroit in one division of teams. Young players from Buffalo, Carolina, Columbus, and the Rangers are playing in a separate division. The tournament includes pool games and concludes with final matchups on Monday. Among the Minnesota players taking part are Brett Bulmer, Erik Haula, Zack Phillips, Mathew Dumba, and Dylan Labbe. The Wild prospects play the Blues prospects tonight at 6 p.m.
The Twins were off yesterday and will open a three-game weekend series tonight when the Toronto Blue Jays hit Target Field. Minnesota just won four of six games on a road trip through Texas, taking a pair of games each from the Astros and Rangers. Toronto was also off yesterday after taking two of three games from Arizona earlier in the week. First pitch tonight is set for 7:10 p.m.
The WNBA Minnesota Lynx improved their league-best record to 23-and-7 with Wednesday night's 83-74 win over Los Angeles. That puts two games between the Lynx and the Sparks in the WNBA Western Conference. Minnesota visits Seattle on tomorrow night for a 9 p.m. game.