Minnesota Sports Briefs: Vikings prep for Packer rematchMinnesota Sports
-- The Minnesota Vikings continue to prepare for their NFC Wild Card Playoff match-up with the rival Green Bay Packers on Saturday at Lambeau Field.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings continue to prepare for their NFC Wild Card Playoff match-up with the rival Green Bay Packers on Saturday at Lambeau Field.
Minnesota grabbed the sixth and final playoff spot with Sunday's 37-34 victory over Green Bay. The Vikings are in the postseason for the first time since 2009.
Packers cornerback Charles Woodson has been cleared to play in Sunday's playoff game against Minnesota. Head coach Mike McCarthy made the announcement yesterday. Wide receiver Randall Cobb practiced yesterday and McCarthy anticipates he will play. Fellow wide outs Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin and defensive end Jerel Worthy all missed yesterday's practice.
Believe it or not, but Saturday's playoff game between the Vikings and Packers will only be the second all-time postseason matchup between the two longtime rivals. The only playoff game that pitted the two division foes came back in 2004 when Minnesota powered past Green Bay 31-17 in an NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field.
The Minnesota Vikings are getting a sneak peak at their 2013 regular season schedule before it's released by the NFL. The Purple will host the Eagles, Redskins, Browns, Panthers and their three NFC North rivals. The Vikes will travel to the Cowboys, Giants, Ravens, Bengals, Seahawks, Packers, Bears and Lions. Minnesota will also play the Steelers in London on September 29th which counts as a home game.
Florida State's Lonnie Pryor ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries as Florida State rolled Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl 31-10 last night. E.J. Manuel threw for 291 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 26 more yards with a score. The Seminoles totalled 534 offensive yards in improving to 12-2 on the season. Jordan Lynch had 176 yards with a touchdown and interception while rushing for 44 yards for the Huskies. NIU became the first one-loss team from a non-BCS conference to play in a BCS bowl game. Gopher coach Jerry Kill was at the game, watching his former team play. Kill coached the Huskies from 2008 to 2010. Current NIU coach Rod Carey is from Wayzata. The Huskies finish the year at 12-2.
>The third-ranked Florida Gators battle the 21st-ranked Louisville Cardinals tonight in the 79th Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans. Florida finished the season 11-and-1 to earn its seventh BCS bowl appearance. The Gators are 20-19 all-time in the postseason. The Gators have played the Cardinals just twice, with Florida winning home games in 1980 and 1992. Louisville went 10-2 to earn its second BCS bowl in school history. The Cardinals' only other BCS appearance was a 24-14 win over Wake Forest in the 2007 Orange Bowl. Overall, Louisville is 7-8-1 in bowl games.
The Maple River, Minn. High School band is in New Orleans getting ready for tonight's (7:30 p.m.) 2013 Sugar Bowl. The Marching Eagles will strut their stuff during halftime of the BCS game between Florida and Louisville. Maple River and a number of other bands will be on the Superdome turf for the performance. Band members are scheduled to return to southern Minnesota on Thursday and Friday.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is holding a news conference this morning to discuss his plan to sue the NCAA. Sources say the lawsuit will focus on the sanctions imposed on Penn State, which include a $60-million dollar fine that will be used nationally to finance child abuse prevention programs. Many lawmakers object to the money being used outside of Pennsylvania.
The United States skated by the Czech Republic 7-0 this morning in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia. Team USA has two players with Minnesota connections on the roster. Mike Reilly, a Golden Gopher defenseman from Chanhassen, and Mario Lucia, a Notre Dame forward from Wayzata, are on the American team. Lucia is the son of Gopher head coach Don Lucia. The U.S. will play Canada in the semifinals tomorrow morning.
The NHL responded to the union's counter-proposal on Tuesday as the two sides work towards ending the ongoing lockout. The NHL's latest proposal included a 48-game season which would start no later than January 19th, meaning the owners and players have about 10 days to come to an agreement before the season is lost. The Wild were scheduled to play tonight in Winnipeg in what would have been their 38th regular season game. Instead, games have already been canceled through January 14th. Yesterday was to have featured the Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings at the University of Michigan's football stadium. Meetings are expected to continue on Wednesday.