INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
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They call Minneapolis-St. Paul the Twin Cities. Yet, they aren’t the same size and don’t look alike. So you have to take their words for it.
And now, on with the Iowa-Minnesota Fun Facts.
1. Minnesota is 3-1 against Iowa at TCF Bank Stadium, 10-14 against the rest of the Big Ten there.
2. Iowa has won its last seven road games. Only Ohio State (19), Alabama (8) and Oklahoma (8) have longer current streaks.
3. The Gophers have totaled 86 points against Iowa over the last two years, the most they’ve scored against the Hawkeyes in a two-year span since 1936-37 (87 points).
4. This will be the third Iowa game this season in which Beth Mowins has done play-by-play and Anthony Becht the color commentary for ESPN2. They worked the Arizona-UCLA game last Saturday.
5. Minnesota is the only Big Ten university with more students than seats in its football stadium. The school has an enrollment of 51,147 and TCF Bank Stadium seats 50,850.
6. The state of Minnesota bills itself as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. So it’s fitting that starting quarterback Mitch Leidner is from … Lakeville, Minn.
7. The Gophers also have players from Lakeland, Fla., and Lake Forest, Ill.
8. Leidner is one of just four current FBS players with at least 30 career passing touchdowns and 25 rushing TDs. He has 33 and 26.
9. Nine Iowa players have fathers who played for the Hawkeyes. Six Minnesota players have fathers who played for the Gophers.
10. The Gophers have two players named Duke, tight end Duke Anwanyu and defensive back Duke McGhee. The latter’s given name is Daletavious McGhee.
11. Neither team has missed a field goal this season. Minnesota kicker Emmit Carpenter is 9-of-9, with all but one from at least 35 yards out. Iowa’s Keith Duncan is 2-of-2, with both from inside 25 yards.
12. Gophers head coach Tracey Claeys earned a degree in mathematics education from Kansas State. He is one of the few major-college head coaches who didn’t play college football.
13. Minnesota offensive coordinator Jay Johnson threw 60 touchdown passes for Northern Iowa from 1989 to 1992, including one for 99 yards to Kenny Shedd against Oklahoma State in 1990.
13. Johnson spent three years ahead of Kurt Warner at quarterback on Northern Iowa’s depth chart. “He’s worth millions,” Johnson once said. “I’m a trivia question.”
14. Yet, Johnson is only the second-most famous Johnson to play football at UNI, thanks to running back David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals.
15. Jay Johnson’s hometown: Lakeville, Minn.
17. Rosedale is a neighborhood in Queens, 15 miles from midtown Manhattan.
18. The Rosedale in Denver looks like a nice enough place to have salmon rillettes benedict and a Renegade Contrarian.
19. You could make a case that the two most famous Floyds in American history are boxing champions Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Floyd Patterson.
20. But you would be wrong. The most-renowned Floyd of all comes from a little town called Mayberry. And here he is.