Gophers accept bid to Insight Bowl

For just the second time in five seasons, Minnesota’s football team won’t be playing its bowl game in Nashville, Tenn.

The Gophers (6-6 overall, 3-5 Big Ten) accepted an invitation to the Insight Bowl, according to a University news release on Tuesday.

The game will be played at Sun Devils Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 29 against a Big 12 opponent.

“Speaking for myself, my staff and my football team, we couldn’t be happier to be invited to the Insight Bowl in Tempe,” coach Glen Mason said in the release. “It’s a great bowl destination where many Minnesotans have homes and I am sure that our fans will be excited to see us play.”

It will be the fifth straight season and seventh out of the last eight years Minnesota will play in a bowl game.

Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Purdue are the only other teams in the Big Ten to play in a bowl game seven of the past eight years.

Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi said in the release the University is excited to play in the Insight Bowl.

“We look forward to our loyal fans joining our strong alumni base in the Tempe area to watch our fifth straight bowl game,” he said. “I know that everyone affiliated with the football program is ecstatic with the way we finished the season, and the Insight Bowl will be a great reward for our student-athletes, coaches and fans.”

All-Big Ten team

A pair of Gophers made the All-Big Ten teams the University announced Tuesday.

Senior tight end Matt Spaeth was named first team All-Big Ten by the media and the coaches for the second straight year. Sophomore defensive end Willie Van de Steeg was named second team All-Big Ten by the media and honorable mention by the coaches.

Sophomore defensive back Dominic Jones was named honorable mention by the coaches and media, senior wide receiver Logan Payne was named honorable mention by the coaches and junior free safety Dom Barber was named honorable mention by the media.