Gophers Returning to Insight Bowl

Adam Weber will lead team in Insight Bowl

Minnesota (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) has accepted an invitation to play Iowa State University (6-6, 3-5 Big 12) in the 2009 Insight Bowl on Dec. 31 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. (CST) kick off and will be televised nationally by NFL Network.

"We are looking forward to returning to Tempe for the Insight Bowl and I am honored to accept this invitation to represent the Big Ten Conference on behalf of the University of Minnesota," Director of Athletics Joel Maturi said. "The Tempe area and Sun Devil Stadium have become a home away from home during the holidays for us in recent years and we have thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality our good friends at the Insight Bowl have provided. No one treats student-athletes and fans better."

Minnesota's invitation to play in the 2009 Insight Bowl marks the Golden Gophers' ninth bowl berth in the last 11 seasons, the program's 14th overall postseason bowl appearance and its second in a row under third-year head coach Tim Brewster.

The game will also be Minnesota's third trip to Sun Devil Stadium to play in the Insight Bowl in the last four years – the Gophers played in the 2006 and 2008 games – and 26th time the Gophers will face off with long-time border rival Iowa State.

"We are very excited about returning to the Insight Bowl," Brewster said. "It's an incredible venue and a terrific organization. John Junker and his staff do an amazing job and I'm sure our players and fans will have a great time in Tempe. Taking on an up-and-coming Iowa State program will be a tremendous challenge and the matchup should be of great interest to college football fans across the nation and especially in this region of the country."

The program is also making back-to-back bowl appearances for just the seventh time in its history as head coach Tim Brewster becomes just the third coach in University of Minnesota history, along with Murray Warmath and Glen Mason, to take the Gophers to consecutive bowl games.

Iowa State, which boasts one of the nation's top running attacks and the Big 12's No. 3 rusher Alexander Robinson (96.2 ypg), is bowl eligible for the first time since 2005. The Cyclones will be making their 10th all-time bowl appearance after posting an incredible turnaround in 2009 under first-year head coach Paul Rhoads, who led Iowa State to a four-game improvement over last year's 2-10 finish.

Minnesota holds a 22-2-1 edge in the all-time series, which dates all the way back to 1895. The two programs, which are separated by just 214 miles, have not met on the gridiron since 1997.

The Minnesota Athletics Ticket Office is accepting orders for its allotment of 10,500 tickets immediately on GopherSports.com and at 9 a.m. Monday morning on the phone or in person at the Gopher Athletics Ticket office. All tickets for the game are priced at $55 and football season ticket holders will have until Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. to place orders for priority seating.

The easiest method for ordering tickets is online by clicking on the Bowl Central link on the front page of GopherSports.com and selecting "Buy Insight Bowl Tickets." Ticket orders may also be submitted in person at the Athletics Ticket Office in Mariucci Arena from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and over the phone by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (612) 624-8080 inside the metro area or 1-800-U-GOPHER outside the metro area.

To ensure seating in the Minnesota section of Sun Devil Stadium, Gopher fans must make their ticket arrangements through the University's Athletics Ticket Office or online at GopherSports.com. The University of Minnesota Athletics Department and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association are also sponsoring the official bowl tour for Gopher fans. The custom tour has been designed by Creative Charters and includes air, hotel and appropriate ground transportation. Additional optional activities will also be organized by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and offered during the tour. Information on official travel packages is available online at www.GopherBowl.com, the Creative Charters website, www.creativecharter.com, and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association website, www.minnesotaalumni.org.

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