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This Day in College Football History: No. 1 Minnesota Gophers upset in Rose Bowl

This day in 1961

With a national title already in hand, future College Football Hall of Famer Sandy Stephens led No. 1 Minnesota to the Rose Bowl against No. 6 Washington. Huskies quarterback Bob Schloredt, a future College Football Hall of Famer himself, controlled the game by air, tossing a four-yard score to halfback Brent Wooten, and by land with 58 yards on six carries, including a one-yard plunge to put Washington on top 17-0 at the half. The Golden Gophers dominated the second half, claiming a 192-35 yardage advantage, but mustered just an 18-yard touchdown run by Bill Munsey on an option pitch from Stephens. Washington won the game 17-7, registering their second consecutive Rose Bowl upset following a 44-8 defeat of No. 6 Wisconsin the previous year.

Minnesota returned to the Rose Bowl the following season and defeated UCLA 21-3. Minnesota has not been back to the Rose Bowl since. It is the longest running Rose Bowl drought by any school in the Big Ten. The Pac-12’s Cal (1959) has the longest stretch between Rose Bowl appearances between both partner conferences, although Arizona is the only school from either conference yet to appear in a Rose Bowl other than new Pac 12 members Colorado and Utah (Nebraska has made two appearances).

Source: National Football Foundation

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.