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A group of U of M Gopher Football teammates celebrate after winning the Sun Bowl.

Gophers win Sun Bowl

From eNews, January 8, 2004

With only 23 seconds left in the game and trailing Oregon by two points, Minnesota's very own Englishman, Rhys Llyod, kicked the winning 42-yard field goal. Golden Gopher fans roared as their football team snatched the Sun Bowl title 31-30 from the Ducks in El Paso, Tex., on December 31. "I didn't know if it was going to go through," says Minnesota senior receiver Aaron Hosack, who caught six passes for 107 yards. "We all just stood there and went crazy when the ref signaled it was good. Oregon's defense is one of the toughest we faced all year." Oregon took a 30-28 lead with about 4 minutes remaining before the Gophers drove 55 yards to set up the winning kick. The Gophers were beaten 24-20 by the Ducks in the 1999 Sun Bowl. The 2003 Sun Bowl was scoreless after the first quarter, but the teams combined for 31 points in the second--the most points scored in a Sun Bowl quarter. Minnesota entered the game with the nation's third-best running offense, averaging 293.2 yards a game. The Gophers outrushed the Ducks 241-77. The Gophers finished 10-3 in the 2003 season, their best record in the modern era. For information on Gopher sports, see