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U of M coach Fleck presents Governor Walz with game ball

Walz accepted the ball on behalf of the entire state of Minnesota.

MINNEAPOLIS — After Saturday's historic 31-26 victory over No. 4 ranked Penn State, the Gophers are becoming a little more than prominent. They're becoming elite.

Minnesota Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck credited the entire state for bringing the program back to prominence.

Fleck presented Governor Tim Walz, who was there on behalf of the entire state, with a game ball from Saturday's win. 

"I can't tell you what it means, we humbly accept it on behalf of the grateful Gopher nation," said Walz in a presentation Tuesday afternoon. "The excitement that you've brought to the state - of course the records, those are one thing - but it's the way you've gone about it. It's the professionalism, it's the common purpose,  it's the humble confidence that this team exudes." 

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The Governor received the ball that Jordan Howard intercepted in the end zone to seal the victory for Minnesota.

"When I got here, I said that it's going to take the whole state of Minnesota to get University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football back to what it used to be," Fleck said. "To be able to restore the traditions of old.

"We have a lot of work to do. By no means, Governor, are we where we're going to (ultimately) be, but it's a start. Anytime you defeat the No. 4 team in the country and you're 9-0 for the first time since 1904 ... it's significant that this game ball goes to the state of Minnesota."

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