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Associated Press, Published September 12 2009

Gophers open new football stadium with victory against Air Force

MINNEAPOLIS – Nate Triplett christened Minnesota’s new stadium with a career-high 17 tackles and a 52-yard fumble return for a score to carry the Gophers to a 20-13 win over Air Force.

Eric Decker had 10 catches for 113 yards for Minnesota (2-0), which celebrated its return to campus with the opening of the $300 million TCF Bank Stadium.

Asher Clark rushed for 90 yards and Kevin Fogler caught a 37-yard TD for Air Force (1-1), which led 10-3 after three quarters.

But DeLeon Eskridge scored on a 7-yard run to tie the game in the fourth, and then Brandon Kirksey forced a fumble from Falcons quarterback Tim Jefferson on an option play.

Triplett, who was all over the field on Saturday night, scooped up the ball in the flats and sprinted the 52 yards for the go-ahead touchdown as 50,000 Gopher fans rejoiced under a partly cloudy September sky.