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Updated: May 7th, 2013 12:02pm
Gophers to face TCU in 2014, 2015 as part of home-and-home series

Gophers to face TCU in 2014, 2015 as part of home-and-home series

by Nate Sandell
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Jerry Kill's attempt at bringing legitimacy back to the Minnesota Gophers football program is set take a surprising leap.

The Gophers and TCU have settled on an agreement to face each other in 2014 and 2015 as part of a home and home series. The series will begin on Sept. 13, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas and conclude with the Gophers hosting TCU to open the 2015 schedule.

Kill and Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague took heavy criticism last year when they paid North Carolina $800,000 to opt out of a home-home series in 2013 and 2014.

However, by facing the Big 12's TCU the Gophers have a replacement to fill the hole in their 2014 schedule with an arguably higher profile program. The 2015 match-up will replace the game the Gophers had originally set with South Dakota State.

Kill and TCU coach Gary Patterson have close relationship, which traces back to the late 1980s when both were assistant coaches at Pittsburg State (Kan.). Patterson's hometown of Rozel, Kan., is located about two hours from where Kill grew up in Cheney, Kan.

TCU's first year in the Big 12 wasn't a memorable one. The Horned Frogs stumbled to a 7-6 record, including a loss to Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. The struggle-filled season ended TCU's run of four straight seasons without more than two losses.

The Gophers' only previous meeting with TCU came in 1974, when Minnesota won 9-7 at Memorial Stadium.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
Email Nate | @nsandell