Facing a fourth-and-eight in the first quarter, Penn State needed to put some points on the board to draw closer to Minnesota. Head coach James Franklin sent out his field goal kicker for a three-point attempt, but the youngster was greeted with something surprising. The video board was showing the "Dramatic Gopher" video.
This popular internet clip, which is actually known as the Dramatic Chipmunk, shows a prairie dog turning its head while the camera zooms in and dramatic music plays. This is what Penn State's kicker saw when he lined up for his attempt as the home team attempted to distract him.
However, the man was unfazed and sent the football through the uprights with ease. This brought the Nittany Lions within four points of the host Golden Gophers.
While this attempt to distract Penn State's kicker did draw considerable attention on social media, it isn't actually the first time that this has happened at Minnesota's stadium. The University of Minnesota actually adopted the Dramatic Gopher back in 2013 and it has been a staple on the jumbotron when opposing kickers line up for their attempts.
Ironically enough, the first time that Minnesota used this internet video was in November 2013 against the University of Wisconsin. A kicker named Jack Russell lined up for a 20-yard field goal while the video played. He made this attempt but missed a 38-yarder.
In the years since Minnesota has continued to implement the Dramatic Gopher to varying degrees of success. TCU's Jaden Oberkrom missed one of his attempts back in 2015, drawing attention to the distraction.
Ultimately, Minnesota lost the 2013 matchup against Wisconsin, as well as the 2015 battle with TCU. Still, the Dramatic Gopher did serve as a fitting distraction for opponents. Saturday, however, the Golden Gophers were in full control of their game against the Nittany Lions.
Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan threw for three touchdowns, building up a 31-19 advantage with mere minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Receiver Rashod Bateman went over 200 yards on the day and added a touchdown.0comments
The defense, on the other hand, forced two interceptions by Penn State QB James Clifford. The Dramatic Gopher may not have distracted the opposing kicker as originally intended, but the Golden Gophers certainly showed up looking to reach 9-0 on the season.
Photo Credit: Adam Bettcher/Getty