BOWLING GREEN - The first visit by a Big Ten Conference football team to Bowling Green State University is just a few years away.
The University of Minnesota announced it would travel to Bowling Green to play a non-conference game on Sept. 6, 2008. BGSU confirmed the agreement and that the game would be played in Perry Stadium, but declined to comment further.
BGSU's 2006 season opener against Wisconsin is a home game for the Falcons but will be played in Cleveland at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
As far as a return game in Minneapolis, if it's part of the agreement it likely won't happen until 2009 or beyond. The Falcons have a full non-conference slate in 2006, and in 2007, the teams' open dates don't correspond.
Minnesota finished 7-5 last season, seventh in the Big Ten, and lost to Virginia in the Music City Bowl.
In 2001 Minnesota played the University of Toledo in the Glass Bowl. The Golden Gophers' future schedules show a willingness to play road games at MAC schools. Minnesota is scheduled to open next season at Kent State and will travel to Miami (Ohio) in 2009.
NEW ASSIGNMENTS: BGSU defensive assistant D.J. Durkin will take over as special teams coordinator for the Falcons, the team announced yesterday. Last season the coaches handled special teams by committee.
In his second year as an assistant, Durkin will continue to coach the defensive ends.
"I think D.J. is a high-energy guy who is organized, can lead and will motivate our players to perform to the best of their abilities on special teams," BGSU coach Gregg Brandon said.
Also, two defensive coaches traded position assignments. Defensive coordinator John Lovett will work with defensive backs and assistant John Bowers will coach linebackers.
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