Tommie Sports - Football

Gene's Blog: Are you ready for "The Game," 2011 edition?

September 26, 2011

Action pic
Ben Wartman's overtime TD in 2010 at SJU helped the Tommies end the Johnnies' series win streak. (Thomas Whisenand photo)

The game will be played on 10-1-11, starts at 1:10 p.m., and occurs 110 years after the schools first met in this sport.

Despite all the "ones" and "zeroes," we're not talking futball. We're talking football. 

'Ones" and "zeroes" will be wild -- not to mention several thousand students and fans wearing purple and red -- at next Saturday's Tommie-Johnnies football clash.

The fun takes place at the old stadium named after Ignatius O'Shaughnessy, on the corner of Summit and Cretin.

From the producers who brought you the 2010 overtime thriller "The Party at Gagliardi's," (aka "The Clemens Crashers") comes the 2011 sequel in St. Paul.

Here's a special Gene's Blog edition of Tommie-Johnnie, 2011: "The Biggie at Iggy's"


Tommie-Johnnie Football Quick Notes/Mon. Sept. 26 

--No. 3-ranked St. Thomas (4-0 overall, 2-0 MIAC) is home Sat. Oct. 1 to face archrival St. John's (2-2, 1-1). Game time is 1:10 p.m. at Palmer Field in O'Shaughnessy Stadium.

--Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students (kids under age six admitted free). St. Thomas faculty, staff and current students are admitted free with a current school ID card.

--General admission tickets can be purchased online at this link, and fans can print out their tickets and bring to the game:

--The new Monahan Plaza just south of O’Shaughnessy Stadium was recently completed. Fans are invited to congregate there after 10:30 a.m. for "Purple on the Plaza." with grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, games, a hospitality tent, and other fun. New landscaping and sidewalks were added this summer in the lower Quad from the library on the east all the way to the front doors of the Anderson Student Center. That facility is still under construction but will open in January 2012.


The Game

--The 29-year-old stadium record for attendance (8,541, set in 1982) could be challenged, although it's anticipated that no fans will be turned away. Besides approximately 5,000 permanent seats, there will be portable bleachers brought in for the game with room for 2,500 to the north end zone (UST section) and another 1,000 to the south end zone (SJU section), plus ample standing room surrounding the field.

--The battle for the Holy Grail trophy returns to UST's campus after back-to-back games held in Collegeville in 2009 and 2010.

--This marks the 80th all-time football meeting between the schools, the 60th season in a row the teams will play, and comes 110 years after their initial clash, on Thanksgiving Day, 1901, at St. Paul's Lexington Park. The Johnnies lead the all-time series, 49-29-1. 



--Fans are encouraged to plan ahead, car pool and consider alternative transportation to alleviate a potential parking and traffic challenges. Guests coming to the game are encouraged to park on UST’s south campus with entrance at Grand Ave. and Cretin Ave. South. The parking will be available starting at 8 a.m. There are more than 1,000 parking stalls at this location between the ramp and surface lots. Parking is free and will be on a first- come basis. This parking is designed only for cars, vans, and regular size SUV’s. There is no place on campus for trucks, campers, vehicles with trailers, or buses of any type. 

Lot M, also on the south campus, is UST’s only approved location for tailgating on campus. Half of the lot will be designated for each team. This lot will open for tailgating at 10 a.m. Since this is a first-come lot, guests wanting to use this lot will be allowed to form a line at 9:30 a.m.. There will be no waiting prior to this time.

First-time tailgaters at St. Thomas are encouraged to read and become familiar with the policies related to this activity Please note that because of limited space, it is not possible to reserve spaces or use adjoining spaces in the lot for grilling, sitting, or eating. Note that tailgating, cooking, etc., is not permitted on the surrounding UST grounds. Also, the center island that divides Summit Avenue and the boulevards are considered city park land and no tailgating or grilling is allowed in these locations by city statute.

Parking for individuals with a valid state disability permits are located in the parking surface parking lots on south campus as well as in the Anderson Parking Facility. Some additional spots have been added to Lot B, just off of the drive aisle at Selby and Finn.

Since the University of St. Thomas is in a residential neighborhood, most of the streets have restrictions about parking days and locations. Also, in most of these cases a city permit is required. Out of respect to our neighbors, we would like to remind you to pay attention to these signs. Persons found to be in violation may have their vehicle ticketed or towed by the city depending on the situation.

Several forms of alternative forms of transportation are available. UST has recently installed many bikes racks that are available to guests who ride to the football game. Nothing is better than riding Summit Ave. or Mississippi River in the fall. Also, St. Thomas is a site for Nice Ride. You can rent a bicycle from one of its many its Twin Cities locations and ride it to campus and park it near Grand and Cleveland. For further details check it out  The first 30 minutes are free and there are many stations near campus where you could park, ride, stop for a quick bite to eat, and arrive on campus without hassle?

UST has several major bus lines surrounding its campus. Also, you can take light rail and a short bus ride to campus. Check out Metro Transit’s Trip Planner at It is easy to use and is a great option.

For directions or a map of campus go to

--Students of both schools are asked to be respectful -- shirts in poor taste will not be allowed. Be proud of your institutions and support the positive aspects of this rivalry. 


Can't Make It?

--All Tommie games in 2011 and 2012 will have live radio statewide at WCCO 830 AM. The game also can be heard on three stations on the Johnnies' radio network.

--The game also can be viewed live on the internet on channel one at: 

--Fans also will have a live stats option at



--The Tommies have played home football games on the same plot of land for more than 100 years. Stone bleachers and fencing were erected in the late 1940s there, and the stadium is named after Ignatius A. O'Shaughnessy, who played in the first Tommie-Johnnie game in 1901 for St. John's but transferred to, played football for and graduated from St. Thomas in 1907. 

Here's more on I.A. O'Shaughnessy's remarkable legacy:'Shaughnessey.html

--St. Thomas won last year's game in Collegeville in overtime, 27-26,Action pic to end a 12-year losing streak in the series. 

--St. Thomas has lost the last seven games in the series played in St. Paul. UST's last on-campus win over the Johnnies came in 1992, a 15-12 upset.  

--Since 1980, seven of the 14 series games played in St. Paul have been decided by seven or less points. 

--The last three games in the series weren't decided until the final seconds or final play. In 2008, UST lost a fumble on the SJU one-yard-line with 40 seconds left and was defeated, 12-9. The Johnnies won the 2009 game in Collegeville in overtime, 20-17. St. Thomas won in overtime in 2010.



--The game features two recent winners of the Liberty Mutual Division III National Coach of the Year award. St. John's John Gagliardi won in 2007, and UST's Glenn Caruso was honored in 2010.  

--Coach Gagliardi, who turns 85 on Nov. 1, has the most career wins of any college football coach and has Coaches shakea 63-season record of 480-131-11 (.781). That includes a 456-125-10 mark in 59 seasons at St. John's.

--At age 37, Coach Caruso has a 34-6 record in his four seasons with the Tommies, an .850 winning percentage.

--Caruso led the Tommies to victories in 18 consecutive regular-season games, and a top-10 national ranking for 22 consecutive polls. UST has won 22 of its last 24 games overall and 17 of its last 18 home games.

--From 1993-2007, the Johnnies went 14-1 in the series and averaged 35 points per game. In the three meetings thus far of the Caruso era, St. Thomas had held the Johnnies to a 16.3 ppg average over four quarters (not including overtimes).


Team Talk

--Tommie senior QB Dakota Tracy ran for 99 yards and passed for 114 in last year's overtime victory in Collegeville. The Tommies are 19-1 since he became the starter. In UST's 22-2 run since October 2009, Tracy has 32 touchdown passes and 12 TD runs. 

--Tommie senior WR-KR Fritz Waldvogel (6,059 yards) needs six yards to become the Tommies' career all-Action picpurpose yards leader. He has 33 career touchdowns and needs one more to become the fifth Tommie to surpass 200 career points.

--Early in the conference race, St. Thomas and Augsburg share first place at 2-0, and Bethel is 1-0.

--The Johnnies lost 32-31 to Augsburg Saturday in Collegeville. At 2-2 overall, St. John's has its back to the wall if it hopes to make the NCAA playoffs -- it needs Augsburg to lose two MIAC games, plus the Johnnies probably need to win their six remaining conference games.

--The Tommies have a 20-7 win over Midwest Conference favorite St. Norbert; a 45-22 win at UW-River Falls after leading 31-3; a 49-14 win over St. Olaf after leading 42-0; and a 48-30 victory at Concordia-Moorhead ater leading 48-14.

--St. John's is playing just its second road game. The Johnnies opened with a 34-0 home victory over Northwestern (Minn.). They lost 47-19 at home to UW-Eau Claire, then won 28-21 in overtime at Concordia-Moorhead. They returned home to fall 32-31 last Saturday to Augsburg.

--UST's defense has 35 tackles for loss, including 14 sacks, and is allowing just 1.1 yards per rush and 35.8 net yards rushing per game. Seven of the 10 touchdowns the Tommie defense has allowed have come after it built comfortable leads in the first 37 minutes of games.

--The Johnnies have only four turnovers, are averaging 20 first downs a game, and have been efficient on third-down conversions (49%) and in the red zone (touchdowns on 10 of 11 chances). But they've only gained/forced three turnovers, have allowed 14 sacks, and are allowing an uncharacteristic 414 yards a game. 


Did You Know?

--The new MIAC draw for 2012 and 2013 football games has St. Thomas and St. John's colliding in the 2012 opening conference game, Sept. 15 in Collegeville. UST will play host to the Johnnies in week three of 2013, Sept. 14.

--Saturday's game is part of a busy Oct. 1-2 weekend of interesting sports along Summit Avenue in St. Paul. One mile away on Saturday, Macalester plays host to Hamline in a football series that was first played in 1887. At stake is the "Paint Bucket" trophy. On Sunday, the Twin Cities Marathon will wind past the St. Thomas campus from the west, and the final six miles are run down Summit Avenue to the state capitol grounds.  


--St. Thomas athletics website:

--St. John's athletics website:

--MIAC website:

--WCCO Radio's St. Thomas page:


Series Results:

The Johnnies lead the all-time series, 49-29-1:

St. Thomas football all-time results vs. St. John's: 

Oct. 2, 2010 W, 27-26 (OT)  Away

Oct. 17, 2009  L, 17-20 (OT)  Away

Oct. 18, 2008  L, 9-12  Home      

Oct. 27, 2007  L, 34-51  Away      

Oct. 28, 2006  L, 7-27  Home

Nov. 12, 2005  L, 14-48  Home

Nov. 13, 2004  L, 0-21  Away      

Nov. 1, 2003  L, 12-15  Home      

Nov. 2, 2002  L, 28-48  Away      

Sept. 29, 2001 L, 21-27  Away      

Sept. 30, 2000 L, 0-17  Home     


Sept. 25, 1999  L, 18-34  Home      

Sept. 26, 1998  L, 13-31  Away      

Nov. 7, 1997  W, 31-27  Metrodome

Nov. 9, 1996  L, 10-28  Metrodome

Oct. 7, 1995  L, 18-49  Away    

Oct. 8, 1994  L, 34-35  Home  

Oct. 23, 1993 L, 13-69  Away

Oct. 24, 1992  W, 15-12  Home  

Sept. 14, 1991  L, 15-43  Away  

Sept. 15, 1990 W 25-14  Home 


Oct. 14, 1989  L, 14-37  Home      

Oct. 15, 1988  L, 13-16  Away      

Sept. 19, 1987  W, 7-2 Home

Sept. 20, 1986  W, 56-21  Away  

Sept. 28, 1985  L, 15-16  Home     

Sept. 29, 1984  L, 0-7  Away      

Sept. 24, 1983  W, 41-14  Away  

Sept. 25, 1982 L, 21-27  Home     

Nov. 14, 1981  L, 23-24  Home      

Nov. 8, 1980 L, 21-56  Away   


Nov. 10, 1979  W, 30-0  Home  

Nov. 11, 1978  W, 21-3  Away  

Sept. 24, 1977 L, 20-25  Away     

Sept. 25, 1976 L, 11-14  Home

Sept. 27, 1975  L, 10-16  Home

Sept. 28, 1974  L, 20-37  Away

Oct. 6, 1973  W, 17-10  Home   

Sept. 30, 1972  L, 10-14  Away  

Sept. 25, 1971  L, 0-10  Home  

Nov. 7, 1970  L, 12-40  Away  


Oct. 25, 1969  L, 11-33  Home 

Oct. 19, 1968  L, 12-35  Away  

Oct. 13, 1967  W, 13-2  Home  

Oct. 8, 1966  L, 0-21  Away    

Oct. 1, 1965  L, 0-10  Home    

Sept. 26, 1964  L, 0-24  Away  

Nov. 2, 1963  L, 6-32  Home  

Oct. 27, 1962  L, 23-28  Away  

Oct. 21, 1961  L, 14-38  Home  

Oct. 8, 1960  L, 14-34  Away    


Oct. 2, 1959  L, 0-6  Home    

Sept. 27, 1958  L, 0-13  Away

Sept. 20, 1957  W, 14-7  Home

Nov. 3, 1956  W, 33-25  Away  

Sept. 30, 1955  W, 28-12  Home  

Oct. 16, 1954 W, 7-6  Away 

Oct. 3, 1953  L, 6-14  Home    

Oct. 25, 1952 L, 7-13  Away

Sept. 22, 1950 W, 14-12  Home


Nov. 5, 1949  W, 28-27  Away  

Oct. 26, 1946  W, 18-0  Home  

Oct. 21, 1945  W, 13-0  Home  

Oct. 5, 1945  W, 30-0  Neutral  (St. Cloud Tech H.S.)    

Oct. 30, 1942  W, 18-0  Home  

Oct. 11, 1941  W, 20-6  Away

Oct. 18, 1940  W, 18-13  Home  


Oct. 14, 1938  L, 13-24  Home  

Oct. 29, 1937  W, 14-7  Home  

Nov. 6, 1936  L, 0-13  Home  

Nov. 3, 1935  T, 0-0  Away  

Nov. 4, 1934  L, 6-16  Home

Nov. 19, 1933  L, 6-7  Home


Oct. 14, 1922  W, 21-0  Home  

Nov. 25, 1909  W, 23-6  Home  

Nov. 26, 1908  W, 4-0  Home  

Oct. 27, 1908  L, 6-9  Away     

Oct. 9, 1907  W, 21-0  Away

Nov. 28, 1901  L, 6-16  Neutral/St. Paul Lexington


Gene McGivern

Sports information director Gene McGivern is working in his 18th season at St. Thomas and 24th in the MIAC. He blogs periodically on various topics regarding the Tommies, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and Division III sports.

If you have comments or questions, e-mail Gene at