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Game Preview: Vikings vs. Titans

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PRESEASON WEEK FOUR – MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS TENNESSEE TITANS
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29, 2013 – MALL OF AMERICA FIELD – 7:00 p.m. CT – KARE 11

GAME SUMMARY
Head Coach Leslie Frazier and the Minnesota Vikings (10-6 in 2012) welcome the Tennessee Titans (6-10 in 2012) to Mall of America Field this Thursday, August 29 for the final preseason game of 2013. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by KARE11.

Sunday’s game will conclude the third preseason of Frazier’s as a head coach. It will be the 5th time the Vikings have met the Titans in the preseason. The Vikings are 3-1 in preseason games and 8-4 in regular season play against Tennessee. This will be the team’s third time hosting the Titans during the preseason.

Next Sunday the Vikings will open the 2013 regular season on the road against the Detroit Lions. The 104th meeting between the division foes will start at 12:00 p.m. CT on FOX.

The Vikings added 23 new faces to the roster since the conclusion of the 2012 season. Along with 9 draft picks, the Vikings signed Desmond Bishop, Greg Jennings and Matt Cassel, in addition to 3 other free agents and signed 6 undrafted rookie free agents. The Vikings roster currently stands at 75 players.

BROADCAST COVERAGE
TELEVISION: KARE (Channel 11 in Minneapolis)
Play-By-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman/Ben Leber

Other Midwest affiliates airing the game include: WKBT – LaCrosse, WI … KGAN – Cedar Rapids, IA KETV – Omaha, NE … KNDX – Bismarck, ND … KOTA – Rapid City, SD  … KPTH – Sioux City, IA … WDIO – Duluth, MN … KVRR – Fargo, ND … KSFY – Sioux Falls, SD … WISC – Madison, WI … KCCI – Des Moines, IA … WHBF – Rock Island, IL (Quad Cities) … KTTC – Rochester, MN.

RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTCN-AM 1130
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman/Ben Leber
Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 6:00 p.m. CT
KFAN and KTCN serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.

VIKINGS IN THE PRESEASON
* The Vikings have a combined record of 139-96-3 (.590) in their 238 preseason games.
* The team has finished undefeated in the preseason 6 times (1964, ‘65, ‘73, ‘92, ‘98, ‘01).
* The Vikings have finished with a .500 record or better 40 times in the team’s 52 preseasons.
* In the 40 previous preseasons when the Vikings have finished at .500 or better, the team has gone on to finish at .500 or better 31 times in the ensuing regular season.
* In the 12 preseasons when the Vikings have finished below .500, the team has gone on to finish below .500 six times in the ensuing regular season.
* Head Coach Leslie Frazier has a 3-8 preseason record and will coach in his second preseason game against the Titans.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. TITANS
* K Blair Walsh set a franchise record for the most field goals made by a rookie (12) in a season when he hit 3 field goals against the Titans on 10/7/12. Walsh connected on kicks from 26, 36 and 42 yards. Walsh finished the season with 35 field goals.
* QB Christian Ponder completed 25-of-35 passes for 258 yards and 2 TD. Ponder also rushed 3 times for 31 yards in the Vikings 30-7 victory on 10/7/12.
* DE Brian Robison recorded 3 tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL on 10/7/12.
* RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 80 yards and 2 TD on 18 attempts. Peterson also caught 4 passes for 21 yards on 9/28/08.
* QB Matt Cassel helped the Kansas City Chiefs clinch the AFC West division with a win over the Titans on 12/26/10. Cassel finished 24-of-35 passing for 314 yards and 3 TD on 12/26/10.
* LB Erin Henderson recorded 10 tackles and 2 TFL in a preseason game against the Titans on 8/13/11.

VIKINGS VS. TITANS SERIES NOTES
• The Vikings and Titans have played 4 times during the preseason with the Vikings holding a 3-1 advantage.
• The Vikings hold the series advantage in the regular season. The teams have met 12 previous times in the regular season with the the Vikings winning eight times. The teams have never tied.
• The Vikings and Titans have never met during the postseason.
• The last time the Vikings and Titans faced in the preseason was on 8/13/11, a Titans 14-3 victory.
• This will be the third meeting between Minnesota and Tennessee since Leslie Frazier became head coach of the Vikings. Frazier is 0-1 in the preseason and 1-0 in the regular season against the Titans.

VIKINGS-TITANS CONNECTIONS
• Titans Defensive Assistant/Pass Rush Specialist Keith Millard was drafted in the 1st round (13th overall) by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1984 NFL Draft.
• Titans RB Darius Reynaud was signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2008 NFL Draft. Reynaud appeared in 14 games playing mostly on special teams with Minnesota from 2008-09 before being traded to the New York Giants prior to the 2010 season.
• Vikings Quarterbacks Coach Craig Johnson received his first NFL experience with the Titans coaching 11 seasons with the organization from 2000-10. Johnson coached the quarterbacks throughout his tenure at Tennessee until he was promoted to Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs after a late-preseason staff shuffle. Johnson coached 4 different players to 6 pro bowl appearances at the quarterback and running back positions.
• Vikings T Troy Kropog was a 4th round selection of the Titans in 2009. Kropog was signed to the Vikings practice squad on September 18, 2012. Kropog played in 6 games for the Titans from 2009-11.
• Titans Assistant Director of Football Administration/Pro Scout Dennis Polian was the Vikings Assistant to the Head Coach from 2009-10.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS
• Titans DL Karl Klug is a Caledonia, Minnesota native. Klug attended Caledonia High School and was named to the Minnesota Vikings All- State team along with garnering 1st-team all state honors as a senior. Klug played in the 2005 Minnesota Class 2A State Championship game at the Metrodome, losing to Eden Valley-Watkins, 21-16.
• Vikings S Harrison Smith, DE Collins Ukwu and FB Jerome Felton hail from Tennessee. Smith is a Knoxville native while Ukwu is from La Vergne and Felton is from Madisonville.
• Vikings LB Marvin Mitchell and WR Cordarrelle Patterson attended college at the University of Tennessee.

NFL CONNECTIONS
• Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave and Titans Defensive Assistant/ Quality Control Jonathan Gannon served on the same coaching staff in Atlanta in 2007.
• Vikings Wide Receivers Coach George Stewart and Titans Secondary Coach Brett Maxie coached together in the capacities for the San Francisco 49ers from 1999-2001.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
• Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson played with Titans WR Justin Hunter at Tennessee in 2012. The duo accounted for 40 percent of Tennessee’s receiving touchdowns and 49.1 percent of the team’s receiving yards
• Vikings LB Erin Henderson started next to Titans LB Moise Fokou at Maryland during the 2007 season.

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