After playing high school football at Colerain in Cincinnati, Pace went on to play for Miami University and then the Cincinnati Bearcats before signing with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent. Pace has exceeded expectations and has made himself a valuable piece of the Vikings defense.
In the Week 15 game between the Bengals and Vikings, Pace and running back Joe Mixon met plenty. Pace stopped Mixon a few times late in the game.
At one point, Mixon was able to power through Pace on a fourth-down touchdown run, and it appears that may have sparked some animosity.
An interesting scene after the #CINvsMIN game on Saturday:— Austin Tanner (@TVAustinT) December 18, 2023
Former @ColerainFtball, @MiamiOHFootball and @GoBearcatsFB product Ivan Pace Jr. got REAL personal with Joe Mixon.
Pace was able to stop Mixon in a few key plays in the Vikings red zone, especially late in the game.… pic.twitter.com/huQxJtBlFn
While the exchange didn’t turn physical, it certainly appears to have been heated. Pace sounds like he threatens Mixon a couple of times before patting him on the chest and backing away. Mixon keeps his cool but doesn’t appear to be a fan of what Pace is saying.
It was a close game, a tough battle, and a homecoming game for Pace, who had a number of family members in the crowd, so it could have just been frustration boiling over after a tough, competitive game.
One thing is for sure: Pace has a bright future ahead of him.