MINNEAPOLIS — Iowa and Minnesota waged a physical game of attrition on Saturday, and the Hawkeyes pulled out a 14-7 victory and retained possession of the Floyd of Rosedale traveling trophy.
As expected, it was intense with so much at stake. Iowa put together three scoring drives but twice had to settle for short field goals. The Hawkeyes dominated on defense, forcing eight three-and-outs while holding the Gophers without a completed pass until the 4:15 mark of the second quarter.
Iowa won its sixth straight rivalry trophy game and its eight consecutive true road game.
— SoundOFF (@SoundOFF13) October 8, 2016
As for the Hawkeyes’ complete report card, here’s a look:
Offense (3 stars)
The running game chipped away at the Gophers until Akrum Wadley’s 54-yard touchdown run with 5:28 left. Iowa ran for 179 yards on 41 carries. The Hawkeyes stuck with the run game, which was important with changes to its offensive line. Quarterback C.J. Beathard and the passing attack labored. Beathard tossed two interceptions, the second of which was poorly thrown. The receivers dropped passes and struggled to get open. This will be an ongoing theme.
Defense (5 stars)
Iowa’s run defense finally gave a representative performance halfway through the season. The Hawkeyes allowed a season-low 102 rushing yards on 29 carries. Iowa stifled Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner, who completed just 13 of 33 passes for 166 yards and tossed a pair of interceptions. The defense also forced two fumbles, recovered one and sacked Leidner twice.
Manny Rugamba rules the middle and makes the INT for @HawkeyeFootball.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 8, 2016
Special teams (4 stars)
Ron Coluzzi and Beathard parked four of their six punts inside the 20-yard line. Coluzzi averaged 38.2 yards on his five punts, and Beathard’s quick-kick pinned Minnesota inside the 5-yard line. Coluzzi was efficient kicking off, and Keith Duncan converted both field-goal attempts. Long-range kicker Miguel Recinos was short on his 50-yard effort.
Coaching (4 stars)
Iowa rebounded from some porous days stopping the run with its best game. The Hawkeyes applied discipline and focus to the Gophers’ ground attack. That’s good coaching. After problems protecting Beathard last week, Iowa juggled its offensive line and had a decent day running the ball and slowing down Minnesota’s pass rush. There are plenty of areas still in need of improvement, but Iowa’s coaching staff patched up the greatest problem areas and won in a tough environment.
Overall (4 stars)
A win’s a win. Iowa doesn’t have to apologize for its lack of flashy plays. The Hawkeyes went on the road at a border rival with a better 2016 resume and fought for a victory. Was it perfect? Absolutely not. But it was something the team can build upon as it approaches the season’s second half.