MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — In a three-hour fistfight, Iowa outlasted rival Minnesota 14-7 Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
Running back Akrum Wadley burst up the middle for a 54-yard touchdown run with 5:28 left to give the Hawkeyes a 12-7 lead. Running back LeShun Daniels blasted in for the 2-point conversion to provide the winning margin.
Minnesota drove from its own 12-yard line to the Iowa 18 before cornerback Greg Mabin broke up a fourth-down pass intended for Brian Smith in the end zone.
Iowa retains possession the Floyd of Rosedale traveling trophy for one more year.
The Hawkeyes (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) remain a game out of first place in the Big Ten West division. The Gophers (3-2, 0-2) are now two games behind Nebraska.
Five things we learned
- Iowa will make changes up front. The Hawkeyes juggled its starters along the offensive line with Cole Croston moving to right tackle, Ike Boettger moving to left guard and Boone Myers shifting to left tackle. Myers started 10 games at left tackle last year, and Croston opened six games at right tackle, so neither of those moves are foreign. Boettger has 11 starts at right tackle before kicking inside.
- Desmond King is quite the defensive performer. Twice in the first half, Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner passed twice in his direction and King broke up both attempts. On one other attempt, Leidner threw a swing pass to running back Rodney Smith. King crunched Smith for a 2-yard loss.
- After Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard was drilled on a blitz after a three-step drop, play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin said, “I don’t how this guy is going to survive the season.” Beathard was sacked 14 times entering the game.
- Iowa drove from its 30 to the Minnesota 10 on the first drive of the second half. On third and 7, quarterback C.J. Beathard found receiver Jerminic Smith along the left sideline for an apparent touchdown. But Smith’s foot touched the out of bounds marker by an inch, forcing the Hawkeyes to kick a field goal to increase its lead to 6-0 instead of 10-0. The play was not reviewed.
- Iowa sophomore safety Brandon Snyder has played inconsistently but he has caused a turnover in three consecutive games. He intercepted Leidner’s second-down pass with 2:30 left to allow Iowa to milk some clock.
Best trophy in all of sports. https://t.co/O33Z6tQJjw
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 8, 2016
After a Beathard interception, Iowa forced Minnesota with another three-and-out. The Hawkeyes took over at its 46. Wadley cut behind a pulling guard and raced 54 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Daniels rushed in for the 2-point conversion to give Iowa a 14-7 lead.
Once again, Iowa’s receivers struggled to gain separation against an athletic secondary. It was late in the fourth quarter before Iowa receivers passed 100 yards. Iowa threw for only 142 all day.
Iowa’s run defense had its best game of the season. The Hawkeyes allowed just 102 yards on 29 Gophers’ running attempts for a 3.5 yards-per-carry average. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but it’s an improvement.
Beathard has two quick punts this season for a 38.5-yard average. Both of his kicks landed were downed inside the 5-yard line.
What it means
In a de facto elimination game, Iowa now stays in the Big Ten West race. The Hawkeyes play at Purdue next week before hosting Wisconsin on Oct. 22.