MINNEAPOLIS — Tyler Goodson rushed for a career-high 142 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, and Iowa’s defense clamped down hard on Minnesota for a 35-7 victory on Friday night that gave the Hawkeyes possession of the Floyd of Rosedale trophy for the sixth season.
Jack Koerner and Riley Moss each picked off Tanner Morgan for the Gophers quarterback’s first two-interception game in two years, and Zach VanValkenburg had three of the team’s four sacks. Iowa’s defense has a streak of 11 straight games with at least one interception.
The Hawkeyes (2-2) had to wait to hoist the 98-pound bronze pig until they reached the locker room for virus protocols, but their 16th win in the last 20 games against their border-state rival to the north was just as sweet.
Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 144 yards on 33 attempts, but the junior tailback who entered the evening with the highest rushing average in the FBS didn’t come close to controlling the game like he did the last two weeks. Ibrahim rushed for 431 yards and eight scores against Maryland and Illinois, but the normally stout Iowa defensive line considerably narrowed his lanes.
Morgan finished 16 of 33 for 167 yards passing – hitting Rashod Bateman eight times for 111 yards and a touchdown with 14 seconds left that prevented the Hawkeyes from finalizing their first shutout of the Gophers since 2009.
Minnesota (1-3) had seven penalties for 75 yards in the first half and just 110 total yards on offense. With his team trailing 14-0 in the third quarter, coach P.J. Fleck opted for a 39-yard field goal that was blocked – leaving a 17-play, 74-yard drive with no points. Goodson broke off a 45-yard run on the next snap.
Spencer Petras went 9 of 18 for 111 yards passing and one touchdown to Ihmir Smith-Marsette, plus one interception for Iowa.
Iowa: With the kickoff temperature at 33 degrees, the Hawkeyes and their outside zone running scheme were in their element. Goodson’s first touchdown capped an 85-yard drive during which Petras did not complete a pass, aided by 20 penalty yards on the Gophers.
Minnesota: Whether it’s the inexperience on defense, the effect on Bateman and the offense of the departure of wide receiver Tyler Johnson to the NFL or the disrupted offseason by the virus outbreak, the Gophers are missing the mojo they had on their way to an 11-2 finish in 2019 for their fewest losses in 52 years.
Iowa: Visits Penn State next week, back on a Saturday schedule.
Minnesota: Hosts Purdue next week, again on Friday night.