Iowa retains Floyd of Rosedale with 48-31 victory over Gophers
The pig will remain in Iowa for a fourth consecutive year.
Nate Stanley passed for 314 yards and four touchdowns and Iowa swung momentum with a trick play for a touchdown in a 48-31 victory over the Gophers on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. With the win, the Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) kept possession of the bronze hog Floyd of Rosedale trophy and handed the Gophers (3-2, 0-2) their ninth consecutive defeat in their traditional trophy games.
Iowa led 14-0 after its first two possessions and kept the Gophers at arms length for the rest of the game. Minnesota twice had the lead down to seven points, at 14-17 and 31-24, but the Hawkeyes quickly responded with touchdowns of their own to regain control.
Iowas defense made things tough on Gophers quarterbacks all afternoon. Defensive end Anthony Nelson had three of the Hawkeyes five sacks, and Minnesota threw four interceptions three by Zack Annexstad and one by Seth Green.
With the Gophers forced to play catchup throughout the game, Annexstad completed 17 of 33 passes for 218 yards and three TDs with the three picks. The Minnesota run game produced only 86 yards on 31 carries.
The Gophers went three-and-out on their first possession, with Rashod Bateman dropping a second-down pass and Nelson sacking Annexstad on third down.
A 33-yard punt by Jacob Herbers set the Hawkeyes up at their 47, and they took advantage by scoring the first touchdown. Iowa drove to the Gophers 23 and faced fourth-and-2. Stanley hit Ihmir Smith-Marsette for a 9-yard gain. On third-and-8, Stanley found Ivory Kelly-Martin for a 15-yard gain to the 5. Stanley then connected with tight end T.J. Hockenson for a 3-yard TD pass.
After a Gophers three-and-out, Iowa doubled its lead. Stanley escaped the Minnesota pass rush and found a wide-open Smith-Marsette for a 60-yard TD strike on third down for a 14-0 lead with 5:48 left in the first quarter. Miscommunication between cornerback Terell Smith and safety Antonio Shenault appeared to allow Smith-Marsette to roam free. At that point, Stanley was 6-for-7 for 108 yards and two TDs.
The Gophers offense came to life on the next series. Annexstad hit Tyler Johnson for a 13-yard gain on third-and-four from the Minnesota 31. Four plays later, Chris Autman-Bell leaped to catch an Annexstad pass for a 34-yard gain to the Iowa 7. Three plays after that, Annexstad found Bateman in the corner of the end zone for a 3-yard TD pass, cutting Iowas lead to 14-7 with 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
Minnesotas defense forced its first punt early in the second quarter, and the offense had a promising start as Annexstad hit Autman-Bell for a 16-yard gain, and Ibrahim followed with an 11-yard run. But back-to-back sacks by Nelson pushed the Gophers back 14 yards, and Annexstad was hit while throwing the ball away on third down. He hobbled off the field and had his ankle taped on the sideline.
Iowa pushed the lead to 21-7 with 5:57 left in the first half by perfectly executing a trick play. Facing fourth-and-goal from the 4, the Hawkeyes ran the swinging gate play with field-goal personnel on the field. With holder Colten Rastetter and kicker Miguel Recinos lined up 7 yards behind long snapper Jackson Subbert on the left hash mark, Subbert snapped the ball diagonally to Hockenson, who was near the right hash and behind six linemen. Hockenson rumbled in for the score, capping a 14-play, 74-yard march.
The Gophers cut the lead to 21-10 on Emmit Carpenters 49-yard field goal. After Minnesotas defense forced a three-and-out, the Gophers tried their own trick play. In punt formation and facing fourth-and-5 from their 49, the Gophers had Herbers try a long pass to Chris Autman-Bell. But the pass was overthrown, and Iowa took over.
The Hawkeyes wasted no time making it 28-10. A 25-yard pass from Stanley to Kelly-Martin moved it to the 21, and Stanley then found Nick Easley wide open over the middle for a 21-yard TD strike with 1:35 left in the half.
The Gophers got a 52-yard hookup between Annexstad and Tyler Johnson to the Iowa 28, but Hawkeyes freshman cornerback Riley Moss intercepted an underthrown pass in the end zone on the next play.
Stanley, however, gave the ball right back, throwing an ill-advised pass that Gophers safety Jacob Huff intercepted and returned 20 yards to the Iowa 6. Two plays later, Annexstad hit Johnson on a slant for a 6-yard TD pass that cut the lead to 28-17 with 53 seconds left in the half.
The Hawkeyes made it 31-17 on their first possession of the second half when Recinos kicked a 40-yard field goal.
The Gophers got a big play from Carter Coughlin, who sacked Stanley and forced a fumble that Thomas Barber returned 7 yards to the Iowa 3. Seth Greens 1-yard TD run cut Iowas lead to 31-24 with 7:36 left in the third quarter.
A 49-yard kickoff return by Smith-Marsette set the Hawkeyes up well, and they took advantage by driving 51 yards to push the lead to 38-24 on Stanleys 5-yard TD pass to Noah Fant.
The Gophers drove reached the Iowa 28 on their next possession, but Annexstads fourth-and-4 pass to Johnson was broken up by Amani Hooker. Another interception of Annexstad set up Recinos 20-yard field goal for a 41-24 lead.
Annexstads 7-yard TD pass to Bateman with 5:35 left made it 41-31. Iowa tacked on a 2-yard TD run by Mekhi Sargent with 1:27 left to set the final score.