This past weekend, the BTN put on several classic Gopher Football games to go along with their 2014 Gopher preview live from practice. One of the games was the 2011 Iowa game. So I decided to do a retroactive running daily a la Bill Simmons from ESPN and Grantland. An example of one of his retroactive running diaries is here. This will kind of be different, but similar in many ways. Without further adieu, the 2011 Iowa/ Minnesota football game, as I watched it.
0:00 Looks like a gorgeous day to be at TCF Bank stadium...here's to hoping we get some of those days in October this fall.
0:01 Band sounds really echoed. You would think be 2011 they could figure out a way to mic that successfully, but apparently not.
0:01:30 So we get about a minute of the band...and then commercial. So that's why games take like three and a half hours nowadays...
0:04 Gophers run out of the tunnel wearing all maroon uniforms. They were probably the best of the Brewster era uniforms.
0:05 Announcers talking up Marcus Coker. Foreshadowing. Really talking up Gray as well. Expecting lots of QB draws and iso. Again...foreshadowing.
0:06 Sideline reporter Dionne Miller talks about Floyd. Iowa currently 0-3 on trophies. Iowa's battle cry for the day, "Lets go get that Pig" Something tells me that's said a lot in Iowa.
0:07 Gophers kick off. Announcers discuss the lack of pressure from the Gopher defense. Only five sacks at this point in late October. Eww.
0:08 New left guard starting for Iowa- Brandon Scherff. Not like he's done anything in the last few years.....
0:09 Marvin McNutt wide open up the middle for 26. Would have been nice to get him busted for drugs before this game....
0:10 Chase Haviland starting at safety for the Gophers? Wow...our defense was worse then I had remembered.
0:11 Wow Shede looks small as hell in this game. Crazy to see how much bigger he got in two years.
0:12 Iowa goes for it on 4th and 6 from the MN 35. Iowa gets 5. MN ball. First big crowd roar. Ferentz should have punted from there considering how much he likes punts.
0:14 Gray takes the field after a commercial break. Runs for 11 yards, but comes back via a penalty. Epping with a clip. Getting feisty already.
0:16 Nice pass to McKnight. Weber to Decker it ain't, but still serviceable.
0:17 Orseske punting for Minnesota. Man really makes you love Peter Mortell more...
0:19 Announcers talking about how MN fans not mad at Kill even thought only one win to that part. Saying future looks bright. Nice they got that back then.
0:20 Another big run for Coker. Man he killed us this game. And then after this season.....AIRBHG
0:21 Coker on the run, Shede on the stop. Didn't eat him yet though.
0:22 Gophers make another defensive stop. Keenan Cooper with a nice tackle.
0:25 Gray to McKnight again after a commercial. He really did rely on him a lot that season didn't he.
0:28 Run up the middle and a fumble by....David Cobb??? Wow forgot completely he played that season. At least he recovered it back. Seriously have no recollection of Cobb playing in this game. That fumble may have been why. Wow...
0:29 Gray throws the pass away after getting rushed by Broderick Binns (damn you Cretin). Orseske to punt again. Huge boot. 68 yard punt. But too far and a touchback. Man...if he could have been consistent.
0:30 Penn State 7-0??? Wow I don't remember much of 2011.
0:31 Vandenberg now getting a lot of praise. Not completely sure why. He always seemed really overrated to me.
0:32 Coker goes for 50. Huge hole. Untouched. Sure don't miss those days.
0:33 Wow, Brock Vereen looks small too. Really shows you the difference Coach Klein's S&C program has done.
0:34 Iowa brings Mike Meyer on to kick a 24 yard field goal. But he missed it. Wide left. Wonder if that chip shot will come back to hurt them later.....(pssst... It does)
0:35 Duane Bennett with back to back nice runs. He was a pretty good back for us. Just got stuck on some crappy teams.
0:36 One more run by Bennett before the end of the first quarter. Still 0-0. You can really see Limegrover and Kill didn't trust Gray to throw the ball yet though. Lots of running or really short passes.
0:38 Chris Bunders with a false start to make 3rd and 1 3rd and 6. Another MN punt. I think we have seriously upgraded the O-line since 2011...that's for sure.
0:39 Keenan Cooper with a helmet to helmet on McNutt. Before it was illegal. Would be 15 more today.
0:40 Coker just blew up Christian Lewis. Ouch.
0:41 Absolutely no push by the Gopher D-line on the rushes by Iowa. All tackles are by linebackers, safeties, or D-linemen running downfield and catching Coker from behind.
0:42 Now Lewis with a questionable PI in the endzone on McNutt. Man....we REALLY have upgraded the secondary since then.
0:43 Holy crap...a sack! Anthony Jacobs. Sixth sack in eight games.
0:48 After an Iowa timeout,the Gophers get another sack! D.L. Wilhite. Just ran through future first round pick Reilly Reiff
0:49 Myers donks the upright, another missed field goal. Man this game could have gone so many other ways if Iowa hadn't sucked early.
0:51 Bennett fumbles and Iowa recovers. It stands because of ANOTHER chop block on Epping. Man he had a mean streak in him early.
0:52 The fumble is under review. Its still a fumble. Kill is not happy.
0:54 Coker keeps RUTM for mucho yards. Just shredding arm tackles.
0:55 218-84 Iowa edge in total yards with 8 min to go in the 2nd. Yet still 0-0. How?
0:56 Kyle Henderson vs Marvin McNutt. Yeah that won't end well for Minnesota.
0:57 4th and 1 and no one sees Vandenberg hustling up to the line to sneak it. Defensive awareness not quite there yet.
0:58 Gary Tinsley with the tackle. RIP GT51
0:59 Lewis just got plowed by Coker again. That's just not fair.
1:01 McNutt with the TD in single coverage guarded by Henderson. Yep...called that one. Iowa finally goes up 7-0
1:04 Malcolm Moulton on the kick return for the Gophers. Sometimes you just need to laugh at how bad it was...
1:06 Gray with the huge pass to....Devin Crawford-Tufts! DCT down to the Iowa 15.
1:08 Kirkwood with his first carry of the game. That would be another reason why we wouldn't see Cobb again for a long time.
1:09 Man...Gray sure liked turning nothing into 4-6 yards. Especially against Iowa.
1:10 We were really conservative in the red zone. Gray run, Kirkwood run.
1:12 Touchdown Gophers! Collin McGarry! Five bucks if you could remember he scored that without me telling you. Jordan Wettstein adds the PAT for his first collegiate point, Chris Hawthorne out with a hammy for what would end up being about a season and a half. 7-7 1:13 to play in the first half.
1:17 Two Coker carries run out the first half. 7-7 at halftime. I don't remember feeling insanely lucky at this point in the game, but we sure should have been.
1:20 They are actually showing the full halftime show from the game. Didn't expect that. Grinnin Glen in studio. He's impressed with the Gopher D...even though Coker has almost 200 rushing yards.
1:21 Gophers had given up 40+ in their first three B1G games in 2011. Sort of blacked that out....
1:32 More Moulton returning kicks as the 2nd half starts. Yuck.
1:33 Caleb Bak now in at LG. Tommy Olson injured. Would have a big change for the next year and a half in how the Gopher's O-line looked.
1:34 Minnesota goes 3 and out. Run, run, pass. Hmmm...seems familiar.
1:35 McNutt gains 20 on Henderson again. How the hell didn't he have like 200 and 3 tds.
1:36 Iowa runs four plays to start the 2nd half and no Coker? Why the hell not? Come on Ferentz?
1:37 Never mind....there he is. First down Iowa.
1:39 McNutt on the end around for 19. He was damn good. Could have probably had a good NFL career if not for that whole drugs thing.
1:41 Coker into the endzone to give Iowa a 14-7 lead. You can feel the Gopher fans thinking that bend but not break has finally broke.
1:45 Eric Lair drops and easy pass from Gray. He usually was fairly sure-handed, but not there. Another incomplete and the Gophers go 3 and out again. Not a good start to the third quarter.
1:50 Iowa keeps running Coker. Over 200 yards now. Just up the middle for eight yards. No signs of the Gophers to stop him.
1:51 Kim Royston making tackles all over the field. He was good at that.
1:52 BTN crew still praising Vandenberg non-stop. Well..yeah most Big Ten quarterbacks looked good against our pass defense in 2011.
1:53 Royston up to 14 tackles. Nice, but as BTN points out, the linebackers are not helping which is why he has so many.
1:54 Big gain on a pass to C. J. Fiedorowitz. Burned Shady Salomon. Forgot he played some safety in 2011.
1:55 Big stop by Ben Perry on Coker when Iowa was rolling. Gopher D-line finally getting some push.
1:56 VANDENBERG FUMBLE!!! Huge hit by....Kyle Henderson. Well....guess I shouldn't have been bad mouthing him for the first three quarters of this game. Big recovery by Kirksey! Though he almost lost it...but we'll let that slide.
1:57 GRAY TO CRAWFORD-TUFTS! What a diving catch! Woo right back in this! WHO HATES IOWA!!!
1:57:30 So he pushed off....eh. Oh crap....now its under review.
2:01 CALL UPHELD! Woo DCT!!! WE HATE IOWA!!
2:03 Eight in the box for Iowa....and Gray runs it up the middle. Yeah that doesn't work.
2:04 Gray misses McKnight in the back of the end zone....Wettstein on for his first fg attempt, and the Gophers settle for 3. Excitement level decreasing. 14-10 Iowa late 3rd quarter.
2:07 Showing Hawthorne trying to warm-up but can't due to hammy. He's wearing #7. Raise your hand if you remember him ever wearing #7. Not this guy.
2:08. Yawn, more McNutt. Same story, different drive. Tracy Claeys still working out the kinks.
2:09 More Coker. Gopher fans getting restless. End of the 3rd quarter. Guessing we might have an exciting finish to this one.
2:14 Another Coker run, another Royston tackle. Big third down here.
2:15 Vandenberg finds the tackle eligible who is wide open on the 2. Of course he does....
2:16 Coker TD. 21-10 Iowa. Gulp. Well..it was fun while it lasted.
2:20 Two runs for Bennett for 15 total yards. That's nice.
2:21 Three in a row now...ok Limey time to mix it up a bit.
2:22 Kirkwood up the middle sets up a huge 3rd and 1. Hmm...guess who's getting it this play?
2:22:30 Kirkwood RUTM for -1 yards. Oh Limegrover.
2:23 4th and 1. Going for it. Gray sneak...did he get it?
2:23:30 Measurement time....
2:24 FIRST DOWN BY 2 INCHES!!!
2:25 Gray running for his life finds McKnight! Great leaping catch!
2:26 Bennett with a 14-yard run! RUTM is working!!! Iowa on their heels.
2:26:30 Gray on the roll...looking to throw....and run! Run!!! Down to the four.
2:27 Bennett up the middle to the 2. Need 7 here. No question.
2:28 Bennett TD!!! 21-16 with 8:22 to go.
2:28:30 Gopher go for 2....with Max Shortell under center? Throws incomplete. Why? This was still in Kill's trickery learning curve. Hopefully he has grown out of that stage by now.
2:29 Time to kick...AND ITS ONSIDES!!!!! AGAIN!!!!! HAHAHAHA IOWA!!! ROYSTON!!!! What a great playcall. Yay Trickery!!
2:30 Bennett runs through three Hawkeyes to get 12-yards! BTN announcer says Iowa is seeing the demons of last year coming back! Damn Right!
2:31 Crap, Bennett hurt on the table on the sidelines. Looking at his left knee. Not good.
2:32 Gray running for his life again splits two defenders and gets another nine yards to the Iowa 35!
2:33 Bennett back in. Whew....
2:33:30 Gray over the middle to McGarry! 23 more yards!
2:34 Gray for McGarry in the endzone....through his hands. Third and seven from the Iowa 10....gulp.
2:35 Gray to McKnight. Great catch with McKnight using his body to shield the defender. First and goal and the crowd is getting loud!
2:36 Bennett up the middle stopped at the one. Come on boys...
2:36:45 Bennett again...stuffed. Come on O-Line. Come on Limegrover....
2:37 Minnesota calls timeout. Third and goal from the 2. 3:11 to play. Hope Kill has got something good planned here.
2:38 Gray runs it in....but a flag. Illegal motion on John Rabe. Ouch. Now third and goal from the 7.
2:40 Gray throws to Brandon Green....caught but on the three. Fourth and goal from the three. This is it. Either something bad happens, or the Gophers have a play that lives in history.
2:40:30 Iowa calls timeout. Guessing Norm Parker and Ferentz tell the defense to look for Gray to run.
2:41 HISTORY IS MADE!!! GRAY TOUCHDOWN! THE CORNER! PANDEMONIUM!!! PLAY THAT ROUSER!! JUMPING AND SCREAMING!!
2:43 Gophers go for 2. Gray throws to McKnight, incomplete...but a flag! Student section chanting, "You Can't Do That!" Another chance from the 1.
2:44 Gray runs up the middle....but is short. 2:48 to go. Gophers up 1. Going to have to play defense now...against "One of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten" according to the announcers.
2:46 Iowa starts on their own 25. Gopher crowd is loud.
2:47 Incomplete pass.
2:47:30 Gophers blitz, Vandenberg hits his tight end, but ball knocked out by Christian Lewis....Oh him...
2:48 Third and ten, really loud crowd. Pass dropped! Crowd even louder.
2:49 4th and ten. Iowa going for it. False Start! Gopher crowd got to them!
2:50 4th and 15 now. Vandenberg runs.....but he can't get there! Gopher Ball! Gophers going crazy! Fans going crazy!
2:51 2:22 of clock for the Gophers to kill now...
2:51:30 Bennett gets four. Iowa takes their last time out. Six yards and this is over...
2:52 Bennett hit in the backfield. Third and 6 now. MN needs a first down, or Iowa will have another shot.
2:53 Gray rolls right.....and GETS THE FIRST DOWN!!! FLOYD IS STAYING HOME!!!!
2:54 Gophers on the bench already hugging Floyd.
2:55 Gray knees one last time....and the game is over! AND HERE COME THE STUDENTS!!!!!!
2:56 Floyd being carried by the players in a mass of fans on the field. Its so beautiful...
2:57 Kill says he is just happy for the kids. Asked about the onside kick, Kill replies, "I've been rolling the dice all my life. I've rolled it before and it worked out today. If I wouldn't have done it, or if we wouldn't have made it, they would have ran me out of town!"
2:58 The fans just keep coming.... What a beautiful picture. I'm down there somewhere.
2:59 Gray taking pictures on the field with frat bros! Got to love it!
2:59:30 Gray interviewed...can't hardly hear. Who Hates Iowa Chant ringing through background.
3:00 And that does it.
That was awesome. What a great game to relive! Here's to homing that November 8th is another Minnesota/ Iowa game for the history books.