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Who Hates Iowa? This Guy from Iowa.

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The living room was silent, aside from the sound of the game on the television. My fiance at the time -- now my wife -- knew how much this game meant to me and how nervous I got in the hours before kickoff, so she watched in silence, sometimes observing and studying my reactions more than the actual game. The Hawkeyes were marching down the field, seemingly at will, against the Gophers en route to a 7-0 lead in the latest battle for the Floyd of Rosedale.

Four words and a defeated sigh were all I could muster.

"Here we go again."

Having grown up in Iowa as a fan of the Gophers, the Floyd of Rosedale game holds a special place of importance for me, more so than the Little Brown Jug or even Paul Bunyan's Axe. The outcome would determine how much flack I'd have to take from Hawkeye fans over the next year. And I can assure you, Hawkeye fans have little trouble dealing out flack. Rock bottom was the 55-0 debacle to close out the Metrodome. To make matters worse, I had to watch that game in a basement full of Hawkeye fans. You can imagine how humiliating it was to have to endure that experience.

For much of the past decade and a half, the series has been lopsided in favor of the Hawkeyes. The first time I ever saw the Gophers in person was in 2005 at Kinnick Stadium, when Ed Hinkel and the Hawkeyes ran roughshod over the Gophers for a final score of 52-28. There have been wins here and there, but none as embarrassing for the Hawkeyes as 55-0 was for the Gophers. No matter what the Gophers did, Hawkeye fans could point to that final Metrodome loss and laugh -- or at least that is how it felt.

Fast forward to November 8, 2014.

Just two weeks prior to this particular battle for the Floyd of Rosedale, the Gophers rolled into Champaign and suffered a deflating loss to the Fighting Illini, halting a winning streak that included a rare victory over Michigan to re-claim the Little Brown Jug and a pair of nail-biting wins over Northwestern and Purdue. The following Saturday, the Hawkeyes thrashed Northwestern to the tune of 48-7. The stage was set for Iowa to roll over a Minnesota team that had been brought back down to Earth.

And when Mark Weisman scored from a yard out to cap a drive that saw the Hawkeyes convert three third downs, I started mentally preparing myself for that exactly that.

"Here we go again."

The Gophers of the previous two seasons had been 4-0 heading into their matchup with the Hawkeyes. On both occasions, I considered the Gophers to be the better team and expected them to win. And on both occasions, I was proven wrong. I was determined not to suffer another letdown after being burned two years in a row.

But the outcome I so dreaded never came to pass.

The Gophers scored a touchdown.

And then another.

And another.

And another.

And another.

I can't even begin to describe how it felt when the Gophers headed to the locker room up 35-7 at halftime. The tables had been turned. For once, the Gophers were putting a beatdown on the Hawkeyes. And I was loving every minute of it. I never wanted the game to end, but when it finally did, I was grinning from ear-to-ear for days.

The best part? I haven't heard a peep from Hawkeye fans since.

So much of the Jerry Kill Era has been about exorcising demons for me, and that 51-14 win over the Hawkeyes is but one perfect example. We all know that the program hit rock bottom under Tim Brewster. But even before that, when Glen Mason was at the helm, the Gophers were often susceptible to an excessive amount of heartbreaking and gut-wrenching losses. And when you have your heart pulled out of your chest that often, you tend to avoid letting anyone near it. And when the chips are down, a defeatist attitude is sometimes all you can muster.

"Same old Gophers" is the phrase you hear yourself muttering.

But with Coach Kill, it is becoming harder and harder to believe that. Yes, we haven't stopped losing to Wisconsin, but with wins over Penn State, Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska, I'm finding it difficult to be cynical anymore.

In fact, it hasn't felt this good to be a Gopher in a long time.

Is there a particular game from the past few seasons where you have had a similar experience? Let's hear about it!

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