We’re two quarters from finding out where the Floyd of Rosedale will spend the next year and the Hawkeyes lead the Gophers 3-0 at the half at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gopher offense has been pathetic so far. Mitch Leidner didn’t complete a pass until the closing minutes of the second quarter. On that same drive, the Gopher offense picked up their second first down of the game and also crossed midfield for the first time. But Leidner threw his third interception of the season to kill the drive and send Gopher fans scrambling for the nearest alcoholic beverage.
The first quarter was a wash. Nothing but turnovers and penalties. Leidner was 0-for-4 with two drops and two bad passes, one almost intercepted by Iowa cornerback Desmond King. After Iowa missed a 50-yard field goal attempt, Rodney Smith fumbled at the 50 and the Hawkeyes recovered, before their ensuing drive was thwarted by a KiAnte Hardin interception on a deep pass to the end zone from C.J. Beathard. The Gophers couldn’t capitalize on that turnover despite Shannon Brooks running well, as a holding penalty, a false start, and an ill-advised quarterback draw forced a punt.
Iowa put together the game’s first scoring drive at the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second. The Hawkeyes drove to the Minnesota 5 before two rushes for no gain and a Damarius Travis pass break-up in the end zone held them to a field goal for a 3-0 lead. Minnesota responded with another three and out on offense.
The Gophers’ best drive of the game was their last of the first half. It was a 12-play, 50-yard drive that ended in the aforementioned Leidner interception. Fortunately, Iowa wasn’t able to capitalize on their next drive before the half.
What an ugly game. And unless the Gophers can figure out how to play offense in the second half, it’s not going to get any prettier.