A game where almost nothing went right. The worst first half the Minnesota Gophers have played in the Big Ten season, if not all year. Possessions into Iowa territory that came up empty. Key missed kicks. And the starting QB going out with an injury late. Maybe you can overcome all of that at home, but not on the road in a rivalry game.
There’s plenty to be frustrated with in this game. GN was in Iowa City and will have the full recap, so I’ll just quickly run through some of the highs and lows.
- 1st half defense. Iowa seemed to get pretty much whatever they wanted in the first half. The Gophers didn’t really blitz and Nate Stanley remained comfortable.
- Missed opportunities abound. The Gophers first half was also an example of what happens when a team that has capitalized on it’s chances for weeks starts to come up short unexpectedly. A missed field goal. The first examples of not getting a TD inside the 10 yard line all year. In the second half Minnesota is driving for the tying score when Tyler Johnson drops a sure first down catch inside the 10.
- Tanner Morgan kept bringing it. Despite the missed opportunities as a team, Tanner Morgan kept the Gophers in it. While he had 3 balls batted down at the line of scrimmage in the first half, he completed key pass after key pass. What little luck Minnesota had tonight also came through for Tanner, as Iowa failed to intercept the two throws he’d want back.
- Two feet full of buckshot. The Gophers found ways to make the kind of errors they’ve avoided for weeks and weeks now. Missed tackles. Dropped passes. Poorly timed penalties. Forced timeouts at the wrong moment. Special teams flubs.
In the end, well, ugh.