When was the last time the Gophers won in Iowa City? Well, it has been a very long time. Perhaps this is the year they win and the NEW answer to that question will be 2021. But what will it take to bring Floyd of Rosedale back to Minnesota?
- Break the mold - I will never for get 2019 when the Gopher went down to Iowa City as favorites against an Iowa team that had a very vanilla and unexplosive offense. Brian Ferentz came out looking very un-Iowa. The Gopher D was flummoxed and on their heels. They recovered, the Minnesota offense got on track but they never recovered from the 20-3 Iowa lead was too much to overcome. I want the Gopher offense to come out and flummox Iowa this time around. Be creative, execute and put some points on the board.
- Turnovers - More than any other game this year, I think turnovers plays an integral role. Iowa’s offense tends to turn it over and the Iowa defense has FEASTED on turnovers all season, especially in their wins. It will be very difficult for the Gophers to come away with a win if they are minus in the turnover department.
- Special Teams - This is NOT a strength of the Gophers but in what is anticipated to be a close game, things like field position and making your makeable field goals are going to be key.
OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH
- #8 QB - Alex Padilla - Not to be confused with the US Senator from California. Padilla over for Spencer Petras last week against Northwestern and is the presumed starter for Saturday. A sophomore from Colorado who only had offers from lower level programs and Iowa.
- #4 DB - Dane Belton - 4 picks, 3 TFLs and one of the team’s leading tacklers.
I really was confident that the Gophers were going to struggle last week against Illinois. Of course I thought they would win, but do so ugly. I thought there would be a little too much feeling good about the 4-game win streak and just one more formality before heading to Iowa for a big rivalry game. So that happened, but there is still the Iowa game.
I have confidence that the Gophers get things going again and win this game. If the Gopher offense can get back to a balanced rhythm, they will in this game. If not, it will be a grinder that comes down to someone making a critical mistake at the wrong time.
Minnesota - 20 (that’s a missed PAT, not 2 FGs)
Iowa - 13