Saturday’s result against Iowa was disappointing and frustrating.
Disappointing from the standpoint that we have not defeated our hated rival to the south since 2014.
Disappointing because this was the third game in four seasons where Minnesota dominated for stretches by made more mistakes than the Hawkeyes to find a way to lose.
- 2019 - Tanner Morgan throws for 368 yards, 170 of which goes to Tyler Johnson. The Gophers outgain Iowa by 141 yards but lose because Iowa jumped out to a 13-0 lead and the Gophers lose 23-19.
- 2021 - Once again, Minnesota outgained Iowa by 130+ yards, this time they won the turnover battle and even had a 13-10 halftime lead. But an uncharacteristic 72-yard touchdown and a really bad missed tackle that led to a 27-yard touchdown gave Iowa enough points to hold off Minnesota...again.
- 2022 - Again, moved the ball on offense, particularly in the 2nd half. But a Mohamed Ibrahim fumble and a bad Athan Kaliakmanis interception in the 4th quarter led to a late Iowa FG and a 10-13 Hawkeye win.
All three of these games could have (should have?) gone the other way. But they did not, Iowa made the necessary plays to win and PJ Fleck remains winless against Kirk Ferentz.
Disappointing for everyone.
This past Saturday was frustrating because you got an incredible performance from Ibrahim and the Gopher offensive line. Up against an Iowa defense that was really good against the run and Ibrahim ran for 263 yards, most of that coming in the 2nd half. Iowa had no answer for him, all signs pointed to Minnesota wearing down the Iowa defense and a late score seemed inevitable.
Frustrating because it is looking like Iowa is going to win the Big Ten West for the second consecutive season. A team that has looked rather vulnerable in recent seasons but Minnesota is just unable to take a step past them.
Frustrating to watch.
But it is more than just this game and this rivalry. There is frustration amongst the fan base, which I get, but we do need to be cautious here.
I’m perfectly understanding of frustrations, but I’m still enjoying one last regular season game and a chance to win The Axe.
We will tackle larger, looming questions, when we finish the season.
For now, we’ll be frustrated and disappointed.