Recap: Floyd Will Return to Iowa City After Hawkeyes Win

Oct 8, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back LeShun Daniels Jr. (29) looks on during pre game before a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back LeShun Daniels Jr. (29) looks on during pre game before a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

A recap of the Iowa Hawkeyes win over Minnesota, 14-7

It wasn’t pretty, but the Iowa Hawkeyes escaped Minneapolis with a win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 14-7. The Floyd of Rosedale trophy will return to Iowa City and the Hawkeyes are back in the thick of things in the Big Ten West, improving to 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in conference play.

It was another hard-nosed, defensive-minded game for both teams. The Hawkeyes took a mere 3-0 lead into the second half despite dominating the first half. In fact, Iowa had a measly six points until late into the fourth quarter when Akrum Wadley burst through the Minnesota defense for the game-winning 54-yard touchdown with 5:28 remaining.

While C.J. Beathard threw two interceptions, and only completed 17-of-31 passes for 142 yards, it didn’t help that Iowa’s receivers were dropping passes on every drive. Still, the Hawkeyes offense only managed two field-goals through the first three and a half quarters and almost wasted a beautiful performance by the defense.

After allowing a season-high 38 points against Northwestern a week ago, the Hawkeyes defense had arguably their best performance of the season. They shut down the Gophers offense and held them to just 268 yards on the night.

Mitch Leidner struggled all afternoon for Minnesota. He completed 13-of-33 passes and threw two interceptions. Both teams had three turnovers today — two interceptions and a fumble for each. Although, the Hawkeyes pass rush put constant pressure on Leidner and forced him into inaccurate throws.

That being said, the Hawkeyes still had a tough time stopping the run at times. Iowa came up with big stops and didn’t let the run game wear them down like it has earlier in the season, but Minnesota’s running back duo had a solid afternoon, nonetheless.

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Shannon Brooks rushed for 55 yards and had a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter on 10 carries. Rodney Smith suffered a minor hand injury early in the game but he stayed in the game and led the team in carries. To go along with a fumble, Smith gained 44 yards on 11 carries. Each had a solid performance, however sacks and costly penalties forced Minnesota to pass often and Leidner didn’t adapt to his expanded role.

When it comes down to it, both teams had plenty of chances to take the lead and put the game away. After being close to breaking a big run all game, Akrum Wadley finally broke a 54-yard touchdown, which proved to be the difference of the game.

Wadley finished the game with 104 yards on 14 carries. Although, LeShun Daniels Jr was the workhorse back of the second half with 17 carries for 66 yards on the afternoon.

Still, Minnesota had six possessions in the fourth quarter, however, they resulted in four three-and-outs, an interception and Minnesota’s failed potential game-winning drive to end the game. Iowa’s defense had to make multiple big stands, and they did so every time.

Quick Hits

  • Iowa has struggled to win the time of possession battle all season. They easily won it today, though. The Hawkeyes held the ball for 34:55 compared to Minnesota’s 25:05. While Iowa was able to move the ball, they failed to convert it into points.
  • Keith Duncan connected on both of his field-goal attempts today, both under 30-yards. Although, Iowa tried a 50-yard field goal in the first quarter and sent Miguel Recinos out to kick it. Recinos missed and kept the game at 0-0.
  • Manny Rugamba recorded the first interception of his career. He now has more interceptions than Desmond King, who had a great game, on the year.
  • Riley McCarron led the team in receptions and yards, however he dropped multiple screen passes and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes should look towards George Kittle more, who recorded four receptions for 39 yards.
  • C.J. Beathard was delivered a big shot after running for a first down. He had to leave the game for a play, which resulted in Nate Stanley handing the ball off. Beathard is a gutsy, hard-nosed runner, but he needs to be more careful so he doesn’t get hurt.
  • Iowa is winning this season, even if it’s not pretty. They’re not out of the Big Ten West race, yet.

Next: Iowa Football: What's Considered a Successful Season?

The Hawkeyes will be in action next week at Purdue.