Iowa, I have run out of rally caps.
On Saturday, the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5, 4-4) lost 27 -24 to the Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-9, 2-6). With the win, the Gophers reclaimed the Floyd of Rosedale Pig.
Same story, different day. The Hawkeyes ran out of steam in the fourth quarter and couldn’t get it done.
Minnesota set the tone for the game by opening with two 11-play, 58-yard scoring drives. They entered halftime ahead 20-17 and the Hawkeyes took its first and only lead of the game 24-20, with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.
However, a now familiar fourth quarter scenario soon took center stage.
With 4:31 left on the clock, Minnesota running back Duane Bennett scored a touchdown run to give the Gophers a 27-24 lead. Iowa attempted a come back when running back Marcus Coker broke free on first down at the Iowa 33. He started to brake near midfield but was crushed by Minnesota’s junior cornerback Troy Stoudermire. He forced the ball out of Coker, giving it to the Gophers at their 45.
Minnesota moved forward and killed the clock to seal the victory. It was the first time in four years that the Golden Gophers beat Iowa.
Iowa lost its final three games by a total of 10 points. In response to Saturday’s loss, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was quoted as saying, ”They got what they deserved today, and we also got what we deserved today.”
The Hawkeyes, who entered its final game ranked sixth nationally among FBS teams in rushing defense, got beat up by a Gophers’ team that was second-to-last in the Big Ten on the ground. Iowa’s defense allowed a season-high 216 rushing yards and with Minnesota’s ability to run the ball on Saturday, it enabled the team to have possession of the ball 13 minutes more than Iowa.
Iowa’s defense looked like a high school junior varsity team.
Minnesota’s three touchdowns came from running plays. Gopher running back DeLeon Eskridge had 21 carries for 95 yards and one touchdown; Bennett had 63 rushing yards and one touchdown.
Iowa’s true freshman running back Coker carried 21 times for 90 yards. The Hawkeye’s workhorse sophomore running back Adam Robinson has a concussion and did not travel this week to Minneapolis.
Minnesota’s quarterback corp had a good day. Senior quarterback Adam Weber went 13 for 25, 125 yards and its backup quarterback MarQueis Gray in running back form had 39 rushing yards and a touchdown that gave Minnesota the win.
Iowa’s senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi went 10 for 22 for 127 yards and had two touchdowns. He also fumbled a snap at his own 22-yard line which Gophers turned into a touchdown three plays later.
Hawkeye wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos scored twice, including an 88-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Fellow wide receiver Marvin McNutt had three receptions, 46 yards and one touchdown.
Iowa’s freshman kicker Mike Meyer had one field goal on the day: a 35-yarder at the end of the second quarter.
The Hawkeye’s 26 seniors will leave college football with disappointing memories of their final season. With their 7-5 record, Iowa is bowl eligible; however, the team will go to a bowl that certainly isn’t their first choice by any means.
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Written by Debbie Baratz