By JAMES ALLAN
MINNEAPOLIS — Floyd is staying home for a record sixth straight year.
The 98.3-pound bronze Floyd of Rosedale pig traveling trophy will make its way back to the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center after the University of Iowa football team churned out 236 rushing yards in a 35-7 victory over Minnesota on Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Hawkeyes led 14-0 at halftime and pushed their advantage to 35-0 before the Gophers scored on their last possession of the game.
Iowa’s dynamic rushing duo of Tyler Goodson and Mekhi Sargent combined for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Goodson had a career day, gaining 142 yards on 20 carries with two scores, while Sargent had 86 yards on just nine attempts and a touchdown.
Sophomore Nico Ragaini also joined the rushing fun, scoring his first career rushing touchdown to open the game’s scoring.
The Hawkeyes out-gained Minnesota, 346-312, in the game, despite the Gophers have a 36:10 to 23:50 advantage in time of possession. Minnesota ran 73 plays to Iowa’s 53.
Sophomore Spencer Petras completed 9-of-18 attempts for 111 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Tyrone Tracy, Jr., had three catches for 36 yards, while senior Ihmir Smith-Marsette made two receptions for 20 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Hawkeyes forced two turnovers in the game – interceptions by Jack Koerner and Riley Moss. Sophomore Seth Benson and senior Nick Niemann led the team with seven tackles apiece, while senior Zach VanVelkenburg had five tackles, including three sacks.
Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan completed 16-of-33 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown. Running back Mohamed Ibrahim had 33 carries for 144 yards, and Rashod Bateman had eight receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown.
Quoting Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
“I am proud of our football team and the players the way they competed and the way they are growing as a football team. It was great for us to be able to bring Floyd back home with us, we’re thrilled about that. There are still some things we need to work on and get better at, but the big thing is we are still improving right now. That has been our focus all the way through it.
“Our guys showed up tonight and played tough, hard, and did a good job up front. That was a focal point for us, we knew we would have to be successful up front if we were going to have a chance to win this game. A reflection of that is Tyler Goodson, he had a career high, that’s great. Mekhi did a good job also.
In that third quarter they had that long drive and for our guys to dig in and get a stop and keep them off the scoreboard, that was a big turning point. The offense came back and responded. There were a lot of highlights, Jack Koerner, Moss, Tory Taylor continues to punt the ball well. There were a lot of good efforts out there and most important it was a good collective team effort.”
How It Happened
- The Hawkeyes cruised down the field, needing seven plays to cover 63 yards to take a 7-0 lead. Iowa faced just one second down during the series after gaining 15, 12, and 12 yards on the first three plays. After back-to-back quick passes to Tracy, Jr., moved the Hawkeyes to the 1, Ragaini scored from 1-yard out on a jet sweep.
- Minnesota notched the game’s first turnover when James Gordon intercepted Petras and returned it four yards to the Iowa 25. The Gophers were whistled for two penalties on the play – a 15-yard blind side block and 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct – to kill the drive.
- After Iowa’s defense forced a punt, the Hawkeyes took over at their own 15 and drove 85 yards to make it a two-score game. Iowa rushed its way into the end zone courtesy of 10 rushes and two Gopher penalties. Goodson scored from 7 yards out in a Wildcat formation to make the score 14-0 with 8:31 left in the first half.
- The Hawkeyes notched their first turnover late in the second quarter when Morgan over shot Bateman and Koerner intercepted the pass and returned it 19 yards to the Gopher 26. After a holding penalty thwarted the drive, Keith Duncan missed a 50-yard field goal.
- The Gophers chewed up a majority of the third quarter with a nearly 11-minute drive, covering 74 yards over 17 plays. Minnesota started at its own 5 before rushing its way to the red zone, but Iowa’s defense got away unscathed when Koerner blocked Brock Walker’s 39-yard field goal.
- The Hawkeyes took over at the Minnesota 34 and Goodson had a 34-yard burst to the Minnesota 34. Two plays later, Petras hit Tracy, Jr., for 18 yards to 10 and Smith-Marsette caught an 8-yard touchdown pass to make the score 20-0. Iowa missed the PAT after mishandling the snap.
- The Gophers again moved the ball deep into Iowa territory on its ensuing possession, but Iowa came up with its second turnover. On second-and-3, Moss intercepted Morgan at the Iowa 7 and returned the pick 57 yards to the Gopher 36.
- Petras opened the drive with a 28-yard completion to Shaun Beyer to the 8 before Petras took the ball on a read option to the 1. On the next play, Goodson powered his way into the end zone to make the score 26-0 and caught a swing pass for a successful 2-point conversion to push the lead to 28-0 with 8:56 left.
- The Hawkeyes found the end zone four the fifth time with a three-play scoring drive following a Gopher punt. Sargent scampered for 36 yards on first down to the 15 before scoring from 14 yards out through a gaping hole to make the score 35-0.
- Minnesota avoided the shutout with a 15-play, 75-yard scoring drive against Iowa’s second-string defense. Morgan completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Bateman with 14 seconds left to make the score 35-7.
- Iowa has won six straight in the series, its longest win streak in series history (114 meetings).
- Iowa retained possession of Floyd of Rosedale. The series is tied 42-42-2 advantage in the series with Floyd of Rosedale on the line. Iowa has won 16 of the last 20 meetings against Minnesota, and is 17-4 in their last 21 rivalry trophy games (Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin).
- Goodson rushed for a career-high 142 yards. It is his second straight 100-yard rushing game, and the third of his career. The last Iowa player to have consecutive 100-yard rushing games was Sargent in 2018 (121 vs. ILL, 173 vs. NEB).
- Goodson had two rushing touchdowns (7, 1), his second straight game with two rushing touchdowns. He has started the last eight games at running back. He has nine rushing touchdowns over the last seven games.
- Koerner recorded an interception in the second quarter, his third straight game with an interception.
- Moss intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter (62 yards return), his second of the season and his fourth career interception against Minnesota. Moss has two interceptions in 2018 in his first career start, and had an interception in 2019 on Minnesota’s final play of the game. Moss’s 62-yard interception tonight returns ties for the 18th longest in school history.
- Koerner blocked Minnesota’s 39-yard field goal attempt. It is Iowa’s first blocked field goal since 2017 (Anthony Nelson vs. Penn State).
- VanValkenburg had a career-high three sacks, the most by a Hawkeye since A.J. Epenesa had 4.5 against Nebraska in 2019.
- Freshman Jack Campbell made his first appearance of the season and had a career-high five tackles.
- Duncan connected on three extra points tonight to tie Akrum Wadley for 10th on Iowa’s all-time scoring list (210).
- Ragaini scored his first career rushing touchdown (1 yard) in the first quarter. It was his second career rush attempt.
- The Hawkeyes have at least one interception in 11 straight games. They have 16 interceptions during that stretch. The last time Iowa had a stretch of at least 11 games with an interception was 2008, when the Hawkeyes intercepted a pass in each of the 13 games.
- Minnesota scored its only points of the game with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Gophers came into the game averaging 36.3 points per game.
- Iowa has not trailed in a game against the Gophers since the fourth quarter in 2016, a span of 245 minutes and 28 seconds.
- The Hawkeyes are averaging 31.0 points per game, their highest total since 2002 (36.5).
- Kirk Ferentz won his 164th game as a member of the Big Ten Conference. Ferentz is one of five coaches in Big Ten Conference history to win at least 150 games as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The top five includes Woody Hayes (202), Amos Alonzo Stagg (199), Bo Schembechler (194), Kirk Ferentz (164) and Joe Paterno (162).
The Hawkeyes play at Penn State on Saturday, Nov. 21. Kickoff and television information will be released this weekend.