IOWA CITY — It was a must-win for No. 20 Iowa Saturday. With a spot in the rankings likely on the line, the Hawkeyes played spoiler to unbeaten, 8th-ranked Minnesota 23-19.
A week after their 31-point performance against No. 5 Penn State, Minnesota was stifled by the Iowa defense for just a six-point outing in the first half.
The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, would take it to the house on each of their first three drives to take a 20-6 lead into halftime.
The Gophers would make things interesting in the second half by scoring their first touchdown of the game coming out of the halftime break. The Iowa D held Minnesota in check again for the next two drives, but the Hawkeye offense couldn’t get them any insurance.
Minnesota would score on a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, but a missed extra point would mean tying it was no longer an option; the Gophers would have to score a touchdown.
Not on Iowa’s defense. Not in their house. The Gophers got it back with about 90 seconds to go, but the Hawkeyes would snuff out their hopes with two straight sacks of Tanner Morgan, courtesy of Joe Evans and AJ Epenesa.
Morgan’s next pass would fall incomplete, bringing up a 4th and 21 with less than a minute to play. His last-ditch deep pass was picked off by Riley Moss, securing the Hawkeye victory and keeping a 20-year home win streak against Minnesota going.
Quarterback Nate Stanley ended with 173 yards and two touchdowns through the air. The Hawkeyes picked up 117 yards on the ground as a team, 94 of which came from freshman phenom Tyler Goodson.
The win pushes the Hawks to 7-3 on the season and 4-3 in Big Ten play with two games to go. They’ll end out their seasons with a home game against Illinois and a Black Friday contest at Nebraska. Kickoff for next week’s Illinois game is scheduled for 11 a.m.