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Iowa Hawkeyes 23, Minnesota Golden Gophers 19: Sizzle that Bacon

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winning is still so fun!

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Just a friendly reminder, I write all of this in real time and I don’t edit before posting because editing is for Monday’s and there’s beers to drink. Basically, I want you to read this as a running diary of the game. All (over) reactions must be accepted and forgiven as I am just an optimistic fan boy that gets to write for a blog. Also, if you view any of my questions about plays or situations or coaching as negative or think that I’m griping, I want to reiterate, that this is all written in REAL TIME. You know you questioned those same things too. Thank you.

PREGAME

Scott Frost Scott Frosted all over the place and Nebraska lost. Wisconsin’s defense looked suspect (especially in the vertical passing game) and it’s hard not to think... well, ya know. Penn State decided to make a ballsy call on 4th-and-goal and ran it in with their quarterback and once again, it’s hard not to think... well, ya know.

Life is a circle. At least we’re not fans of Sparty football. Let’s keep this pig.

Oh, and this is awesome:

1st Quarter

Iowa in the all-blacks win the toss and elect to receive the ball first. On the first play of the game, Nate Stanley tries to find Ihmir Smith-Marsette on a Go-Route down the right hand side of the field but his ball is a little under thrown and ISM can’t adjust to make the catch through the defender. Did BF finally wrestle over full control? A few plays later, BF dials up a pitch play to the left after a fake on a fullback dive that goes for 26-yards. Two plays later, we get an ISM double-move that works perfectly and Stanley JUST over throws him. Facing 4th-and-short, Stanley in the gun gets great protection and finds Nate Wieting for the first down. MOVE EM!

On the very next play, Stanley rolls right and finds Nico Ragaini for a 21-yard touchdown!!!! This is the exact offense we’ve all been begging for since the Michigan/Penn State losses. I don’t know who’s choice that was, but I’m going with Brian Ferentz finally telling his dad that he knows what will work and that he has to trust him. Until someone proves me otherwise, BF is our captain now.

Man that felt great!

6-0, just like that.

Iowa puts the Gophers in an early 3rd and 7 but Tanner Morgan gets all the time in the world and eventually finds a wideout over the middle for a big 17-yard gain. A few plays later, Minnesota faces yet another 3rd-and-10 and the same thing happens again. Gophers now in Iowa territory.. If Minnesota starts playing every down like it’s third and long, we’re going to be in trouble. Finally, on the third third-and-long, Brady Reiff sacks Morgan for a 3-yard loss and with the troubles Minnesota has been having in their kick game, they seem to be going for it...but call a timeout, send out the kicker and he MISSES!

YES YES YESYES YES!

Tyler Goodson is off to the races with 60 yards on 5 carries now. He’s deserved this much larger, bigger impact role for a long, long time and I’m so jacked for him. He’s so dynamic, an instant play maker and if Iowa wants to start being more “Wisconsin-like” offensively, they need a guy like him. He is decisive and has the speed to hit the holes before they disappear. Anyways, Iowa is on the Minnesota 10-yard line after some more beautiful running and a clutch third down conversion from the Nate Train Keeper. On second down, Nate pitches to Goodson who stiff arms and jukes his way into the endzone for another Hawkeye touchdown.

WE HAVE THIS KID FOR AT LEAST TWO MORE YEARS!

13-0 already and if you know a Badger fan, make them buy you a beer tonight.

Before the end of the quarters, Bateman grabs a 50/50 ball over Koerner that puts the ball around midfield.

Let me catch my breath. Everybody wave.


2nd Quarter

The third down theatrics continue and the Gophers are knocking on the door with yet another third down, only this time, it’s third and goal. Morgan drops, gets popped by AJE and over throws a pretty open wideout. PJ elects to kick the field goal.

13-3, can Iowa go 3-3 on scoring drives?

After the kickoff, Nate finds Tyrone Tracy over the middle on play action putting the ball near midfield. Two plays later he finds him again with an effing arrow on the left sideline... Tracy breaks loose of a wimpy tackle and sprints forward for some extra yardage. Iowa now on the Gophers 25-yard line. On the next play, Tracy gets an end around to move the chains and then, Stanley finds him one more time to put the ball on the 5-yard line. A play later, Nate goes PA and finds ISM in the endzone for ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN. I can’t even keep up. Iowa’s offense is striking over and over and over again. Nate Stanley looks as good as I’ve ever seen him right now and has a swagged and confidence we haven’t seen since Ohio State. The ball is flying out of his hand and is right on the money.

Three drives, three touchdowns.

20-3, offense is so fun.

Minnesota hits a big play on the first play of their drive yet again to put them on the Iowa 37-yard line. But this is the Iowa defense and they may bend but they don’t break forcing Minnesota to make a decision yet again on whether or not they should go for it on 4th and 1. Gophers move the chains out of the wildcat but it’s called back after a holding penalty. They go for it again on 4th and 5 and Morgan scampers around and up the pocket to move the chains. After a big time Kristian Welch sack on first, a dropped pass on second and an incomplete pass against Riley Moss, the Gophers elect to punt and pin Iowa at the 2-yard line.

BEND BUT DO NOT BREAK BABY!

Iowa runs three plays and punts and Minnesota starts their driver in Iowa territory. In two plays and a quick clock, the Gophers are facing 2nd-and-goal with 15-seconds left. Tanner Morgan escapes a sack and throws it away to preserve any chance of scoring. On 3rd, Riley Moss gets flagged for PI in the endzone putting the ball at the 2-yard line with a few seconds left on the clock. Decision time for the ol’ boat rower. But, with Minnesota getting the ball after the half, he elects to kick, it hits the upright and goes through.

20-6. Someone get me a beer.


3rd Quarter

Oh no. Oh no no no. The Gophers get a solid return and in the blink of an eye the Gophers are in Iowa territory. Minnesota seems to have taken a big deep breath during the half and have come out wanting and willing to go back to what got them to their 9-0 start... aka running the ball and using play action. After a few plays that keep the Gophers ahead of the chains, Morgan eventually finds Tyler Johnson (after a beautiful play fake that froze everyone in the secondary) for a touchdown.

10-straight points just like that.

The most concerning part of that was how easy it was. Phil Parker is going to go ballistic.

20-13, need a long drive here.

Facing an early third and long, Nate Stanley catapults a throw into Sam LaPorta to move the chains, finds Tyrone Tracy for a few more yards, and then hands off to Tyler Goodson who rips off another 11-yards and pushes the ball across midfield. Facing 3rd-and-10 Stanley gets pressure right up the gut after a timely stunt and goes down. Iowa punt incoming. Not good.

Minnesota picks back up where they left off, only this time, Tanner Morgan is just ripping apart the Iowa secondary. There have been two could have been HUGE moments for Iowa in which Jack Koerner dropped an interception on a throw into double coverage and AJE swatted the ball out of Morgan’s hands but couldn’t recover. All of that leads to a 4th-and-4 on the Iowa 14-yard line...and Johnson drops it!!! HUGEEEEE...wait... flag on the play for unsportsmanlike conduct... but wait! PJ FLECK ACTED LIKE AN ASSHAT AND GOT ONE TOO!

FIRST DOWN IOWA. PHEWWWWW.


4th Quarter

Stanley opens up the quarter with another rip to Tracy for 17-yards and a first down but eventually stall out after a Nate Stanley sack on 3rd and long. I have to just mention here that Tyler Goodson isn’t getting the ball anymore either and I feel like there’s something to Iowa not scoring points and his touches... but what do I know?

Nothing going for Minnesota after an AJE sack. Punt.

The Gophers don’t let Max Cooper catch the punt and get hit with a penalty giving Iowa PHENOMENAL field position. Tyler Goodson cranks out another chain moving run and Nate Stanley rumbles and bumbles and stumbles on a broken play roll out for another first down. Iowa is getting points here and that’s absolutely huge. This is the type of drive Iowa hasn’t been able to put together in their previous losing efforts. Better late than never.

Starring 3rd-and-7 in the face, Stanley drops back in shotgun and it’s incomplete to Tyrone Tracy. Dunc is good.

23-13, two score game baby!

Gophers march down the field and score but shanks the extra point to keep it a 4-point game. ONE FIRST DOWN. WE ONLY NEED ONE FIRST DOWN.

23-19, I can smell bacon.

Iowa runs on first, run again (but with 12 seconds still left on the play clock for some stupid reason) and then on 3rd down Stanley gets sacked. NO GREAT BOB! Punt team comes on. There is a little less than 2-minutes left in the game for Minnesota who has to go 80-yards without a timeout. I have major anxiety.

ONE MORE STOP!

On first down, Morgan is sacked! On second down, Morgan is sacked again! Morgan was injured and has to come out, backup Kramer comes in and it’s incomplete. And on fourth down, IT’S PICKED OFF BY RILEY MOSS!

ALL THE BACONNNNNNNNN!

The pig stays home!

Play that sweet, juicy, everlasting polka!