The Hawkeyes finally got back on track in week three as they earned their first victory of the season. It came in style as Iowa dominated all three phases of the game in their 49-7 win over Michigan State. Like Iowa, border rival Minnesota has had a disappointing start to the season and like the Hawkeyes, the Gophers enter this week’s matchup at 1-2 on the year.
That seems on brand for 2020 given these two teams expected to be battling with Wisconsin for a shot at the Big Ten West title. Now, the loser of this week’s showdown is likely headed down a dark path for the season while the winner can salvage some positive momentum.
This year, of course, Minnesota has pushed to play the annual Floyd of Rosedale game on a Friday night. Originally, it was to be played the Friday night after the Cy-Hawk game. With the new Big Ten-only schedule, Iowa gets some reprieve in that it follows the matchup with MSU who is breaking in a new head coach. Still, Friday night football seems much more PJ Fleck than Kirk Ferentz.
Everything you need to know in advance and in review of week three’s game can be found in the below stream.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have a long history of kicking Iowa’s rear end. Unfortunately for Minnesota fans still living, the vast majority of that history pre-dates World War II. Nearly half of Minnesota’s wins against Iowa came before the conclusion of the second great war 75 years ago. In modern history, the series has been much more competitive, including an epic showdown more than 60 years ago where the Hawkeyes lost a national championship in a loss to Minnesota, who somehow claimed the title despite a vastly inferior resume.
Current Minnesota head coach and noted user of manure as fertilizer PJ Fleck has never beaten Iowa as the Hawkeyes have won five straight against the Gophers dating back to 2015. Iowa has won 7 of the last 8 meetings and 15 of the 20 meetings since the turn of the century and is 27-13 dating back to 1980.
Perhaps the most fun any Hawkeye fan has had during that span came in 2008 when the Hawkeyes capped off their season with a 55-0 drubbing of the Gophers in Minneapolis. That game was complete with extracurricular activities in the Metrodome restrooms and Iowa fans walking out with the goalposts.