The Iowa Hawkeyes are sitting atop the Big Ten West standings after rattling off three straight wins and are expected to hold the keys to their own fate by the time today’s game kicks off. They’ve come a long way in three weeks, rising from worst to first in the division standings and climbing from under .500 to bowl eligible and potentially on track for preseason win total expectations.
But there are ifs. Iowa controls their destiny if Michigan takes care of business against Illinois at 11am CT. Iowa is back on track for win total expectations if they can manage to win their last two matchups. Iowa will win the West if both of those things happen.
Minnesota, on the other hand, needs a win today and next week at Wisconsin. And the Illinois loss. And a Purdue loss either to Northwestern or Indiana. It’s a big ask, but the Gophers are very much alive and have perhaps even more to play for than the Hawkeyes. While both teams are playing for their West division lives, the Gophers are at home on senior day and looking to reclaim Floyd of Rosedale for the first time in eight years. Even with all the 6th and 7th year seniors on this roster, no Gopher currently on the roster has ever held the pig.
Minnesota comes into the day having won three straight contests, just like the Hawkeyes. Also like the Hawkeyes, the Gophers boast a top-10 total and scoring defense. Notably, all four of Iowa’s prior losses this season have come at the hands of top-10 defenses. The Hawkeyes have beaten every team without one.
For the Gophers, they’re yet to beat a team with a winning record. Their three losses have come at the hands of two of the other three teams tied for tops in the West (Purdue and Illinois), as well as now #11 ranked Penn State. The first of those losses came without superstar running back Mo Ibrahim, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his last 18 games played. The other came without starting QB Tanner Morgan.
Importantly, Morgan’s status for today’s game remains in question after being knocked from the loss to Illinois and then again concussed in a win against Nebraska two weeks ago. If he is unable to go today, the Gophers will be forced to start RS freshman Athan Kaliakmanis, who is more mobile but has not throw double digit passes in a game this season. During his three games played this season, Ibrahim has rushed 30, 32 and 36 times. Ibrahim has run the ball 154 times in the last four games, which were four of his five lowest yard per carry performances of the year.
Here’s another look at the details for today’s matchup:
Date: Saturday, November 19th
Time: 3:00 pm CT
Matchup: Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-3, 4-3)
Location: Huntington Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN
Preliminary Weather Forecast: mostly cloudy with temps in the mid-teens, 10% chance of precipitation with 10-15mph winds
DraftKings Sportsbook Line: Minnesota -2.5, O/U 32
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
If you’re looking for a refresher on the details of today’s game, be sure to check out our coverage from throughout the week, starting with the Game Center.
If you’re on the go and would rather listen to Hawkeye talk, be sure to check out the BHGP podcast feed. You can find those wherever you get your podcasts, or by clicking below.
**NEW this year: we’ll also be hosting Twitter Spaces before and after the game. Be sure to tune in to @BHGP to get live, up to date news and analysis on things like injuries, warmup reports and more starting at 8am CT. We’ll hop back on live after the final gun to do the victory polka or wallow in our sorrows with you all.**