The Iowa Hawkeyes did what few thought they could a week ago when they took down the Wisconsin Badgers on the road in Madison. It was Iowa’s first win in Madison since 2015 and beyond bringing the Heartland Trophy back to Iowa City, the Hawkeyes left town with the keys to the Big Ten West in their hands.
Beating the Badgers in Madison is a difficult task for anyone, but doing it with virtually no offensive firepower and just 37 yards of passing offense (and an even more ridiculous 5 passing yards in the final three quarters) is downright impressive. The question now is whether Iowa can continue to win games with such limited offensive production as the injuries continue to pile up.
Up next for the Hawkeyes is a home date with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Our neighbors to the north come into the day at 3-3 overall after losing three of their last four games. That includes a 52-10 drubbing at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines in their last time out.
But the Gophers had a bye last week to get right and get healthy. They’re expected to return starting running back Darius Taylor this week after missing the last two games and may well return All-Big Ten linebacker Cody Lindenberg as well. That would certainly make the Gophers a more difficult out given they come into the game averaging just slightly more points per game than the Hawkeyes with a defense that is giving up more than 30 points per matchup against power five opponents.
The Hawkeyes have some wiggle room in the West for now, but every game from here on out is a mini-playoff in the Big Ten West. At 1-2 in conference, the Gophers likely need to win out to have a shot at the division title and a loss today would all but eliminate them from division title contention. For Iowa, they simply need to avoid the annual toe-stub and wait for Nebraska and Northwestern to pick up another loss to provide further breathing room as we march toward Black Friday.
As we countdown to kickoff, here’s everything you need to know about today’s matchup.
Date: Saturday, October 21st
Time: 2:30 pm CT
Matchup: Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-3, 1-2) at Iowa Hawkeyes (6-1, 3-1)
Location: Kinnick Stadium - Iowa City, IA
Weather Forecast: sunny with temps in the lower-60s, winds gusting up to 20mph
DraftKings Sportsbook Line: Iowa -3.5, O/U 31
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Keep an eye out for the availability report, which is set to be published around 12:30 pm CT. Recall that’s a new item in the Big Ten this season with availability reported two hours before game time.