Iowa reclaims Floyd of Rosedale

The Gophers lost their fourth game in a row Saturday night on the road.

The University of Iowa football team celebrates, carrying the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy across the field following their victory at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA, on Saturday Oct. 14 where the Gophers lost to the Hawkeyes 35-40.

Liam James Doyle

The University of Iowa football team celebrates, carrying the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy across the field following their victory at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA, on Saturday Oct. 14 where the Gophers lost to the Hawkeyes 35-40.

Ryan Falk

Minnesota lost its third trophy of the year and fourth game in a row, falling to No. 8 Iowa 40-35 on Saturday night.
 
The Hawkeyes remain undefeated and reclaimed Floyd of Rosedale, crossing the field to hoist up the bronze pig.
 
The usually strong Gophers’ defense allowed the most yards it has all season, while playing through key injuries, allowing the Hawkeyes to rack up 506 yards.
 
“We’re going to struggle on defense for a couple weeks, head coach Tracy Claeys told reporters Saturday. “We’re playing the kids we’ve got. They’re playing their butts off, but we’re not the same defensive football team we lined up with the first half of the season.”
 
The Gophers (4-6, 1-4 Big Ten) were without two starting defensive tackles, sophomore Steven Richardson and redshirt junior Scott Ekpe, neither of whom traveled with the team.
 
Minnesota’s defense struggled to get off the field all night, with the Hawkeyes converting 10 of their 15 third-downs.
 
Iowa put together two time-consuming drives to open and close the first half, both of which totaled more than 90 yards and ended with a touchdown.
 
The Hawkeyes led 24-14 at halftime.
 
“As a defense, we go into every game, and those are two of our goals, to get off the field on third-down and limit big plays, and we didn’t accomplish either of those,” senior safety Antonio Johnson said.
 
The Gophers also had a key injury on offense, with leading rusher Rodney Smith ruled out before the game.
 
Minnesota still had no trouble keeping pace with Iowa, scoring 35 points, the most the Hawkeyes have allowed all season.
 
“I think we’re playing some of the best football we’ve played all season, and we’re moving the ball pretty well,” redshirt junior quarterback Mitch Leidner said. “Got stuck in some tough third-down situations, but overall we did a pretty good job moving the chains.”
 
Leidner was efficient for the fourth straight game. He completed 19 of his 27 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown against the Hawkeyes.
 
The team was held back on penalties though, both on offense and defense. The team had 12 total for 87 yards.
 
The Gophers had to resort to trickery with their defense struggling and penalties mounting.
 
Down 33-21 late in the third quarter, Leidner pitched the ball to freshman running back Shannon Brooks, who then attempted his first career pass to a wide-open Drew
Wolitarsky for a 42-yard touchdown to cut the Gophers deficit to five.
 
The team’s defense was unable to stop the Hawkeyes, though, and junior running back LuShun Daniels Jr. took off for a 51-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left in the game to push Iowa’s lead back to 12.
 
Leidner directed the offense down the field one final time on a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that took only 45 seconds off the clock, but the Gophers onside kick attempt failed, and Iowa secured the victory and Floyd of Rosedale.
 
“We were able to give our onside kick team an opportunity to get the ball back and for us to have over a minute to go down and score,” Leidner 
said.