Gophers reclaim Floyd of Rosedale

Minnesota now possesses three of the four traveling trophies it plays for.

Betsy Helfand

Floyd of Rosedale has a new home.

The traveling trophy is now in Minnesota’s possession after a 51-14 walloping of Iowa on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Hawkeyes blew out Minnesota the past two seasons but got a taste of their own medicine Saturday.

As the game ended, the Gophers raced across the field, ready to reclaim Floyd.

“Once we sort of knew that we had the game, everyone lined up … just having fun with it, getting ready to run across the field as fast as we could,” redshirt sophomore tight end Maxx Williams said.

Throngs of fans stormed the field to celebrate the victory, which quarterback Mitch Leidner said was not only big for the team but also for the state of Minnesota.

The victory moved the Gophers into a three-way tie atop the Big Ten West and was the final game before Minnesota hits the toughest stretch of its season — three games against ranked opponents.

“A game versus Iowa for Floyd, this is a game where I really kind of talked to myself and was like, ‘We [have] to have a good one here,’” redshirt junior defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun said, “And [I tried] to get the guys around me to really, really focus and really have a good game.”

Aside from their first and last drives of the game, the Hawkeyes recorded just 48 yards of offense.

“We played with a lot of discipline on defense today, and we tackled well,” head coach Jerry Kill said.

Iowa running back Mark Weisman, who has torched the Gophers the past two seasons, rushed for just 21 yards.

In between Iowa’s two scoring drives, the Gophers racked up seven touchdowns and a field goal.

“We’re a totally different team than … [in] previous years,” junior receiver KJ Maye said. “I feel like Iowa’s a different team, too. I mean, I knew coming into the game for us to be able to win … we [were] going to have to be able to execute. … Everybody’s going to have to do their job — offense, defense.”

And everyone did, which led the Gophers to win back Floyd, which they haven’t done since 2011.

Earlier in the season, the Gophers took home the Little Brown Jug with a 30-14 victory over Michigan on the road.

This season is Minnesota’s first time winning both trophies in the same season since 1967.

The Gophers also won Paul Bunyan’s Axe from Wisconsin in 1967 and will have a chance to win their third trophy of this season later this month.

If they do, they’d have all four traveling trophies they’ve competed for — they defeated Penn State for the Governor’s Victory Bell last season. 

“It’s neat to have the privilege to coach in [trophy games],” Kill said. “It’s neat to play in them, and it’s certainly better when you win them.”