Floyd of Rosedale is home.
The University of Iowa football team stormed out to a 24-0 halftime en route to handing Minnesota its first loss with a 31-13 Homecoming victory Saturday afternoon inside Kinnick Stadium.
The win improves the Hawkeyes' record to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten Conference play; the Golden Gophers fall to 4-1 overall and 0-1 in league play.
"The credit goes to our players, they did a great job coming to the game ready to play, and played really well in all three phases, particularly in the first half," said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. "Today is one of those days where it finally felt like we were working in all areas together. When that happens, that's a good thing."
Iowa made a first-half statement, storming out to a 24-0 lead and outgaining Minnesota, 328-75. For the game, the Hawkeyes finished with a balanced 374 yards of total offense with 182 on the ground and 192 through the air.
"Clearly in the first half, that is the best 30 minutes of football that we've played," said Ferentz. "Second half wasn't terrible, but the first 30 minutes is what we're looking for."
The UI defense forced four Minnesota turnovers and limited the Gophers to 299-yards of total offense, 103 below its season average (402). The final turnover -- an interception by junior Christian Kirksey -- put an exclamation point on the victory, as the linebacker returned the pick 68 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 31-7.
Sophomore running back Mark Weisman had 177 yards -- 8.4 per attempt -- on 21 carries with a touchdown. Weisman has gone over the 100-yard mark in each of the last three games. Senior quarterback James Vandenberg completed 18-of-31 passes for 192 yards with a touchdown, while senior Keenan Davis had six catches for 50 yards.
"After one game, you're kind of like hmmm... hope I am seeing it right," said Ferentz of Weisman. "Then after two weeks, you start thinking, this guy might not be bad. After three games, a lot of us are starting to think maybe this guy is a running back. His fullback days may be numbered... he may be retiring from that spot."
Junior Anthony Hitchens finished with 12 tackles to go along with a sack to lead the UI defense. He has posted double digit tackle totals in the last four games. Junior James Morris had 10 stops, and senior Greg Castillo and sophomore Louis Trinca-Pasat both had seven tackles. Kirksey had five tackles to go along with the interception and a third-quarter fumble recovery.
Minnesota quarterback Max Shortell completed 20-of-33 attempts for 197 yards with two touchdowns to three interceptions. Shortell also paced the Gophers with 46 yards rushing.
Iowa started the game with a six-play, 49-yard scoring drive on its opening possession. It was the fifth straight week the team has scored on its first drive. On second and 9 from the 26-yard line, Vandenberg found junior tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz streaking down the seam for a 45-yard gain to the Minnesota 26. After the drive stalled, junior Mike Meyer connected on a 44-yard field goal -- his ninth consecutive make -- giving the Hawkeyes the 3-0 edge.
The Hawkeye defense forced the game's first turnover on the Gophers' first possession. On first and 10 from the 31, junior Tanner Miller came down with an interception on Shortell's underthrow to wide receiver A.J. Barker on the Iowa sideline. The play was initially ruled out of bounds, but was overturned by instant replay.
After both teams traded punts for four straight possessions, the Hawkeyes took over on their own 16-yard line and drove 84 yard on six plays to take a 10-0 lead. On second and 11 from the 15, Weisman rumbled for a 27-yard gain to the 42. He followed with a 44-yard gain on the same play to move into the red zone. Three plays later, the sophomore scored on an 8-yard rush on a double tight end formation, following a seal block by sophomore Ray Hamilton.
The Iowa defense capitalized on a Gopher mental mistake to set up the third score. Minnesota returner Troy Stoudermire returned a kickoff from 6-yards deep in his end zone to the 25, but it was nullified on an illegal block in the back penalty. The Hawkeyes followed by forcing a three-and-out, giving Iowa possession at the Gopher 47-yard line.
On the first play of the series, Weisman took a handoff, pitched it back to Vandenberg on the flea flicker, where Vandenberg found junior Jordan Cotton streaking -- with no one within 10 yards -- for the 47-yard score. The catch was Cotton's first career touchdown and gave the Hawkeyes a 17-0 lead.
After forcing Minnesota's second straight three-and-out, Iowa used a six-play, 52-yard drive to build a 24-0 advantage. On third-and-3 from near midfield, Vandenberg connected with Hamilton on a 20-yard gain on a naked boot to the 25. The Gophers showed corner blitz on the next play, so Vandenberg hooked up with Davis on a quick hitter. The senior made two guys miss before racing for a second 20-yard gain to the 5. Weisman's 4-yard rush moved the ball to the 1 before Vandenberg cross the goal line on a quarterback sneak.
Minnesota got on the scoreboard on its second possession of the second half, moving 79 yards over 10 plays. The Gophers converted a third-and-3 and a fourth-and-1, on the drive, the second of which was a 27-yard pitch-and-catch from Shortell to Mike Henry in the flat to move into the red zone. Two plays later, Shortell found Isaac Fruechte wide open on a 9-yard crossing route in the corner of the end zone, making the score 24-7.
Iowa forced its third turnover on the next Gopher possession. On third-and-14 from the 31, Shortell looked in the direction of wide receiver Devin Crawford-Tuft on third-and-14, but was picked off by UI senior Greg Castillo. It was Castillo's first career interception.
Shortell's third pick late in the fourth quarter sealed the win for the Hawkeyes. After driving 39 yards to the Iowa 37, the Hawkeyes forced a fourth-and-6. Shortell targeted wide receiver Derrick Engel in space at the first down marker, but Kirksey stepped in for the interception and returned it 68 yards for the touchdown. The interception return for a score is the third longest in school history.
The Gophers drove 80 yards over 11 plays on its last series to make the score 31-13. The drive was capped off with 1-yard touchdown pass from Shortell to Drew Goodger with 41 seconds remaining. Minnesota missed its two-point conversion.
Iowa, which is idle next weekend, returns to action Oct. 13 at Michigan State.
"You don't want to go into a bye week off a loss, or back-to-back losses," said Ferentz. "We still have a lot of things we need to work on. With this team in particular, at this point in the season, it's (having a bye) is probably an advantage for us."
Courtesy: Iowa Media Relations
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The No.14 University of Northern Iowa Panthers fell to the No. 1 ranked North Dakota State Bison Saturday night 33-21 in a MVFC ranked team battle.
Late in the fourth quarter the UNI offense put in a last drive effort with Terrell Sinkfield scoring a touchdown to cut the lead to 12-points, but the Panthers could not recover their on-side kick and eventually fell to the Bison.
On the first North Dakota State drive of the game, the Bison drove to the UNI 18-yard line, but the Panther defense put up a wall and forced NDSU to settle for a field goal, giving the Bison a 3-0 lead with 7:29 left in the first quarter. Jake Farley notched four tackles during the NDSU drive, including an important third-down stop.
Wes Smith opened up the second drive of the game for the Panthers with a long kick-off return for 27 yards, putting the Panthers on the UNI 28-yard-line. Sawyer Kollmorgen got rolling quickly on the drive connecting with Brett LeMaster and Sinkfield for two quick first-downs. David Johnson added another first-down on the next play, dragging the NDSU defense to the NDSU 34-yard-line.
The Panthers ended the drive with a 45-yard field goal attempt, but UNI was unable to connect through the uprights and the score stayed in favor of the Bison 3-0 with 4:30 left in the first quarter.
To start the second quarter, the Panther defense made another big stop in the end zone on a second-and-eight when Varmah Sonie and Garrett Scott stopped the Bison receiver by pushing him out of bounds before he could touch the ground. The Bison were forced to attempt another field goal, but Xavier Williams came up huge for UNI with a big-time block. Williams also blocked an extra point attempt against Wisconsin.
Johnson opened up the next drive with a 20-yard run to put UNI on the Panther 40-yard-line. Kollmorgen and Lemaster linked up again following the long run with a 17-yard pass and catch for another UNI first down. The drive continued with Kollmorgen sending Sam Rohr on an 18-yard reception to put the Panthers on the NDSU 22-yard-line.
After two NDSU penalties and several hard-fought runs from Johnson, the Panthers put a touchdown on the score board with Johnson's one-yard rush into the end zone for his eighth touchdown of the season, giving UNI a 7-3 edge with 8:09 left in the half. UNI ate up 6:36 minutes off the clock on 12 plays for 80 yards.
The UNI defense continued its strong showing with 5:15 left in the second quarter with a sturdy sack from Collin Albrecht forcing the Bison to a third-and-thirteen and a three-and-out.
After a miscue on the Panther special teams, NDSU regained the ball on the UNI nine-yard-line. The Bison took the lead with 3:37 left in the half giving them a 10-7 edge over the Panthers.
The Bison regained possession again after a UNI turnover, giving the Bison the ball on the UNI 34-yard-line. Sonie had another stop on defense breaking up an intended pass in the red-zone forcing NDSU to a third-and-two situation and eventually another field goal. The field goal gave the Bison a 13-7 lead with 44 seconds left in the second quarter.
Kollmorgen finished the half 8-12 passing for 89 yards, with Rohr leading the way in the air with 35 yards. Johnson finished with 45 yards on the ground with one touchdown. Farley led the way on defense in the first half with six solo tackles and eight total tackles.
NDSU opened the half with another touchdown giving them a 20-7 advantage with 11:51 left in the third quarter. The Bison knocked 3:09 off the clock for six plays and 80 yards.
With 9:46 left in the third quarter, Kollmorgen found Chad Owens for an important six-yard reception giving the Panthers a first down. Johnson followed up with a big gain of 13 yards to put UNI on the NDSU 49-yard-line.
Kollmorgen found Sinkfield for a 19-yard gain, driving the Panthers closer to the red-zone. On the next play, Wes Smith found the end zone off a 27 yard reception giving him his first touchdown of the season and cutting the Bison lead to 20-14 with 7:44 left in the third quarter.
Chad Gilson stepped up for the UNI special teams with a huge tackle off the kick-off, pinning the Bison on their own 11-yard-line to start their next drive. After a long drive from the Bison, J.J. Swain broke up an integral pass to force the Bison to another field goal, giving them a 23-14 lead with to end the third quarter.
NDSU added to their lead with 12:38 left in the fourth quarter off a 19-yard touchdown reception giving the Bison a 30-14 lead. NDSU took 3:03 minutes off the clock for eight plays and 44 yards.
Carlos Anderson opened the fourth quarter for the Panthers with a 33-yard kick-off return to put UNI on their own 34-yard-line. Johnson worked hard for an 11-yard gain putting the Panthers in NDSU territory with 10:32 left in the game.
Kollmorgen notched some rushing yards off a scramble that gave the Panthers another first down and landed them on the NDSU 36-yard-line. Unfortunately, UNI was unable to convert on a fourth-and-10 and turned the ball over on the NDSU 45-yard-line with 8:48 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bison notched another field goal with 1:40 left in the game, increasing their lead to 33-14. The drive was 7:09 minutes long for 11 plays and 44 yards.
UNI put in a last offensive effort with Anderson getting another great kick-off return for 41 yards. Johnson added a 14-yard run to put the Panthers on the NDSU 41-yard-line and Kollmorgen hooked up with Owens again for a 19-yard pass to put UNI in the red-zone. Sinkfield scored a touchdown off a 20-yard pass from Kollmorgen cutting the lead to 33-21 with 24 seconds left in the game.
The Panthers will have an open weekend Oct. 6, but will return to action when they travel to take on Southern Illinois on Oct. 13. The game is set to kick-off at 2:00 p.m.
Courtesy: UNI Media Relations
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