There were few who thought it was possible that Minnesota could win against Iowa’s strong defense, veteran quarterback play, and talented running game but, true to the mantra: “on any given Saturday”, the Gophers gave a collective finger to all the doubters.
The 3-9 Gophers played with as much heart and determination as they have all season and overcame a late 4-point deficit to win the game 27-24 against the Iowa Hawkeyes—likely stealing away any shot the Hawkeyes had at a high-quality bowl bid.
What happened? Well, the easy answer was in the intro: Iowa was sleeping on the Gophers because of their record, and their seeming lack of anything resembling a consistent offense or defense this season. However, today, it became obvious that Minnesota wasn’t willing to lay down and accept another loss—their pride was at stake, and they weren’t willing to relinquish it for the 10th time this season.
Their defense stymied the run, holding Marcus Coker to just under 100-yards on the day, while Ricky Stanzi continued to disappoint with his uninspired quarterback play and inability to sustain a game-winning drive for his team. A late fumble by Coker simply added to the comedy of errors and put a sad cap on a season of heartbreak for the black and yellow faithful.
Kudos to Minnesota for FINALLY being on the winning end of a big game at home, but Iowa fans have to feel sick wondering what might have been—if only.