King gives the Gophers a chance
Starting off the second half, true freshman linebacker Thomas Barber is able to grab and pull down the right hand of star return man Desmond King forcing a fumble with many Minnesota defenders around the ball. Damarius Travis tries to pull the ball in, with Julian Huff and Carter Coughlin having a chance as well, but unfortunately for the Gophers, the ball is able to harmlessly bounce out of bounds and Iowa retains possession. Would have given Minnesota great field position to start the half, but still a great play by the freshman.
Oh so close for Iowa
The Iowa Hawkeyes were able to drive into the red zone and nearly got a touchdown to open the half here on a pass to Jerminic Smith. Myrick played this pretty well as you can see his hand tucked inside the elbow of Smith, but Smith's foot size is just one size too big as toes end up on the white sideline. I'm still surprised the booth didn't want to take a close look at this, but Iowa's able to still get points on a field goal, going up 6-0 over Minnesota.
Minnesota decides to run the ball
Minnesota decides they want to establish the run on their first drive of the second half, and that they want give Shannon Brooks more than three touches in a half, and here's my surprised face that Minnesota ends up scoring on this drive. Brooks takes the read option up the gut, gets the first down, bounces off Vincent Calhoun and gets a few extra yards. Minnesota on this drive ran the ball six times for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Shannon Brooks won't be denied
Minnesota's second drive of the day where they attempt to establish the run ends in a touchdown. Jay Johnson calls power to the right and the Gophers get some blocking in the pin and pull here. You'll see wide receiver Tyler Johnson at the bottom on the screen here come down the LOS for a nice block on the safety. RG Vincent Calhoun is able to chip a defensive tackle pursuing and Brooks runs through the Iowa corner for the nine yard touchdown.
Gophers take the lead 7-6.
DeLattiboudere gets his first career sack
Chalk up Winston Delattiboudere's first career sack to Jay Sawvel here confusing the Iowa offensive line. Both linebackers in Jack Lynn and Nick Rallis blitz up the middle, which makes the Iowa left guard make a choice between blocking the defensive tackle, or the blitzing Lynn. He decides at the last month to choose Lynn, leaving Stelter untouched up the middle, forcing C.J. Beathard to try and roll away from the pressure, where DeLattiboudere is waiting for the sack. Good play design and even better execution from the Minnesota front seven for the sack.
Leidner takes a shot
Minnesota takes over with great field position at their own 40, and on first down, the Gophers run quarterback power ending up with a five yard gain and the Iowa safety laying a legal lick on him at the end of the play. There's been some speculation that Mitch Leidner sustained a possible concussion on this hit as his head snapped back pretty good and you can see how slow he is to get up. Tracy Claeys told the media on Sunday there's no concussion, but there's no doubt that was a shot on the sidelines.
Gophers can't convert on third down
Minnesota attempts to run zone here on 3rd and 3, and Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson makes sure this play goes nowhere from the start. He slants into the A gap and Calhoun decides to try and stay with Johnson, allowing the Iowa linebacker to come up through the massive hole to meet Brooks for the tackle for loss.
Calhoun should not have went with Johnson as center Tyler Moore should have taken Johnson from the start, allowing Calhoun to flow up to the second level where if Brooks can make Johnson miss in the back field, this play should have been a first down.
I know Claeys was frustrated with the offensive line play on Saturday, but I still don't believe they were playing so bad that you can to abandon the run all together. Minnesota squabbles good field position as they decide to punt.
Two blind mice
For reference here, there are two referees standing just behind Beathard here and both of them deem what happened to Nick Rallis here as not worthy of a flag. Rallis stunts in up the A gap here, and Iowa's left guard clearly grabs him by the shoulder pad (Hint: That's a flag) and then pulls him down by his jersey from behind (Hint: That's another flag) and there's no call here.
From my vantage point in the press box, you could see refs watching the OL vs. DL play closely, but no one grabbed for their yellow handkerchiefs.
Not the reason lost the game by any means, but c'mon Big Ten. If that's not a holding call, I'm not sure what is.
Third quarter score: Minnesota 7, Iowa 6
Leidner misfires for the first down
Jay Johnson dials up one of Minnesota's most successful plays on the season having Drew Wolitarsky drive toward the center of the field like he's running a crossing route, and then Wolitarsky puts on the breaks and changes directions back towards the sidelines were the other Gopher receivers have clear space for him to operate for a first down.
Not sure what else to say here other than Leidner just misfired, costing Minnesota a key first down. That's a throw that Leidner has to make with a clean pocket 10/10 times.
Rallis with the club for the forced fumble
Iowa's Riley McCarron is across mid-field here with a first down and big credit to Nick Rallis here harnessing his older brother's WWE powers and comes with a punch for the ages that immediately causes McCarron to lose control of the ball. Minnesota recovers for a huge turnover to stall the Hawkeyes again as they attempt to take the lead, and they give the Minnesota offense the ball back.
Another misfire, another punt
The miss hurts a lot more than the first one. You'll see both Hawkeye safeties in the box here on a blitz meaning that Iowa is man'ed up on each receiver. Wolitarsky comes in motion and then runs the same route that got him open on the previous drive. Desmond King bites even harder and if Leidner connects here it's a big gain as he has King beat and he'd be off to the races down the sideline. Minnesota has to punt again.
Martin with his first career INT
This is Iowa 11th play of the drive as they're approaching the red zone and true freshman Kamal Martin comes up with the biggest play of his young career. This same play against Oregon State is one that I'm not sure that Martin makes, but he's learning and playing better and better each week and Martin has running back responsibilities on this play and drops off into coverage with him. I'm not sure what Beathard sees here, but with Jack Lynn in his face, he throws a floater on the sideline and Martin plays the ball for his first career interception. Giving Minnesota the ball back again in the fourth quarter.
Iowa finally takes the lead
Fact of the matter is here that Minnesota should have stopped this play, but I'm not going to hold them for a lot of responsibility here. Iowa's already had the ball for 32 plays in the second half as Minnesota's offense on the previous three possessions went four-and-out, three-and-out and three-and-out. The Gopher defense also forced turnovers on their last two possessions, so they're doing their part.
Iowa goes power on first down and is able to finally connect on the home run. Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn really couldn't be in any better position to make the play here as Wadley runs right at him, but he misses the tackle and then safety Jacob Huff misses and Akrum Wadley is gone.
The Hawkeyes convert on the two point conversion as well to take a 14-7 lead.
Minnesota's route tree
Minnesota's got it on a second and 15 here after a pre-snap penalty. I've seen this play plenty of times before this season as it's designed for Wolitarsky to slip in behind the linebacker, but Iowa had been keying in on him the entire game putting him off his line. Looks at the other routes here though. Both outside receiver run out to the flats for a five yards and Wozniak is triple covered as well.
Even if Leidner hits Still or Smith here, it's 3rd and 11. As it is, Leidner sees that Wolitarsky slips and Leidner takes a sack.
Culmination of the day
Minnesota's offensive line gives some interior pressure forcing a quick decision throw from Leidner here into double coverage for the easy interception for an awaiting Iowa safety. I know Leidner wants to make a play here, but this is one you have to just throw away and live to see another day.
The Gopher defense is able to get another stop and Minnesota gets the ball back with 86 seconds on the clock.
Ending on a positive
Minnesota's able to get into the Iowa red zone on their final drive of the game, thanks to a nice adjustment by wide receiver Brian Smith. Smith's able to high point the ball, and then drag his right foot for the catch.
Unfortunately, Minnesota isn't able to get a touchdown here as they fall to the Iowa Hawkeyes at home, 14-7.