Iowa looking to end losing skid

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Iowa looking to end losing skid

The no. 24 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will be looking to end their two-game losing skid on Saturday 27 November when they travel to Minnesota to battle the unranked Golden Gophers.

Minnesota’s season to date

It has been a season of many disappointments for the Golden Gophers.  They started their season with a 24-17 victory over Middle Tennessee, but it has all been downhill from there.

Following their opening day victory, the Golden Gophers proceeded to lose nine games in a row.  A 41-38 loss to South Dakota began the streak, which continued with a defeat to USC, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, former no. 20 Wisconsin, Purdue, Penn State,
Ohio State, and Michigan State.  Other than the three-point loss to South Dakota, the closest game that Minnesota was in was the 29-28 loss to Northwestern.

The skid was snuffed out with a Minnesota victory last weekend against Illinois, 38-34.

"It felt like we won a national championship and it should be like that," said interim coach Jeff Horton, according to Horton took over after Tim Brewster was fired Oct. 17.  "It may be a second win, but those kids deserve it and hung in there.
 I don't know if people realize how tough the situation is."

This will be Minnesota’s season finale but with their overall record of 2-9, they are ineligible for a bowl game this season.

Iowa’s season so far

The Hawkeyes started the season with a two-game winning streak with impressive victories over Eastern Illinois and Iowa State.  The defence only gave up seven points in each of those victories, sending a message to the rest of the league.

A 34-27 loss to former no. 24 Arizona in week three ended their modest winning streak, but the Hawkeyes responded with three more victories in the following weeks.

Ball State, Penn State and Michigan all fell victim to the Hawkeyes as the defence stepped up their game and allowed only 31 points combined over the three wins.

The Hawkeyes suffered an emotional loss to former no. 13 Wisconsin, 31-30, on 23 October, which brought their conference record to 2-1.

Iowa got back into the winner's circle the following week with an impressive victory over conference foe and former number five ranked Michigan State and followed that up with another win over Indiana.

The Hawkeyes' last two games however have been a disappointment with Iowa losing both games by four points or less.  Northwestern won 21-17 and Ohio State won 20-17, meaning the defence could not get the stops they needed at the necessary times.

"You definitely look back and think what could have been and what should have been," wide receiver Marvin McNutt said according to "Everything happens for a reason."

This will be the Hawkeyes' season finale as well but they will be heading to a bowl game this season as their overall record is 7-4.

Keys to victory

Minnesota will have to be extremely tough on defence to keep their team in the game because their offence ranks 101st in the nation in points scored.  Depending on how much success Hawkeye quarterback Ricky Stanzi has, it could turn out
very ugly for the Golden Gophers.

The Hawkeyes' defence will need to impose their strength and dictate the play to the struggling Minnesota team, which is riding high from their victory over Illinois.  Their defence ranks sixth in the nation in scoring and 14th in total yards.


Iowa 42 – Minnesota 21



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