Iowa'a offfensive struggles in loss to Minnesota Rick Brown/The Register
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – First, Iowa State left Kinnick Stadium with the Cy-Hawk Trophy in September. Then came Saturday, when Minnesota players streaked across the field at TCF Bank Stadium and staked claim to Floyd of Rosedale after a dominating 51-14 victory over Iowa.
Carl Davis and Brandon Scherff are seniors, and they'll never play for those trophies again.
"This is my last year, and there are a lot of good players on this team," said Davis, Iowa's defensive tackle. "To lose two trophy games, with a scoreboard like that ... they had close to 300 yards rushing. It's very unacceptable."
Scherff, Iowa's offensive tackle, last carried a trophy off the field at TCF Bank Stadium a year ago after Iowa's 23-7 victory. His last chance at a regular-season trophy is the Nov. 22 game against Wisconsin with the Heartland Trophy on the line.
"Trophy games are big for us, rivalry games," Scherff said.
Scherff and Davis were looking for answers after a humbling loss to Minnesota.
"We determine where we go from here," Scherff said. "We just have to watch film and move on."
Scherff said he felt the Hawkeyes had a good week of practice. But it didn't translate to the field Saturday.
"It's what you do when you show up at game time," Scherff said after Iowa gained 84 rushing yards in 30 attempts and a season-low 205 yards overall.
That's less than half the offensive production piled up a week ago against Northwestern. Iowa held the Wildcats to 180 yards. Minnesota had 429. The Hawkeyes had passed the 400-yard mark for total offense in their previous four games.
"They ran the ball on us, and stopping us from running," Scherff said. "We want to be the most physical team. We weren't (Saturday)."
Davis said that losing two trophy games "hurts me."
And he had no clue why Iowa has been so hot and cold of late — a 38-31 loss at Maryland where the Terrapins gained 212 yards on the ground, a 48-7 victory over Northwestern and now Saturday's debacle.
"That's a question ... I don't know how to answer that," Davis said. "I feel like we play hard and practice hard."
It was a game where, in the words of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, Minnesota shoved it down the Hawkeyes' throat. Not the kind of words a player wants to hear, true as they are.
"No, not all," Davis said. "I take pride in what I do. We have a good run defense. We've let a couple of games get out of the bag."