The Register's Andrew Logue and Rick Brown break down the Hawkeyes' game against Minnesota.
Good morning from TCF Bank Stadium...
Several inches of snow forecast for here Monday. But today, brisk with temps in the 30s and breezy. Bundle-up weather. And probably a pretty fast game today, with a lot of running.
BOWL TALK. Representatives from the Holiday and Fiesta bowls are at TCF Bank Stadium for today's game.
"Where do I sign?" Iowa athletic director Gary Barta told Bob Poulsen, a Holiday Bowl committee member.
Iowa's biggest advantage today… Minnesota is a run-first team. Iowa traditionally has success against run-first teams. The Gophers are last in the Big Ten in passing, too. So look for the Hawkeyes to keep a close eye on running back David Cobb, who is sixth nationally in rushing at 141.4 yards a game. He's No. 9 on Minnesota's career rushing list. Cobb had a season-low 20 yards against the Hawkeyes last season.
What could be its undoing? Minnesota's special teams are very good. Jalen Myrick's 100-yard kickoff return with 5 minutes to play beat Northwestern at TCF Bank Stadium on Oct. 11, 24-17. If Iowa doesn't get off to a fast start, it will be interesting to see how it reacts. In the last three games, the Hawkeyes have taken a 14-0 lead against Maryland, a 21-0 lead against Indiana and a 24-0 lead against Northwestern. Iowa has scored 38 first-half points against Indiana and Northwestern. The last and only time that's happened in the Ferentz era was in 2005 (Ball State, Minnesota).
Who should we be talking about but aren't? Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams has 42 career catches for 697 yards and nine touchdowns. His father, former NFL player Brian, played for the Gophers. Which didn't help Iowa's recruiting efforts. Brian Williams and former Iowa offensive lineman Bob Kratch are friends, and they came to a game at Kinnick Stadium with Maxx in tow when he was in ninth or 10th grade. "He probably committed (to Minnesota) about a month later," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Made a big impression on him."
Final Prediction: Iowa's running game makes another positive step, and the defensive line keeps running back David Cobb and running quarterback Mitch Leidner in front of them most of the time. Iowa 17, Minnesota 13.
The Register's Rick Brown and Randy Peterson take their weekly spin through the key games in the conferences.