MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Gophers (4-0) will be facing Iowa (2-2) Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. Kickoff is 11 a.m.
Line: Iowa by 7
Series Record: Minnesota leads 61-42-2
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Minnesota would be 5-0 for the first time in eight years with a win. Iowa has lost two of its last three, all at home, and another loss would be a bad omen heading into October. There’s also a bronze pig named “Floyd of Rosedale” at stake.
Iowa QB James Vandenberg vs. Minnesota’s secondary. Vandenberg has just one TD pass in four games, while the Gophers rank fourth in the Big Ten in pass defense.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Minnesota. QB Max Shortell. The sophomore threw for 231 yards in a win over Syracuse last week. But this will be his first Big Ten start, and it’ll come in a very hostile environment.
Iowa: RB/FB Mark Weisman. He’s come out of nowhere to rush for 330 yards and six TDs in the last two games. Coach Kirk Ferentz seems reluctant to give him the job on a full-time basis, but another strong performance might force Ferentz’s hand.
FACTS & FIGURES
Saturday’s game will be the first between Iowa and Minnesota in September and just the fourth Big Ten home opener in 14 seasons for the Hawkeyes under Ferentz…The Gophers last won three straight over Iowa from 1998-2000, but they haven’t beaten Iowa on the road since 1999…This will mark the 200th game as a head coach in college for Ferentz. He’s 110-89 overall and 98-68 at Iowa.
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