Assessing the Iowa Hawkeyes’ crucial late-season win over Minnesota

It was a classic Iowa win, with offense doing just enough not to screw up a masterclass of fantastic defense and special teams. It may seem silly, but we’ll take it!

Despite the cold, Iowa really had to work up a sweat this game, winning through a late-game field goal from Drew Sanders. It wasn’t pretty, but Iowa has now beaten the Gophers eight times in a row. More importantly, they control their own path back to the Big Ten championship. Beat Nebraska next week and they’ll punch their ticket. It’s that simple. Win or go home.

You win whichever way they come, especially on the road in Minnesota’s wintry conditions. With a hog on the line and their season, Iowa played their style of football to a 13-10 win. Here are some notes from a very Hawkeye win.

Brian Ferentz: C

It was a very interestingly named game for Brian Ferentz. The first quarter was probably his best game of the season. Iowa’s offense moved the ball, putting Sam LaPorta in play. Unfortunately, there was a great sea of ​​meh after that that the Hawkeyes couldn’t do anything about.

The tight ends: A

Iowa wins when they include their tight ends. This is now several tight ends. We already know Sam LaPorta, he’s been the best tight end in the conference for a good two years. Luke Lachey also made a big impression yesterday, stepping up with five catches for 77 yards in LaPorta’s absence.

Cooper DeJean: A+

What else can be said about DeJean. He’s impressed pretty much every game this year, and his chase against Mo Ibrahim literally saved the game. Without them, Minnesota will most likely win this game. As usual, he had some really nice returns on special teams. On the Iowa offense, collecting as many yards as possible before entering the field is extremely important.

The Kickers: A

Iowa Special Teams are special all year round now. Punter Tory Taylor is building up as the nation’s top punter each week, with four of his five punts against Minnesota being knocked down within the opponent’s 20.

Despite what they said in the comments, Drew Stevens was a perfect two-on-two field goal as he made the game-winning 21-yard field goal. Taking every kick he’s asked for can’t ask much more from the novice kicker.

Iowa Pass Defense: A+

I mean what other grade could they get? While their run defense was a little more suspect, more of a D+/C performance against one of the nation’s best running backs (there’s a bonus note for you), their pass defense was as good as you can expect from a unit. Athan Kaliakmanis threw for just 87 yards, and Jack Campbell’s interception should have been a six. That was just a wrong call. Just another dominant performance from one of the best units in the country.

Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire