COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Late turnovers, early miscues end in Gophers loss to Iowa – InForum

MINNEAPOLIS — The Gophers football program is haunted by its 13-10 loss to Iowa on Saturday.

Minnesota had two late offensive drives into Hawkeyes territory that ended in freebies — Mo Ibrahim’s fumble and Athan Kaliakmanis’ tipped interception — and Iowa hit a 21-yard field goal to win it with 28 seconds left.

The Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy weighs nearly 100 pounds, but the weight of not even winning it will continue to weigh on the back of head coach PJ Fleck and the entire Minnesota program. The Gophers have lost to Iowa eight straight times since 2014, including six since 2017 under Fleck.

Iowa (6-4, 5-3) didn’t turn the ball over on Saturday and remains in control of winning the Big Ten West Division while Minnesota (7-4, 4-4 Big Ten) and its outside chances are knocked out in the process .

In a 10-10 tie in the fourth quarter, the Gophers rushed for 88 yards and Ibrahim did the heavy lifting. But on his 37th carry, he fumbled in the red zone.

Ibrahim may have made a crucial mistake, but the sixth-grader kept them in the game with a staggering 263 rushing yards on 39 carries against a top-class Hawkeyes defense.

Iowa’s offense is unrelated to the takeaway, and Minnesota had another shot. But after a few rushes, a Kaliakmanis pass was tipped into third and seventh places and intercepted by Hawkeyes All-America linebacker Jack Campbell. He also forced Ibrahim’s fumble.

After Campbell’s 30-yard return, quarterback Spencer Petras found Luke Lachey wide open for a 33-yard completion to set up the game-winning kick.

Minnesota’s last desperate drive went nowhere.

Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim runs against the Iowa Hawkeyes on November 19, 2022 at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim runs against the Iowa Hawkeyes on November 19, 2022 at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports

While late turnovers were the finishing touches, the Gophers’ early miscues also did significant damage.

In the second quarter, Kaliakmanis didn’t see a wide-open Brevyn Spann-Ford on the flat and almost threw an interception to cover a ball. While it fell incompletely, Minnesota might have taken the lead if it had found its tight end.

Then Trickett’s 35-yard field goal went wide to the right with the downwind, and the Gophers were down 10-7 at halftime rather than attempting fourth-and-1.

They had nothing to show for an 11-play, 73-yard drive, and given the recent history between these two rivals, it was clear the sequence would come back to bite Minnesota.

Mistakes from the start were also harmful. Iowa was last among the Power Five programs in explosive games that season but produced one in its first game of the game.

Linebacker Cody Lindeberg flashed off the edge while linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin and safety Tyler Nubin went to the edge with the Hawkeyes’ jet sweep action. It left midfield wide open for a tight ending screen for Sam LaPorta. After rumbled 58 yards, the Gophers’ defense held Iowa to a 38-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.

In fourth place on the next drive, linebacker Braelen couldn’t fire Oliver Petras, and he found LaPorta for another explosive play, this time for 24 yards. A few moves later, Petras scored a sneak hit to take the lead 10-0.

A slow start on the Gophers’ defense put pressure on their offense, which couldn’t finish late.

Iowa Hawkeyes players celebrate with Floyd of Rosedale after defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers on November 19, 2022 at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Iowa Hawkeyes players celebrate with Floyd of Rosedale after defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers on November 19, 2022 at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports

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