The Iowa Hawkeyes sit atop the Big Ten West rankings after three straight wins and look set to hold the keys to their own destiny by the time today’s game kicks off. They’ve come a long way in three weeks, going from worst to first in the division standings and climbing from under .500 to bowl-eligible and possibly on track to meet overall expectations for last season’s win.
But there are ifs. Iowa controls their destiny if Michigan settles business against Illinois at 11 a.m. CT. Iowa is back on track to win overall expectations if They can manage to win their last two matchups. Iowa will win the west if both happens.
Minnesota, on the other hand, needs a win today and next week in Wisconsin. And the Illinois loss. And a Purdue loss to either Northwestern or Indiana. It’s a tough challenge, but the Gophers are very much alive and may have more to offer than the Hawkeyes. With both teams playing for their lives in the West Division, the Gophers are at home on Seniors Day trying to win back Floyd of Rosedale for the first time in eight years. Even with all the 6th and 7th year seniors on this list, no gopher currently on the list has ever kept the pig.
Minnesota comes into the day after winning three straight contests, just like the Hawkeyes. Like the Hawkeyes, the Gophers have a top-10 overall rating and goal defense. Notably, all four of Iowa’s losses so far this season have come from top-10 defense. The Hawkeyes have beaten every team without a one.
The Gophers are yet to beat a team with a winning record. Their three losses come from two of the other three teams that top the West (Purdue and Illinois) and now at No. 11 Penn State. The first of those losses came without superstar running back Mo Ibrahim, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his last 18 games played. The other came without starting QB Tanner Morgan.
Importantly, Morgan’s status for tonight’s game remains in question after batting after losing to Illinois and suffering another concussion in a win over Nebraska two weeks ago. If he can’t leave today, the Gophers will be forced to start RS rookie Athan Kaliakmanis, who is more mobile but has yet to throw double-digit passes in a game this season. During his three games this season, Ibrahim has made 30, 32 and 36 attacks. Ibrahim has run the ball 154 times in his last four games, which were four of his five lowest yards-per-carry of the year.
Here’s another look at the details for today’s matchup:
Date: Saturday, November 19th
Time: 3:00 p.m. CT
Match: Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3) at the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-3, 4-3)
Location: Huntington Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN
Preliminary weather forecast: Mostly cloudy with mid-teens temperatures, 10% chance of precipitation with winds of 10-24 km/h
DraftKings sports betting line: Minnesota -2.5, O/U 32
Odds/Lines subject to change. The terms and conditions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
If you’re looking for a refresher on the details of today’s game, be sure to check out our coverage from throughout the week, starting with the game Center.
Opponent insight: The Butcher’s Word
Game preview: Iowa vs Minnesota preview
Personnel forecasts: The Pants predict Iowa vs. Minnesota
If you’re on the go and would rather listen to Hawkeye talk, be sure to check out the BHGP podcast feed. You can find these wherever you get your podcasts or by clicking below.
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