Iowa hands No. 7 Minnesota its first loss
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Minnesota’s undefeated season came to an end in a place where the Gophers have struggled for a while.
Nate Stanley threw for two touchdown passes and Tyler Goodson ran for a score to help No. 23 Iowa beat No. 7 Minnesota 23-19 on Saturday, handing the Gophers their first loss while hurting their playoff prospects.
The Hawkeyes (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten) struck quickly, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions, then held off Minnesota’s charge in the second half for their first victory over a ranked opponent this season.
The Gophers (9-1, 6-1, No. 8 CFP) haven’t won at Kinnick Stadium since 1999, losing nine straight on the road in the series.
Minnesota got to 23-19 with 3:27 to play when Rodney Smith scored on a 1-yard dive. But Brock Walker’s extra-point attempt missed. Iowa’s Nate Wieting then recovered the onside kick.
The Gophers had a final chance. But quarterback Tanner Morgan was sacked by Joe Evans and A.J. Epenesa on back-to-back plays, then backup Cole Kramer’s pass was intercepted by Riley Moss on fourth down.
Stanley threw for 173 yards. Goodson rushed for 94 yards.
Morgan threw for 368 yards. Tyler Johnson had nine catches for 170 yards. The Gophers had 431 yards of offense.
Minnesota: The Gophers’ chance at making it to the CFP took a hit with the defeat. But they’re still in command of the West Division race with two games remaining. Minnesota plays at Northwestern next week and closes the season at home against Wisconsin, the second-place team in the division. The Badgers are one game behind the Gophers.
Iowa: This was the Hawkeyes’ fifth home win on Oct. 30 or late over a team with serious national title aspirations since 2008. The Hawkeyes talked all week about not having any pressure with their division hopes.
Minnesota rose 12 spots after beating Penn State a week ago. The Gophers will tumble, but it likely won’t be as dramatic as last week’s surge. As for Iowa, it should expect to move up at least three or four spots.
Minnesota: At Northwestern on Nov. 23
Iowa: Hosts Illinois in its home finale Nov. 23