HawkeyesMic.com – Podcasting 12 Years of Original Content on Iowa Athletics
By Jack Brandsgard (email@example.com) 10/07/18
The Iowa Hawkeyes beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 48-31 on Saturday to claim their fourth-straight Floyd of Rosedale trophy.
True freshmen Riley Moss and Julius Brents combined for three interceptions in the first starts of their careers. Minnesota had success targeting Moss early on as Rashod Bateman had a 34-yard catch and a touchdown against Moss on one drive and drew a pass interference call on another. But Moss hung in there.
“I had a next-play mentality,” Moss said. “Bad things are going to happen. I knew they were going to come my way. I’m a true freshman, so I knew it was coming. [I tried] to bounce back and lay back on my technique.”
Moss answered the bell with two interceptions, the most he’s had in any game in his life. Brents also had a pick, and safety Geno Stone recorded Iowa’s fourth of the day to seal the win. The Hawkeyes entered the game with only two interceptions after leading the nation with 21 a year ago.
Iowa’s defense created the turnovers despite being shorthanded. Michael Ojemudia was limited and Matt Hankins didn’t play. Neither did Nick Niemann. Jack Hockaday left the game and was on crutches on the sideline. The silver lining is that the defense still played well and developed depth in the process.
“It builds confidence,” Moss said. “I think we earned some trust as a defense to be able to have twos that can go in and play just as good as the starters.”
The defensive line continued to lead the defense. Anthony Nelson recorded a hat trick with three sacks in the first half. The Gophers’ 31 points were misleading as two of their touchdown drives started inside Iowa’s 10-yard line following turnovers.
Outside of those turnovers, the offense played well. Nate Stanley started quickly by throwing two touchdown passes in the opening 9:12. His best play of the day came when he navigated a crowded pocket and threw off-balance to Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who galloped for a 60-yard touchdown. It was Iowa’s longest play from scrimmage this year and highlighted its commitment to getting its weapons involved.
The Hawkeyes mixed things up by going from shotgun, using five-wide formations and tempo to keep Minnesota on its heels. Brian Ferentz spread the wealth by calling on seven players to convert Iowa’s opening eight first downs.
The coaching staff was feeling so good that it even called a swinging gate play on fourth down from Minnesota’s 4-yard line in a play that will go down next to “Polecat” in Iowa special teams history.
With Iowa’s offense firing on all cylinders and the defense continuing its steadfast play, the Hawkeyes will feel confident travelling to Bloomington next week.
Final Team Stats Below