Game 5: Minnesota at Iowa
Five Things You Need To Know
1. Minnesota begins Big Ten play this week against Iowa. The Gophers, who have won two straight against their rivals to the South, will try to retain Floyd of Rosedale for a third straight year. The last time that happened was 1998-2000. Minnesota has beaten Iowa each of the last two years, but both wins came at home. The Gophers have not beat Iowa on the road since Nov. 20, 1999 (25-21 win). The Hawkeyes have since won five straight against Minnesota at home.
2. Minnesota is 4-0 for the first time since 2008. That year, the Gophers also started the season 4-0 before dropping at game at Ohio State. The last time Minnesota was 5-0 was 2004, when it beat Toledo, Illinois State, Colorado State, Northwestern and Penn State before falling to Michigan by three points. This year marks just the 32nd time that Minnesota is 4-0, but it is just the tenth time since 1950. In addition, it is just the third time since 1950 that Minnesota is 4-0 after starting the season on the road (joining 2005 and 1960). In 2005, Minnesota began the season with a win at Tulsa and then started the season 4-0. The Gophers lost their fifth game at Penn State and finished the year 7-5. In 1960, Minnesota won at Nebraska and started the season 7-0. The Gophers ended that year at the Rose Bowl with an 8-2 mark.
3. Minnesota won three games in 2011. This year, the Gophers have already won four. History told us this would happen, as all of the previous teams that Jerry Kill has coached improved their record from his first to second year at the school. While at Saginaw Valley St., Kill's squad went 6-4 in his first year before going 7-3. Emporia State was 5-6 during Kill's first year, but improved to 6-5 the next year. Kill took a 1-10 Southern Illinois in his first year and then produced a 4-8 team. Most recently at Northern Illinois, Kill's team was 6-7 in his first season, but improved to 7-6.
4. Minnesota has won five straight games dating back to last year. It's the Gophers' first five-game winning streak since winning the final game of 2004 and the first four games of 2005. The Gophers finished their non-conference schedule with a winning record for the first time since 2009. Minnesota joins Ohio State and Northwestern (both 4-0) as the only undefeated Big Ten teams.
5. Twice this year, the Gophers have allowed only one touchdown (beat New Hampshire 44-7 and Syracuse 17-10). The last time Minnesota had two games during the same year where they allowed only one touchdown or less was 2009. That year, the Gophers beat Air Force 20-13 (allowed 1 TD, 2FGs) and South Dakota State 16-13 (allowed 1 TD, 2 FGs). Minnesota lost to Iowa 12-0 (allowed 1 TD, 2 FGs). This year is the first year since 2006 that Minnesota has held two of its first four opponents to 10 points or less. (beat Kent State 44-0 and Temple 62-0).
Click on the Game Notes link above for Minnesota's complete game notes.