Iowa-Minnesota: Ferentz Has Had Hawkeyes in Hog Heaven

By ClassyHawkeye on November 13, 2020 at 10:30 am
go hawks go
© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In honor of Kirk Ferentz moving to fourth in all-time wins as a head coach in Big Ten history thanks to last weekend’s 49-7 destruction of Michigan State, it’s appropriate we check in this week on his ownership of Floyd of Rosedale.

Under Ferentz, Iowa is 15-6 against Minnesota and has won seven of the last ten meetings for the bronze pig. The Hawkeyes are in the midst of a five-game winning streak against the Golden Gophers, tied for their longest all-time in the series. This is Iowa's second five-game winning streak in the rivalry under Ferentz, the first coming as part of an eight wins in nine games run from 2001-2009.

Whether playing at the cavernous Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome or TCF Bank Stadium, trips to the Twin Cities have been kind to the Hawkeyes over the past 20 years. Iowa has returned to Iowa City with our friend Floyd after three of its last four and six of its last ten games in Minneapolis.

Looking back at Iowa’s decade-long Golden Gopher romp in the Aughts produces a proverbial greatest hits list of Hawkeyes football, far too many to include in this article. So in the meantime, let’s revisit my two favorite Iowa wins in that tin-can Minnesota used to call home:

The 2002 game stands on its own as one of the great moments in school history. #5 Iowa's 45-21 romp at the Metrodome put a stamp on a perfect 8-0 Big Ten season, a Big Ten Championship, Kirk Ferentz's program turnaround, and Brad Banks' ascension to Heisman Trophy Runner-Up. 

If you've never watched this game from start to finish, drop everything and do it now. In fact, if you haven't seen it, I suggest watching the 2002 game in its entirety tonight in lieu of this year's contest. It'll likely be a lot more fun watching Brad Banks drop dimes, Iowa win the Big Ten Title and Hawkeyes fans tear down the Metrodome goalposts than watching a pair of 1-2 teams in an empty stadium on a Friday evening. 


In 2008, the Hawkeyes put a bullet in the Metrodome, blowing out Minnesota in the final college football game ever played there, 55-0. Shonn Greene finished a dominant regular season that included setting Iowa’s single-season rushing record by capping things off with 144 yards and two touchdowns in helping the Hawkeyes out-gain the Golden Gophers 222-7 on the ground and 483-134 total. Lost in Iowa's complete annihilation of Minnesota (the Hawkeyes’ largest margin of victory in the series) was, in my opinion, one of the best non-touchdown runs in school history courtesy of Mr. Greene. Get out of the way DJK

God, I miss that dump.

Fleck Lives?

Iowa’s current five-game winning streak over Minnesota is punctuated by a perfect 3-0 record against noted Mid-American Conference legend and barbershop cosplayer P.J. Fleck. While it's been a blast watching the Hawkeyes own the Golden Gophers over the past three years, Ferentz v. Fleck has actually been pretty nip and tuck statistically as two of the three match-ups have been decided by one score or less.

Since 2017
Per Game Avg. Iowa Minnesota
Points 29.3 20
Rush Yards 116 97
Pass Yards 225.6 247
Total Yards 341.6 344
Turnovers 1.3 2
Wins 3 0

In 2017, a pair of 4-3 teams played a game that looked exactly how it sounds. The Hawkeyes went 3-14 on third-downs, lost the turnover battle 2-1 and got out-rushed 142-125, yet somehow pulled out a 17-10 win in Iowa City. It helped Iowa that Golden Gophers QB Demry Croft posted an absurd 7.2(!!!!!!) quarterback-rating on the night. The affair was pretty forgettable, but still, the Hawkeyes won and Noah Fant gave us a wonderful Minnesota troll-job end zone celebration so #GoIowaAwesome just the same.

In the Hawkeyes' last trip to Minneapolis, Iowa QB Nate Stanley lit up Minnesota to the tune of 314 passing yards and four touchdowns in a 48-31 victory. The Hawkeyes defense picked off Minnesota’s revolving door of bad quarterbacks four times, including a pair of picks by CB Riley Moss. Despite Stanley throwing two bad interceptions, the affair was never in doubt once TE T.J. Hockensen pulled off a gorgeous touchdown run off a fake field goal/swinging-gate trick play late in the first half.

Last season Floyd went national as #8 and 9-0 Minnesota strutted into Iowa City to meet a 6-3 Iowa squad ranked #20. In typical Ferentz-ball fashion, the Hawkeyes used a juiced-up, mid-November "Kinnick Magic" crowd to jump out to an early 20-3 lead and then hung on for dear life in a 23-19 triumph. Iowa won despite allowing Golden Gophers QB Tanner Morgan to throw for a gaudy 368 yards (9.4 yards per attempt!). The Hawkeyes offset the disparity through the air by taking care of the ball (zero turnovers) and holding Minnesota to only 63 yards on the ground in ending the Golden Gophers undefeated season.

The contest most notably featured Fleck's ridiculously dramatic sprint onto the field after a whistle because WR Tyler Johnson was on the ground for a half-second and, you know, P.J. CARES ABOUT HIS PLAYERS SO MUCH MORE THAN OTHER COACHES. Please beat this man's team like a drum, Hawkeyes. 

After a disastrous start to a most unusual season, Friday night presents a golden opportunity for Iowa: A win and the Hawkeyes dig themselves back to .500 while making history with a sixth-straight locker-room celebration with our buddy Floyd.

A loss and last week's blowout of Michigan State was nothing more than lipstick on a pig.


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