No. 24 Iowa Looks to Maintain Big Ten West Lead Against Minnesota

         

Summary: No. 24 ranked Iowa aims to stay ahead in the Big Ten West as they face off against Minnesota in a crucial divisional matchup.

No. 24 ranked Iowa is set to face off against Minnesota in a highly anticipated Big Ten West clash. The Hawkeyes, currently leading the division, are hoping to maintain their position with a win. They hold a half-game lead over Wisconsin and have the tiebreaker after defeating them last week. On the other hand, Minnesota is looking to make a statement by winning in Iowa City for the first time since 1999. With both teams vying for divisional supremacy, this game is a must-win for both sides.

In terms of key matchups, Minnesota’s punt coverage team will have the difficult task of containing Iowa’s punt returner, Cooper DeJean. DeJean is leading the Big Ten with an average of 13.1 yards per punt return and has already made game-changing plays for the Hawkeyes this season. If Minnesota can neutralize his impact, they will have a better chance of pulling off the upset.

Players to watch include Minnesota’s RB Zach Evans, who has been impressive since filling in for the injured Darius Taylor. With Taylor potentially returning, Evans could have competition for carries but is expected to play a significant role regardless. Last year, the Gophers had success on the ground against Iowa, and Evans will look to replicate that performance. For Iowa, TE Steven Stilianos will be stepping up as the main target at the position due to Erick All’s season-ending injury. Stilianos has had a limited receiving role so far but will be expected to take on a larger role moving forward.

Iowa currently holds the upper hand in the Floyd of Rosedale trophy game, having won the past eight matchups. Last year’s game was a close battle, with Iowa narrowly winning 13-10. Minnesota is determined to break their losing streak and secure a victory against their long-standing rivals. Furthermore, the Gophers have struggled on the road against ranked opponents, having lost 13 straight since 2014. Iowa’s defense has been dominant, keeping seven opponents without a touchdown so far this season. The stage is set for an exciting contest between two Big Ten rivals striving for victory.

Tags: Iowa, Minnesota, Big Ten West, college football, Floyd of Rosedale, divisional matchup, Iowa City, key matchups, ranked opponents, rivalry

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