Gophers Upset Hawkeyes, 22-21

(AP) MarQueis Gray‘s fourth-down sprint for the pylon from the 2-yard line in the closing minutes lifted Minnesota to a 22-21 victory over Iowa on Saturday, giving the Gophers possession of the Floyd of Rosedale bronze pig trophy for the second straight year. Gray went 11 for 17 for 193 yards and a touchdown and ran 11 times for 62 yards and the go-ahead score for the Gophers (2-6, 1-3), who lost their first three Big Ten games by an average margin of 38 points. Marcus Coker carried the ball 32 times for 252 yards and two touchdowns, but the Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2) missed a chance to move into a four-way tie for first place in the Legends Division. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and check out the Big Ten scoreboard.

Check out our quarter-by-quarter recap, powered by Narrative Science:

FINAL: Marcus Coker’s 245 rushing yards and two touchdowns weren’t enough to lead Iowa to victory, as Iowa (6-3) fell 22-21 to Minnesota on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota (2-6) didn’t capture the lead until the fourth quarter. With 2:48 to go, MarQueis Gray scrambled for a three-yard touchdown run to give the Golden Gophers a 22-21 lead. Duane Bennett rushed for 97 yards and one touchdown, and Gray picked up 62 rushing yards and one touchdown of his own, as the backfield duo led Minnesota’s ground attack. The Golden Gophers’ offense dominated, ripping off huge chunks of yardage. Minnesota burned the Hawkeyes’ defense for four plays of more than 20 yards. With 4:27 to go in the second quarter, Gray found Devin Crawford-Tufts open for a 61-yard pass, the Golden Gophers’ biggest gain of the game. Later in the drive, Gray threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Collin McGarry, which tied the score at 7-7. Minnesota racked up 367 total yards. Along with Gray’s stats in the passing game, the Golden Gophers also added 174 yards rushing on 40 attempts. Minnesota’s Gray was good for 193 yards during the game, completing 11 of 17 passes. Gray tossed one touchdown and no interceptions. Gray had a trusted receiver in Da’Jon McKnight. He hauled in five catches for 62 yards. Iowa’s James Vandenberg went 16 of 24 through the air for a total of 178 yards. Vandenberg finished the game with one touchdown and no interceptions. Marvin McNutt was a key target for Vandenberg. He caught seven passes for 101 yards and one touchdown. The Hawkeyes’ offense finished the game having gained 445 yards. Iowa complemented Vandenberg’s passing with 267 yards rushing on 42 attempts.

FOURTH QUARTER: At one point, Iowa held an 11-point advantage, but Minnesota came back to take the lead, and finished on top for a 22-21 victory. The Golden Gophers looked to be done with 4:14 to go in the third quarter, but Minnesota worked its way back on top. The Golden Gophers went on a 12-point run to finish the game. The Hawkeyes opened up the lead, 21-10, after Marcus Coker pounded in a one-yard touchdown run to end a seven-play, 71-yard drive. James Vandenberg’s 27-yard pass to Marvin McNutt took Iowa from the 29 and across midfield to ignite the drive. Duane Bennett’s one-yard touchdown run put Minnesota on top 22-21, the final play on a 23-play, 80-yard drive. The Golden Gophers drove across midfield after MarQueis Gray’s 21-yard pass to Da’Jon McKnight from the 43-yard line. Minnesota’s Devin Crawford-Tufts topped 100 yards receiving for the game in the quarter, and finished his day with 100 yards on two catches.

THIRD QUARTER: Iowa’s aerial assault is on point, as the Hawkeyes now lead 14-10 thanks to 83 passing yards in the quarter. Marcus Coker turned a handoff into a one-yard touchdown to break the 7-7 deadlock in favor of Iowa. The play finished off an eight-play, 63-yard scoring drive. James Vandenberg’s 23-yard pass to Marvin McNutt took the Hawkeyes from the 37 and across midfield to ignite the drive. Minnesota capped off a 39-yard drive when Jordan Wettstein kicked a 29-yard field goal to make the score 14-10. The Golden Gophers used MarQueis Gray’s 39-yard pass to Devin Crawford-Tufts to fuel the drive. Minnesota’s Crawford-Tufts hauled in one catches for 39 yards in the quarter to put him over 100 yards receiving for the game. Crawford-Tufts has 100 yards on the day so far. Iowa’s McNutt hit 100 yards receiving for the game in the quarter, part of his 101-yard, seven-reception performance thus far. The Hawkeyes are poised to score with the ball at the Golden Gophers’ 15-yard line to start the fourth quarter.

SECOND QUARTER: Iowa’s Marcus Coker ran for 118 yards in the quarter, and the two teams are tied 7-7 at the end of the second. The Hawkeyes scored when James Vandenberg threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Marvin McNutt to clinch a 10-play, 53-yard drive, giving Iowa the game’s first lead. Minnesota tied the score at seven apiece after MarQueis Gray and Collin McGarry hooked up for a three-yard touchdown to polish off a seven-play, 81-yard drive. The Golden Gophers’ drive was highlighted by Gray’s 61-yard pass to Devin Crawford-Tufts. The Hawkeyes’ Coker topped 150 yards rushing for the game in the quarter, and has plenty of time to add to his 187 total yards on the ground. Minnesota will get the ball to start the second half.

FIRST QUARTER: The two teams combined for more punts than points in a slow first quarter and the game is tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. There were three punts in the quarter as neither team could find a way to move the ball. Minnesota will start the second quarter with the ball at its own 45-yard line.

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Kyle on 10/29/2011 @ 8:36pm EDT Said:

I am so disappointed in the way that the Hawkeyes finished today because we really didn’t make the adjustments on either side of the ball to win the game in the second half. We were a one-dimensional offense today because Vandenberg couldn’t get comfortable in the pocket behind a decent offensive line performance (can’t be that bad if Coker runs for over 250 yards). Once again, O’Keefe decided to try and force things when you had Coker making a lot of yards with his good vision and not getting taken down on first contact. On defense, I think that once the Gophers figured out what they could do against our defense that never comes out of the base package, they were able to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to. I really hate to say it, but we need new blood at the helm of both the Offense and Defense. Congratulations Minnesota for playing 4 quarters of football and never quitting or giving up hope of winning a game; I only hope we learned from your effort level and attitude.

Proud Gopher Homer on 10/30/2011 @ 11:30pm EDT Said:

Barry Alvarez was 1-10 in his first year at Wisconsin 20+ years ago, Jerry Kill is building the same type of solid program, especially with the support of Eric Kahler. I know this represents the future. I believe in this team, this coaching staff and the energy Jerry is creating with the students. Well done, gentlemen, well done!

Clayton on 11/1/2011 @ 12:16pm EDT Said:

It was nice to see that Iowa could GIVE the gophers a win by missing 2 easy field goals and deciding to pass all 4 downs w/ 2:48 left in the game when Coker was running all over them the whole game (missed field goals and bad play calling!). Your welcome all you Minnesota Gopher “fans”… enjoy the win bc you all will be complaining how horrible your team is the rest of the year! Iowa didn’t deserve to win that game, but don’t let Floyd get to comfortable bc we are comin for him next year! GO HAWKS!