Saturday, November 27, 2010
Minnesota upsets Iowa to claim the pig
By Adam Rittenberg
Jeff Horton won't win Big Ten Coach of the Year. That honor will deservedly go to Michigan State's Mark Dantonio or Wisconsin's Bret Bielema.
But Horton deserves a ton of credit for keeping Minnesota on track through a very tough time. And today, the Gophers got a big reward.
The Floyd of Rosedale.
Minnesota's 27-24 upset of No. 24 Iowa allowed the Gophers to hoist a rivalry trophy for the first time since 2006. And you could tell how excited the Minnesota players were as they raced over to grab the bronze pig on Iowa's sideline.
Those of us who know Gophers quarterback Adam Weber are happy for him Saturday. He has endured a ton of losing in his college career, and to win a rivalry trophy in his final game is something he'll never forget. Weber had a so-so day passing the ball, but he got plenty of help from running backs DeLeon Eskridge (95 rush yards, TD) and Duane Bennett (63 rush yards, TD).
Backup quarterback MarQueis Gray also provided a lift with 39 rush yards and a score, including a huge third-down conversion to set up the winning touchdown.
What a letdown for Iowa, which dropped its final three Big Ten games by a total of 10 points. The Hawkeyes once again seemed to wear down on defense and recorded only 218 offensive yards against the nation's No. 88 defense.
I expected a lot more from a senior-laden Iowa team that needs to refocus itself for a bowl game.