Gophers, Hawkeyes And A Bronze Pig: 10 Facts About Minnesota vs Iowa Football

By: Tony Thomas  November 15, 2019


The undefeated (9-0) Minnesota Golden Gophers are ranked 8th in the current College Football Playoff rankings and will go on the road to take on the #20 Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.


Here are 10 facts to know about the Minnesota and Iowa football programs, and their rivalry that began in 1891 and has been played every year since 1931:

  • Iowa has won the last 4 meetings between the two schools.
  •  Minnesota last went undefeated in 1941.
  •  Since 2017, Iowa has created the “coolest” tradition in college football-The Iowa Children’s Hospital Wave. At the end of the first quarter of every home game, the entire home crowd, the players of both teams and the coaching staffs of both teams turn and wave in unison to the patients of the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, who wave back from the 12th level press box of the hospital.
  •  DB Antoine Winfield, Jr. has recorded 7 INTs this season, half of the team’s total for the year. Yet, Winfield is NOT on the Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalists Watch List. He is currently ranked #2 in the FBS in interceptions.
  •  Minnesota is one of the least-penalized teams in the FBS this season.
  •  Iowa’s stadium is named after former student-athlete Nile Kinnick, who won the 1939 Heisman Trophy. Kinnick, known as “The Cornbelt Comet”, was a Naval Aviator who was killed in action in WWII. During that 1939 season, Kinnick played 402 out of a possible 420 minutes, played both offense and defense, and led Iowa to a 6-1-1 record. The Iowa team was known that year as “The Ironmen.”
  •  In 21 years under head coach Kirk Ferentz, Iowa has finished in the Top 10 five times.
  •  Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck was a wide receiver at Northern Illinois from 1999-2003. During the 2003 season, Fleck caught 77 passes for 1028 yards for the Huskies.
  •  Minnesota is #2 in the FBS in interceptions this season with 14.
  •  The winner of the game takes possession of a trophy-a 98 LB bronze pig. The winning team keeps the trophy for a year until the two teams meet again.

The Hawkeyes, in 21 seasons under Ferentz, have won 10 or more games five times. During that same period, Iowa has had only 4 losing seasons, making the Hawkeyes one of the most consistent programs in the country. Iowa has a tough defense, ranked in the Top Ten. The Gophers are riding a 9-game winning streak. It should be a great game.

Thanks for reading.

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