The Hawkeyes defeated #8 Minnesota 23-19 handing the Gophers their first loss on the season.
“That first half together was probably our best halves of football that we played,” said senior quarterback Nate Stanley, who finished the game 14-23 for 173 yards and two touchdowns. “You know, playing tight wasn’t gonna help us at all. Everybody was just ready to go, playing loose, playing free and playing fast.”
“We just knew that to win this game we had to put points on the board,” added receiver Nico Ragaini. “We were more aggressive than usual and you could see that in the first half we jumped down their throat and got the thing going.”
Head coach Kirk Ferentz heaped praise on the team’s offensive improvement in key moments. “Our offense really did a great job with three of the four possessions, good balance, good productivity, getting down and finishing the drives with touchdowns. That was certainly important. The second half was just a tremendous fight. Thought our defense down the stretch was outstanding. Certainly to finish the game the way we did was really just outstanding.
“I was telling the D-Line before we headed on the field that it’s on us,” said junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa, who recorded 2.5 sacks in the win. “It’s on the defense and this is what we want. We want it on our shoulders. We’re confident in our ability. We prepared for this, this is what we do, it’s a big-time moment and we’re big-time players and we’re here to make plays.”
This is the 5th-straight win for the Hawkeyes in the series.