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Film Room: Floyd Rewind

For the second consecutive year, Floyd of Rosedale will stay in Iowa, as the Hawkeyes beat Minnesota 23-7 on Saturday. There were a lot of things to correct, but one or two that worked. Let’s dig into the numbers.

By the Numbers

Net Rushing Yards: Minn – 30; Iowa – 246
Average per Rush: Minn – 5.5; Iowa – 1.1
Net Passing Yards: Minn – 135; Iowa – 218
Average per Attempt: Minn – 5.6; Iowa – 8.7
First Downs: Minn – 11; Iowa – 22
Time of Possesion: Minn – 23:59; Iowa – 36:01
Turnovers: Minn – 2; Iowa – 1
Third Down Conversion: Minn – 4 of 13 (30.7%); Iowa – 8 of 14 (57.1%)
Fourth Down Conversion: Minn – 1 of 2 (50%); Iowa – 0 of 0 (NA)
9 or More Play Drives: Minn – 2; Iowa – 3
Series Ending in 3 & Out: Minn – 2; Iowa – 1

Notes: Where to start… Not much went right for the Gophers statistically on Saturday, as Iowa controlled almost every major stat. The biggest concern for Minnesota is in their own rushing performance, with just 30 total yards and 1.1 per carry. As we will jump into in a minute, not much was open in the running game for Minnesota.

Another area Minnesota struggle greatly was in 3rd down situations, converting on only 4 of 13 opportunities. Of the 13, 11 came in 3rd & long situations, greatly lessening the probability to convert. A major area for Jerry Kill’s staff to dig into and work on through B1G play is setting up 3rd down for greater success with their 1st and 2nd down plays.

An added note, the 9 or more play drives is slightly misleading as both series for the Gophers ended in a punt due to Nelson holding the ball too long and taking sacks. For Iowa, only a total of 6 points accumulated out of their 3 series over 9 plays.

Personnel Breakdown

10 Personnel: 12.5% overall
66.7% Pass – 33.3% Run

11 Personnel: 52.1% overall
64.0% Pass – 36.0% Run

Sample Personnel Breakdown

12 Personnel: 8.3% overall
50.0% Pass – 50.0% Run

14 Personnel: 2.1% overall
0.0% Pass – 100.0% Run

21 Personnel: 14.6% overall
28.6% Pass – 71.4% Run

22 Personnel: 10.4% overall
40.0% Pass – 60.0% Run

Notes: The biggest thing that jumped out during the game and again in breaking down of the personnel pairings, is the lack of power running game. When the Gophers tried to run this week, it came in 12, 21 or 22 personnel groups, and usually out of the gun.

Last week for instance the Gophers ran and found great success out of the 23, 31 or 32 personnel, going to it 27.6% of the snaps. Not one of those personnel groupings were used once this week. Power running games definitely can come out of 12, 21 and/or 22. However the added man in the box to help blocking goes a long way and it felt largely like the staff wasn’t confident in their own identity that was starting to establish through non-conference play, which was the power run game out of inverted wishbone and Golden-I.

Iowa’s weakness is the back-4 and strength is in their front-7, so this strategy to attack their DBs is understandable, however I think most would’ve liked to see more of a serious attempt to pound the ball. Instead Limegrover and the offense went with the idea that the Gophers weakness is better than Iowa’s, and shied away from strength on strength. Yes, Iowa’s D was stout up front, stopping the Minnesota run regularly. More of a reason would’ve liked to of seen that added h-back blocking down-hill.

Added note, this also was the first time this season that the Gophers became a pass first team, 55% pass to 45% run.

Big Plays

“Big Play” = any play over 20 yards or turnover.

Iowa – 6
Minnesota – 3

Notes: 2 out of the Gophers 3 “big plays” came on the offensive side of the ball, a number far too little to find success. Both came on passing plays out of 11-gun personnel. The third being Brock Vereen’s INT in the end zone, killing an Iowa drive. Only 1 of the 3 resulted in any points for the Gophers.

On the defensive side of things, the Gophers actually did a good job of limiting Iowa’s “big plays” to only 4 coming way of Iowa’s offense (other 2 were INTs off Nelson). Of the 4 the Gopher defense gave up, only 2 created any points. Another bend but don’t break outing that just had no help from its offense.

Drive Chart

Minnesota

First Half
3 plays – Result Punt
3 plays – Result Punt
9 plays – Result Punt
1 play – Result INT
6 plays – Result Punt
5 plays – Result Punt

Second Half
7 plays – Result Punt
4 plays – Result TD
9 plays – Result Punt
4 plays – Result INT

Iowa

First Half
9 plays – Result Punt
6 plays – Result FG
3 plays – Result Punt
8 plays – Result TD
4 plays – Result Missed FG
2 plays – Result TD
1 play – Result half

Second Half
15 plays – Result FG
8 plays – Result INT
11 plays – Result FG
7 plays – Result end game

Turning Point

The turning point came in the second quarter when Minnesota was unable to sustain a drive and turned the ball over immediately in response to Iowa taking a 10-0 lead. The game was still in reach up to that point.

What We Learned

The good: Well, we learned that Damien Wilson is a very good MLB. Even though Iowa put up 400+ yards of offense, the Jr Juco MLB was regularly was around the ball and making plays.

Needs to improve: The O-line still has a ways to go. It’s a young group that includes two previous walk-ons, however experience is now enough that production needs to start showing. One area I think the staff would admit they would like to see more of is the nasty and feisty attitude from the front-5.

Up Next

The Gophers head to Ann Arbor to face the 4-0 Michigan Wolverines in a battle for the Little Brown Jug, a trophy game that has been dominated by Michigan 38 out of the last 41 contests.

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