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Associated Press, Published September 29 2012

Iowa hand Gophers their season's first loss

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Minnesota rallied from behind to steal wins against Iowa the last two seasons. The hole was too deep to climb out of this time.

The Gophers were down 24-0 midway through the second quarter and couldn’t recover in a 31-13 loss to Iowa on Saturday in the Big Ten opener for both teams. The win gave the Hawkeyes possession of the Floyd of Rosedale bronze pig trophy.

Minnesota (4-1) managed only 75 yards in that tough first half, Max Shortell threw three interceptions and the Gophers’ defense couldn’t slow down Iowa’s Mark Weisman – who rushed for 155 of his 177 yards before halftime.

“I thought we played a bit tight early,” Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said. “I think most of it had to do with momentum. I don’t think there is any question that they got some momentum early in the game and we couldn’t get it switched off.”

Christian Kirksey’s 68-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter sealed the win for Iowa (3-2), which started the season losing two games by a combined four points.

Minnesota 0 0 7 6 – 13

Iowa 3 21 0 7 – 31

First Quarter

Iowa – FG Meyer 44, 12:35.

Second Quarter

Iowa – Weisman 8 run (Meyer kick), 14:55.

Iowa – Cotton 47 pass from Vandenberg (Meyer kick), 13:03.

Iowa – Vandenberg 1 run (Meyer kick), 8:50.

Third Quarter

Minn – Fruechte 9 pass from Shortell (Wettstein kick), 7:12.

Fourth Quarter

Iowa – Kirksey 68 interception return (Meyer kick), 5:15.

Minn – Goodger 1 pass from Shortell (pass failed), :41.

A – 70,585.

Minn Iowa

First downs 15 15

Rushes-yards 32-102 25-182

Passing 197 192

Comp-Att-Int 20-33-3 18-31-0

Return Yards 30 103

Punts-Avg. 6-44.5 6-36.5

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0

Penalties-Yards 4-29 8-56

Time of Possession 32:05 27:55

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Minnesota, Shortell 16-46, Kirkwood 12-33, Maye 3-15,

Cobb 1-8. Iowa, Weisman 21-177, Vandenberg 2-5, Garmon 1-3,

Team 1-(minus 3).

PASSING: Minnesota, Shortell 20-33-3-197. Iowa,

Vandenberg 18-31-0-192.

RECEIVING: Minnesota, Barker 5-74, Goodger 3-14, Henry 2-28,

Fruechte 2-26, Engel 2-25, Kirkwood 2-14, Rabe 1-8, Crawford-Tufts 1-4,

Cobb 1-3, Maye 1-1. Iowa, K.Davis 6-50, Weisman 3-12, Fiedorowicz 2-50,

Cotton 2-44, Martin-Manley 2-14, Hamilton 1-20, Garmon 1-3,

Rogers 1-(minus 1).