Iowa Defeats Minnesota 31-13 and Reclaims Floyd of Rosedale

Geoff EstesCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2012

IOWA CITY, IA- SEPTEMBER 29: Members of the Iowa Hawkeyes rushes the field to grab the Floyd of Rosedale trophy from the Minnesota Gophers on September 29, 2012 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa defeated Minnesota 31-13. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

He's coming home. 

Tell the world he's coming home.

After two crushing defeats at TCF Bank Field the last two seasons, the Iowa Hawkeyes welcomed Minnesota to Kinnick Stadium and sent them home no longer unbeaten, and pig-less.

Iowa used a 21-point second quarter to put the previously unbeaten Golden Gophers in a 24-0 hole at the half. 

After an eight-yard Mark Weisman touchdown run to open the quarter, less than two minutes later, James Vandneberg connected with Jordan Cotton on a 47-yard flea-flicker pass for another Iowa touchdown.

Vandenberg then ran in a touchdown from a yard out to build the lead to 24-0.

In the second half, Iowa failed to score an offensive touchdown, but was helped by a interception by Christian Kirksey, who returned it 68 yards for a touchdown. 

The story of the game, however, was yet again sophomore running back Mark Weisman.

Weisman carried 21 times for 177 yards and a touchdown, and it could have been a lot more. Weisman had a touchdown called back after a review and had a 30-plus-yard run called back for holding.  Weisman continued to be a force in the backfield, proving hard to bring down even for a Big Ten defense.

Weisman's effort helped open up the passing game a bit as well.  Vandenberg completed 18 passes to eight different receivers for 192 yards.

The mysterious thing about Iowa's offense on Saturday, however, was the play-calling in the second half.  With a 24-0 lead, the Hawkeyes chose to pass on all three downs, instead of pounding the ball, which would not only have let the clock run, but also was working all day.

Play-calling aside, it was an encouraging offensive day for the Hawkeyes.

The defense bottled up Minnesota for most of the day, holding them to under 300 total yards, with many of those yards coming late in the game when it was already decided.  Greg Castillo, Tanner Miller and Kirksey all had interceptions for the Hawkeyes.

Suffice it to say, it was the most impressive showing by the Iowa football team this season.

While the crowd chanted "We Want Floyd," and the band geared up to play the Victory Polka, the players had their sights set on that beautiful, bronze pig, which they rushed across the field to hoist in the air.

After a rough month to start the season, many Hawkeye fans left Kinnick Stadium Saturday feeling a lot better about the Iowa football team. 

They now have a week off before traveling to East Lansing to take on the Spartans of Michigan State.  If Weisman can run all over Sparty like he did Minnesota, the Hawkeyes may have a real chance to shock some people.