College football: Iowa hands Gophers 1st loss of season
Jake Rudock passed for 218 yards and a touchdown and ran for another, and Mike Meyer booted three field goals as the visiting Hawkeyes retained the Floyd of Rosedale trophy in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Mark Weisman rushed for 147 yards on 24 carries as Iowa (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) broke the 200-yard rushing mark for the fifth straight game. The Hawkeyes finished with a 464-165 edge in total yards and controlled the ball for 36 minutes, one second.
Minnesota's Philip Nelson, making his first start since injuring his hamstring in a Sept. 14 win over Western Illinois, completed 12-of-24 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown but had two interceptions. The Golden Gophers (4-1, 0-1), who came into the game averaging 282.2 yards per game rushing, were held to just 30 yards rushing on 27 attempts.
Iowa controlled the game from the start, taking a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on a 49-yard field goal by Meyer and increasing the lead to 10 in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Rudock that capped a eight-play, 80-yard drive. Rudock connected on a 74-yard touchdown pass to Damond Powell later in the stanza.
Iowa increased its lead to 20-0 in the third quarter with another long, time-consuming drive, this one covering 75 yards in 15 plays and capped by a 23-yard field goal by Meyer. Minnesota got back into the game when Marcus Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards to set the stage for a 23-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Derrick Engel, but Meyer's third field goal, this one from 46 yards, concluded the scoring with 4:48 to go.
Game notebook: Rudock's second-quarter touchdown run was his fifth of the season, the most rushing scores by an Iowa quarterback since Nathan Chandler had six in 2003. ... Iowa LB Anthony Hitchens reached the 200-tackle plateau for his career with five first-half tackles. ... RB Donnell Kirkwood, who rushed for a team-high 926 yards in 2012 for the Gophers, carried the ball for the first time since spraining his ankle against UNLV on Aug. 29 and finished with 6 yards on three attempts.