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Friday’s college football: Iowa drubs Minnesota 35-7 for 6th straight win for the pig

Dave Campbell
Associated Press

Minneapolis — Iowa’s defense clamped down hard on Minnesota all night, coming awfully close to its first shutout in the series since 2009.

Coach P.J. Fleck called a timeout in the final seconds to try to help get the Gophers in the end zone, and Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz fired back by using all three of his in a row.

That’s why it’s a rivalry, one that the Hawkeyes have owned for most of Ferentz’s 22-year tenure.

Iowa offensive lineman Justin Britt (63) lifts running back Tyler Goodson (15) in celebration after Goodson scored a touchdown against Minnesota during the first half Friday.

Tyler Goodson rushed for a career-high 142 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, and Iowa beat Minnesota 35-7 on Friday to keep the Floyd of Rosedale trophy for a sixth straight season.

“Figured we’d take Floyd with us and leave the timeouts here,” Ferentz said coyly.

Jack Koerner and Riley Moss each picked off Tanner Morgan for the Gophers quarterback’s first two-interception game in two years, and Zach VanValkenburg had three of the team’s four sacks. Iowa’s defense has a streak of 11 straight games with at least one interception.

“It takes 11 guys to stop a good offensive football team,” said Ferentz, who’s 16-6 against Minnesota. “Not one guy’s going to do it. I think that’s what we saw today.”

The Hawkeyes (2-2) had to wait to hoist the 98-pound bronze pig until they reached the locker room out of respect to the virus protocols required to get the season going, and the stadium was empty save for some family members. Still, this win was just as satisfying as the others.

“I was the first person to get into the locker room, and I tried to pick it up by myself. It’s a little heavier than I thought,” said defensive end Chauncey Golston.

Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 144 yards on 33 attempts, but the junior tailback who entered the evening with the highest rushing average in the FBS didn’t come close to controlling the game like the last two weeks.

“You’ve got to give it up to ’em. They came in with a good game plan, and it worked,” said Ibrahim, who rushed for 431 yards and eight scores against Maryland and Illinois.

Morgan finished 16 of 33 for 167 yards passing — hitting Rashod Bateman eight times for 111 yards and the lone touchdown with 14 seconds left.

“We just couldn’t get going enough to get in that rhythm,” Fleck said.

Minnesota (1-3) had seven penalties for 75 yards in the first half and just 110 total yards on offense. With his team trailing 14-0 in the third quarter, Fleck opted for a 39-yard field goal on fourth-and-7 that was blocked — leaving a 17-play, 74-yard drive that lasted nearly 11 minutes with no points. Goodson broke off a 45-yard run on the next snap.

Nico Ragaini and Mekhi Sargent each rushed for scores, and Spencer Petras went 9 of 18 for 111 yards passing and one touchdown to Ihmir Smith-Marsette, plus one interception for Iowa. Smith-Marsette returned from a one-game suspension for a drunken-driving charge.

The Hawkeyes, who went 10-3 last year and finished 15th in the Associated Press poll, five spots behind the Gophers, lost their first two games this season to Purdue and Northwestern by a combined five points. They’ve recovered deftly, winning their last two games by a combined 84-14.

“They’re incredibly well-coached,” Morgan said, “and they’ve got a lot of good ballplayers.”

Top 25 game

(At) No. 7 Cincinnati 55, East Carolina 17: Desmond Ridder threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to help No. 7 Cincinnati rout East Carolina.

Cincinnati (7-0, 5-0 American Athletic) extended its school-record home winning streak to 19 games, the fourth-longest streak among FBS schools, and kept its hopes alive for a College Football Playoff berth.

Ridder has accounted for 17 touchdowns in the past four games, including nine rushing TDs.

In Cincinnati’s three-point victory over East Carolina last year, the Pirates scored 43 points and piled up 638 yards. The Bearcats were motivated to prevent a repeat.

The offense got off to a fast start with Ridder’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Michael Young to cap a 79-yard drive on their opening possession.

Cincinnati had second-and-goal at the Pirates 3, but lost a fumble at the 5. Six plays later, however, Bearcats linebacker Jarell White returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown.

After punting on three of its first four possessions, East Carolina (1-6, 1-5) drove 58 yards in three plays, pulling to 14-7 on Keaton Mitchell’s 18-yard run.

Ridder’s 16-yard scramble on third-and-12 set up Jerome Ford’s 24-yard touchdown run, and Tre Tucker’s 45-yard touchdown reception highlighted a 28-point second quarter.

After passing for 535 yards against the Bearcats last season, Holton Ahlers threw for 87 yards Friday with three interceptions. He was sacked four times.

The Bearcats, up 42-10 in the fourth quarter, ran a successful fake punt that led to Ford’s second rushing touchdown.

With the Bearcats looking to run out the clock with 17 seconds remaining, Cameron Young burst through the hole for a 75-yard run to cap the scoring.

Pac-12 cancels 2 games

The Pac-12’s football schedule has been scrambled for a second straight week, with positive COVID-19 tests leading to the cancellation of Saturday’s California at Arizona State and Utah at UCLA games.

Instead, Cal will play UCLA on Sunday at the Rose Bowl. The game will kick off at 9 a.m. PT and the teams will have had less than two full days to prepare for each other. In a season where every plan is tentative, the Pac-12’s quick adjustment is unprecedented.

The announcements from the West Coast capped the most tumultuous week of COVID-19 disruptions of the college football season. Fifteen of the 59 games (25%) originally scheduled for Week 11 were called off.

The Sun Devils’ home opener was nixed because of several positive COVID-19 tests among the team’s players and coaching staff, including head coach Herm Edwards. The school said the positive tests put the football team below 53 available scholarship players, which is the minimum allowed according to the league’s cancellation policy.

Later, Utah also determined it didn’t have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game because of positive COVID-19 cases and the resulting isolation of players under contact tracing protocols.

A few hours later, the Pac-12 announced Cal would play at UCLA and next week’s UCLA at Oregon game would be bumped back from Friday to Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Southeastern Conference announced it will use Dec. 19, the day of its conference championship game, as a make-up date for regular-season games. The SEC postponed four games this week, including two that could not be immediately rescheduled because two of the teams involved already have make-up games set for Dec. 12.