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Wine Online: That's a Lot of Hardware
Three more wins in trophy games for 2009 Hawkeyes
James Vandenberg's first victory as a starter came in a trophy game -- the Hawkeyes' 12-0 win over Minnesota for the Floyd of Rosedale.
James Vandenberg's first victory as a starter came in a trophy game -- the Hawkeyes' 12-0 win over Minnesota for the Floyd of Rosedale.
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Nov. 22, 2009

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa - How much do traveling trophies motivate college football teams? Does the Old Oaken Bucket make Purdue and Indiana play harder? Is the Little Brown Jug an inspiration when Michigan plays Minnesota?

    Iowa plays for three traveling trophies: The Cy-Hawk Trophy for Iowa State, the Heartland Trophy for Wisconsin and Floyd of Rosedale for Minnesota. And while it is impossible to say how much incentive -- if any -- these trophies provide, recent results indicate they give inspiration to the Hawkeyes.


    Iowa is 6-0 against its three traditional rivals over the last two seasons. Iowa State was held without a touchdown in 17-5 and 35-3 Iowa victories. Minnesota was held without a point in 55-0 and 12-0 Iowa shutouts. Wisconsin scored, but not nearly enough, in 38-16 and 20-10 Iowa wins.

    The Hawkeyes are not beating chopped liver in these rivalry games. Wisconsin and Minnesota both played in bowl games last season and are bowl-eligible again this year, as is Iowa State.

    Maybe Iowa is getting motivation from the trophies. It certainly seemed that way Saturday when Iowa's defense smothered Minnesota's offense.

    The Gophers don't have the most fearsome attack in the Big Ten, but they came into Kinnick Stadium averaging 23.5 points and 304.5 yards per game. Against Iowa, they got no points and 201 yards.

    Minnesota relies heavily on the forward pass, but it was working against an Iowa pass defense that is ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten and among the best in college football. On a day the Gophers desperately needed yards in the air, they got only 153, completing an awful 14 of 42 passes.





    Iowa is 6-0 against its three traditional rivals over the last two seasons. Iowa State was held without a touchdown in 17-5 and 35-3 Iowa victories. Minnesota was held without a point in 55-0 and 12-0 Iowa shutouts. Wisconsin scored, but not nearly enough, in 38-16 and 20-10 Iowa wins.

    The Hawkeyes are not beating chopped liver in these rivalry games. Wisconsin and Minnesota both played in bowl games last season and are bowl-eligible again this year, as is Iowa State.



    Minnesota made only 6 of 26 third- and fourth-down conversions. They penetrated the red zone twice but got turned away both times. The first time they lost a fumble, the second provided one of Iowa's best defensive moments of the season.

    After recovering a fumble at the Iowa 30 early in the fourth quarter, Minnesota had a first-and-goal at the two-yard line. A touchdown here would have made the score 12-7 and put serious pressure on an Iowa offense that wasn't doing much with the football.

    But four plays resulted in a loss of five yards, and Iowa's defense had made its most inspirational goal-line stand since those at Michigan State earlier this season and at Syracuse in 2006.

    This is the seventh season in school history the Hawkeyes have won 10 football games. All have been achieved since 1985. Remarkably, four have come in the last eight seasons under Coach Kirk Ferentz. It should be noted, however, that Iowa's great teams of the 1920s and 1950s played schedules of seven and nine games, respectively.

    The Hawkeyes will now wait until Dec. 6 to learn where they will play in the post season. There is a very real possibility it could be a BCS bowl such as the Fiesta in Phoenix or the Orange in Miami. Or it might be the Capital One in Orlando.

    They are all great destinations, and there will be much speculation in the coming days as to which one favors Iowa. In the meantime, the Hawkeyes can take some much-needed time off and mend their injuries.

    They can also put Floyd of Rosedale back in the their trophy case for the eighth time in the past nine years. Maybe there is motivation to these traveling trophies after all.

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