Scouting report: Gophers at Iowa 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Kinnick Stadium (FS1, 100.3-FM)
A look at the Hawkeyes
Is there a better three-loss team in the country than Iowa? Likely not, because the Hawkeyes lost by two points to No. 2 Penn State, by seven to No. 16 Michigan State and by a touchdown in overtime to Northwestern. “The biggest thing for us to focus on now is how do we minimize some of those errors that are keeping us from being successful,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We are going to be in a lot more close games, I would imagine, in the next five weeks.’’
Who to watch: Josey Jewell, MLB
The heart and soul of Iowa’s defense is Jewell, a 6-2, 236-pounder who leads the Big Ten with 70 tackles and earned Associated Press midseason All-America honors. Jewell missed the 17-10 loss at Northwestern, but Ferentz said the senior could play against the Gophers. Jewell was particularly impressive in the Hawkeyes’ 21-19 loss to Penn State, when he made 16 tackles (11 solo), three tackles for loss, two pass breakups and an interception he returned 33 yards.
From the coach: Kirk Ferentz
In his 19th season at Iowa, Ferentz saw his team’s realistic chance at the Big Ten West title end with the loss at Northwestern. But the 62-year-old still sees plenty for which to play, starting with the Floyd of Rosedale trophy on Saturday night. “Every game is important, but trophy games are significant,’’ he said. “We’re going to fight hard to keep Floyd in our building.’’