IOWA CITY, IOWA -- The Hawkeyes did not have to punt in the first half against the Gophers on Saturday night, as Iowa built a 24-14 lead at Kinnick Stadium.
The Hawkeyes four first-half drives went: touchdown (91 yards), touchdown (78 yards), field goal and touchdown (97 yards).
The Gophers won the toss, took the ball and sputtered near midfield, before Peter Mortell pinned the Hawkeyes at the 9-yard line with a pooch punt.
Iowa reeled off a 17-play touchdown drive, going 4-for-4 on third down and consuming 8:38 on the clock. LeShun Daniels scored the touchdown on a three-yard run.
The Gophers came right back to tie it, as Mitch Leidner hit KJ Maye deep for a 37-yard gain, setting up a two-yard touchdown run by Leidner.
Iowa grabbed a 14-7 lead, but the Gophers countered again. Leidner had third-down completions to Brandon Lingen (19 yards) and Drew Wolitarsky (15) to keep the drive alive. Then the Gophers ran the play where Leidner rolls right and throws back to his left for Lingen.
It worked for a touchdown against Purdue, but a variation of that play was the one that ate up most of the clock at the end of the Michigan game. That one didn’t work. This one did, as Leidner hit a wide-open Lingen for a 40-yard touchdown pass.
Iowa came back down the field and got a 47-yard field goal from Marshall Koehn. Mortell pinned the Hawkeyes at the 3-yard line with his next punt, but that didn’t stop the Hawkeyes.
Beathard hit a 32-yard pass and had a 31-yard run, setting up a two-yard touchdown run by Daniels.
Gophers running back Rodney Smith was on the field for warmups, testing his injured ankle, but he couldn’t play. Shannon Brooks got the start at tailback and reeled off a 27-yard run on Minnesota’s first play from scrimmage and finished the half with eight carries for 58 yards.
Mitch Leidner completed 10 of 14 passes for 153 yards.