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Continued: Winning Floyd back from Iowa is a heavy Gophers' burden

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 28, 2013 - 7:49 AM

Leidner has yet to throw an interception, but he’s only had 20 passing attempts. The Gophers have had him run more than twice that much, as he’s racked up 46 carries for 251 yards.

Iowa’s trademark has long been its strength and fundamental skill along the offensive and defensive lines. The Gophers have re-established their identity as a determined running team. They have 16 rushing touchdowns this year, and now they’ll face an Iowa team that has yet to allow a rushing score.

“They’ve got some big guys [on defense],” Gophers running back Rodrick Williams said. “They’re physical and stuff like that.”

If the Gophers win, it would add legitimacy to their nonconference start and send them to Michigan next week with a 5-0 record for the first time since 2004. Vereen still remembers the frenzied celebrations after the victories over Iowa in 2010 and ’11.

“It was electric,” he said. “It was a strong reminder that games like that aren’t just for the team but for the state.”

And this time, if he gets to lift Floyd, he knows the proper technique to use.

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