I listened to the radio call of the Iowa/Northwestern game last Saturday while raking leaves, knowing that project had to get done on the Gophers bye week.

The Hawkeyes jumped to a 24-0 lead and buried the Wildcats 48-7. The radio crew chose offensive tackle Brandon Scherff as the player of the game, and that told me something about the way Iowa appreciates the battles in the trenches.

Scherff, of course, is about as good as they get, a probable Top 5 NFL draft pick.

“By far, they're the best line we've played all year,” Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said. “I mean he's a good player, but there's not a weak link up there, up front that you can take advantage of.”

That said, I think the Gophers defense is due for a superlative day. I think it comes here, in this emotionally charged atmosphere, with Floyd of Rosedale on the line.

Talk about Mitch Leidner and David Cobb all you want, but to do anything on offense, it's going to take a far better performance from the offensive line. As I wrote earlier this week, the O-line is banged up, especially at right guard, and they'll be facing a very good Iowa front four.

The Gophers were 1.5-point underdogs most of the week, but the line in the paper this morning had them favored by 1 point. Interesting.

I wrote here about how Mitch Leidner took a long look at Iowa as a recruit but didn’t get a scholarship offer. He has a chance today to show the Hawkeyes what they missed.

November stands as the ultimate referendum on how the Gophers will be judged, Chip Scoggins writes.

After a bad stumble, Iowa arrives running at full speed, Jason Gonzalez writes.

Sid Hartman is calling this the Gophers' "biggest game of the year" and says, "I am looking forward to this game as much as I’ve looked forward to a Gophers football game in a long, long time.

Here’s a closer look at the matchups and my prediction.

Our Live Blog is already up and running with photos of the tailgate action, etc.

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