Iowa visits Minnesota with Big Ten West in play and the pig

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Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) carries the ball down the field during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern on Saturday, November 12, 2022 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

AP

Iowa (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) in Minnesota (7-3, 4-3), 4 p.m. EST (Fox)

WHAT’S AT Stake?

The West Division title is back in play for both teams with three winning streaks each. The Hawkeyes and Gophers are in a four-way tie with Illinois and Purdue for first place and put Iowa in prime position for a repeat trip to Indianapolis by beating Minnesota via a head-to-head tiebreaker to Purdue. Illinois beat both Iowa and Minnesota but have to play 3rd in Michigan on Saturday. The Gophers, who have never made it to the Big Ten championship game, lost to Purdue. Equally important to Minnesota is the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy, which Iowa has held for seven straight years.

KEY COMPARISON

Iowa DBs vs. Minnesota WRs. The Gophers have struggled to produce a consistent performance with their pass catchers since sixth-year standout Chris Autman-Bell suffered a season-ending injury in his third game. Daniel Jackson has 14 receptions for 173 yards in his last three games. The status of Gophers QB Tanner Morgan remains uncertain. He has missed two of the last four games with an upper-body injury and newcomer Athan Kaliakmanis has filled in ably.

PLAYER TO SEE

Iowa: CB Cooper DeJean has had the best game of his career. He returned an interception for a touchdown, made 10 tackles and set up another score with a 41-yard punt return against Wisconsin. He is second in the Big Ten with four interceptions.

Minnesota: C John Michael Schmitz was named this week as one of seven semifinalists for the Outland Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s outstanding interior designer. Schmitz is the highest-ranked center among Pro Football Focus’ Power 5 teams.

FACTS

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said starting WR Arland Bruce returned to practice Monday and has a chance to play after missing last week’s win against Wisconsin with an undisclosed injury. Bruce’s father played for Minnesota and had a touchdown in the 1999 game that was the last time the Gophers won in Iowa. … Hawkeye’s RG Beau Stephens, who has started every game, is questionable after a helmet-to-helmet collision with a Wisconsin player. Nick DeJong takes his turn instead. … Iowa RB Kaleb Johnson, who has 610 rushing yards, needs 29 more to break the freshman record set by Tyler Goodson in 2019. … Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim leads the FBS with 18 rushing TDs and has an 18-straight streak with at least 100 rushing yards.

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