Who doesn’t like bacon?
Floyd of Rosedale will be on the line Saturday at Kinnick Stadium when Iowa and Minnesota meet for possession of the bronze pig, the first of three traveling trophies the Hawkeyes will play for in the final five regular-season game.s
Minnesota and more are part of today’s Hawkeye 10@10, your daily dose of Iowa news and notes.
Delivered each weekday at 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com, your home for all things Iowa, here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. There’s always been something a little extra special when Iowa and Minnesota meet on the football field, perhaps no more so than when Hawkeye fans invaded the Metrodome on a regular basis for traditional late-November match-ups with the Golden Gophers.
The zenith came in 15 years ago in 2002 when Iowa finished off an 8-0 Big Ten season with 45-21 win over Minnesota.
Hawkeye fans stormed the turf following the game and ripped down the goal posts, carting them up the steps only to discover that there was no way a goal post was going to fit through the revolving doors fans had to use to help keep the roof inflated.
“I had a good friend who I coached with at Maine actually call right after that and he said he’d never seen anything like that,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz recalled. “He’s probably right. It’s probably never happened before. He also said, ‘your fans aren’t very smart, trying to take those goal posts through a revolving door.’ That’s enthusiasm maybe rather than physics. But that was kind of a storybook year.’’
2. Akrum Wadley uses one word to describe Minnesota’s defense.
“Gritty,’’ he said.
The Iowa senior expects the Golden Gophers to bring an aggressive approach that will be fueled by a rivalry which saw both teams struggle to move the ball a year ago in Iowa’s 14-7 win in Minneapolis.
“They get to the ball well and anytime they play Iowa, they’re going to bring some extra fire to it. We know what we’re getting into.’’
3. Minnesota’s collection of running backs all bring something a little different to the table for Iowa to deal with this week.
Rodney Smith, Shannon Brooks and Kobe McCrary are all expected to see time in the backfield against Iowa in what coach P.J. Fleck describes as a “three-headed monster.’’
“They all bring their own flavor to the thing but the one thing they have in common is that they are all downhill guys,’’ linebacker Bo Bower said. “They use them different ways, too, so we have a lot to get ready for this week.’’
4. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has generally been pleased with his team’s work on the practice field this week, something he said may or may not prove to be a good barometer for what might transpire Saturday.
“There are examples of where they practice well and don’t show up and play or vice versa,’’ Ferentz said. “The most important thing for us, quite frankly, and it’s true of most teams, but where we are at right now every practice is an opportunity for our team to grow and get better. We’re clearly not there or we wouldn’t have gone through three losses like we have.’’
5. Defensive tackle Matt Nelson said the Hawkeyes can expect a challenge from the Golden Gophers’ offensive front.
“They use a lot of guys, but they’re all big, strong, they’re a good offensive front,’’ Nelson said. “They have a good offense. We know pretty much what they like to do, but like every week I’m sure they’ll add a wrinkle or two. That’s part of the deal.’’
6. Even when things aren’t going well, quarterback Nate Stanley says putting on a positive spin on things with teammates is paramount.
“You have to take that approach,’’ he said. “It’s all part trying to keep things moving forward. Not every play is going to work. You have to keep the faith that the next one will make a difference.’’
7. Josh Jackson is working to shore things up as the Hawkeyes’ first year punt returner.
Jackson dealt with the sun and the wind last week at Northwestern and coach Kirk Ferentz said the area remains a work in progress.
“The other day was a tough day,’’ Ferentz said. “You had the sun, you had the wind and then that guy (Hunter Niswander) hit that one (80 yarder) and it was like, are you kidding me? … That was a huge play in the game, just flipping field position. That’s crazy but those things happen.’’
8. Former Hawkeye and current Green Bay Packers assistant Jerry Montgomery will be the honorary captain for Iowa’s game against Minnesota on Saturday.
Montgomery will accompany Hawkeye captains to the center of the field for the pregame coin toss and be with the team before and after the game.
Montgomery lettered from 1998-2001 at Iowa and was a three-year starter on the defensive line.
He played for the Chicago Rush, Colorado Crush and Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League from 2003-05.
Montgomery coached 11 seasons at the college level before joining the Packers staff three years ago.
He previously worked at Northern Iowa from 2006-08, Wyoming in 2009-10, Michigan in 2011-12 and Oklahoma in 2013-14.
His work includes being selected as the recruiter of the year in the Big 12 in 2014.
9. Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said the chance to coach in a game like the Iowa-Minnesota game was one thing that attracted him to the Golden Gophers job after leading Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl a year ago.
“Games like this are why you play in the Big Ten and why you coach in the Big Ten,’’ Fleck said. “This is why you come to the University of Minnesota to play in all these historic rivalries. It’s very important. It’s the next game and I never want our players to have to play so much better in one game because it’s thee game and the sluff off in another, but it is an honor to be part of this.’’
10. Iowa has added two walk-ons to its 2018 recruiting class this week.
Kordell Stillmunkes, a 5-foot-9 receiver from Cuba City, Wisconsin, and Matt Fagan, a 6-5, 265-pound offensive lineman from Council Bluffs St. Albert, have announced intentions to join the Hawkeye program on Twitter.
Stillmunkes ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at an Iowa camp during the summer and was being recruited by a number of Division II programs while Fagan, a tackle, chose the Hawkeyes over scholarship offers from Northern Iowa and South Dakota.
They join a collection of preferred walk-ons that includes fullbacks Connor Ruth of Seward, Nebraska and Turner Pallissard of Frankfort, Illinois and wide receiver Blair Brooks of Marion.