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Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz has 143 wins under his belt at the University of Iowa, one away from the all-time record.

The Gazette will count down each win, as ranked by writer Marc Morehouse.

87

If you don't have the stones to deal with a 'trophy run,' get out of the way

Iowa 23, Minnesota 7 | Sept. 28, 2013

Iowa defensive linemen Louis Trinca-Pasat Dominic Alvis celebrate with the Floyd of Rosedale trophy following their 23-7 victory over Minnesota onSaturday, Sept. 28, 2013 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (The Gazette)
Iowa defensive linemen Louis Trinca-Pasat Dominic Alvis celebrate with the Floyd of Rosedale trophy following their 23-7 victory over Minnesota onSaturday, Sept. 28, 2013 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (The Gazette)
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Three cool things:

1. I’m not going to start rating Kirk Ferentz’s “finds.” You know there are a lot of them. You know a lot of the names. One of them certainly is Louis Trinca-Pasat.

You simply have to admit, Ferentz has that super power. It doesn’t always work, so hold off on those examples. Trinca-Pasat is a pretty great example of that super power.

In high school at Lane Tech in Chicago, Trinca-Pasat played tight end but also split out at wide receiver “80 or 90 percent” of the time. The pitch that landed Trinca-Pasat at Iowa was defensive end.

So, of course, Trinca-Pasat, whose parents are from Romania before moving to Chicago, made his mark at Iowa as a defensive tackle. He made it with the Los Angeles Rams for a few seasons.

I’m really glad that worked. It made Trinca-Pasat’s assessment of Iowa’s situation in this game possible.

“We knew we had to come out ready to go,” said Trinca-Pasat, a Chicagoan whose accent is unmistakable. “If we didn’t, they were going to run right up our butts ... We just went out and played. We didn’t do any talking or anything. We just let the play do the talking. We were feeding off the energy on the plays we were making.”

Yes, I imagine Trinca-Pasat was one of those guys in the locker room who didn’t say a lot, but when he did speak, it echoed.

2. Damond Powell’s career sure went by fast. OK, kidding. No, I don’t officially know who the fastest Hawkeye of the last 20 years is, but I imagine Powell is in that convo.

In this one, Ferentz dialed up a call back. The Hawkeyes executed a perfect tunnel screen. Yes, that was the screen play that Ken O’Keefe got going during the early Ferentz days. Minnesota had fired so many coaches at this point that there was no way anyone in the football building would make that connection.

When Ferentz runs a trick play, it usually works. And even if it doesn’t, you cheer. You’ve come to appreciate the risk taking. It’s few and far between, so I can totally see why you’d appreciate it.

3. Hey, let’s talk trophy runs.

I’m still PO’d at Jerry Kill for screwing that up. Wisconsin beat the Gophers in 2013 and the Badgers started chopping down the goal posts at TCF Bank Stadium.

STOP ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE, HAWKEYE FANS.

So, after losing 20-7, the Gophers decided they’d had enough and wanted to fight the Badgers because they were fake chopping down their goal posts.

Control your team, Coach Kill. Make them understand when to, you know, fight. I know, I’m not an expert, but maybe during the game, fight.

So, now you see some schools in the conference place rivalry trophies in the end zone. Not all, but some. I think former UW coach Gary Andersen decided to have the trophy exchange in the locker room.

What a bunch of chicken bleep.

Ferentz has go-to stories for things. His go-to for the trophy run is when the Hawkeyes lost to Minnesota in 1981, KF’s first year as O-line coach at Iowa. Ferentz was hanging by the trophy and all of the sudden here were all of these Gophers.

I think Iowa has bought into the “trophy in the end zone” thing. But I think Ferentz, deep down, would love to keep the old tradition. If the burn of watching a rival storm your sideline and take something you held dearly doesn’t have you pushing up a couple extra reps in the weight room, what are you even doing here?

Keep the trophy run alive. If you don’t like it, you know how to avoid it.

Quote: ”Didn’t have to run too far, we like it that way. We didn’t have to carry it so far. I remember Iowa State (carrying the Cy-Hawk Trophy), I don’t know if they did that on purpose or what.” — linebacker James Morris on trophy run logistics.

Note: Floyd of Rosedale weighs 98.3 pounds. Remember that. It’s important trivia.

Why No. 87? — I remember the Hawkeyes celebrating this one pretty hard. It was coming out of 2012, so they were learning how to walk again.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME

Game story from 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — There is no better card to play in the game of football than the physical card.

The effect is cumulative. The opponent stands his ground and then 25 outside zones later his hands are on his hips and he’s thinking about pizza and a hot tub.

Iowa played the physical card over and over and over in Saturday’s 23-7 victory over Minnesota before 51,382 fans at TCF Bank Stadium.

Running back Mark Weisman rolled up 147 yards and the Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) outgained the Gophers (4-1, 0-1) 246 yards to 30. That’s the physical card. That’s the backbreaker. That’s the Hawkeyes running to the left and having left tackle Brandon Scherff sit on the Gophers’ chest.

Minnesota came into the game averaging 282.25 rushing yards. Let’s allow defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat to break down this amazingly elaborate game plan to slow down this rushing juggernaut.

“We knew we had to come out ready to go,” said Trinca-Pasat, a Chicagoan whose accent is unmistakable. “If we didn’t, they were going to run right up our butts ... We just went out and played. We didn’t do any talking or anything. We just let the play do the talking. We were feeding off the energy on the plays we were making.”

Yep.

Floyd of Rosedale was unveiled with a few minutes left and the Hawkeyes choking out the clock. It was right behind Iowa’s bench, so the trophy run was short, but nonetheless sweet.

”Didn’t have to run too far, we like it that way,” said linebacker James Morris, who had eight tackles, a sack and an interception with four minutes left that walled this one off. “We didn’t have to carry it so far. I remember Iowa State (carrying the Cy-Hawk Trophy), I don’t know if they did that on purpose or what.”

It wasn’t all grip-and-grunt for the Hawkeyes. Quarterback Jake Rudock — who finished 15 of 25 for 218 yards, a TD and an interception — hit wide receiver Damond Powell on a tunnel screen with 2:56 left before halftime. The offensive line pulled out to the right flat. The Gophers had called a blitz. Powell slipped between two UM defenders and dashed 74 yards untouched for a 17-0 lead.

“Coach called my number, and I went out there and made a play,” said Powell, who now averages 51.5 yards on four catches this season. “I credit the offensive line, I didn’t have to do anything but run.”

Iowa churned out 464 yards total offense, the fourth time in five games this season Iowa has been over 400 yards. Iowa did that just twice in 2012, five times in ‘11 and ‘10 and four times in ‘09.

“It’s fun just to follow all those big guys,” Weisman said. “It’s definitely fun to do, to be able to grind the ball. We didn’t do that against Iowa State, we didn’t finish that game off. We did that today.”

The effect was cumulative. Iowa rushed for 158 yards in the second half to 13 for Minnesota. The Gophers wedged their foot in the door when quarterback Philip Nelson threw a 23-yard TD pass to Derrick Engel with 3:06 left in the third quarter, closing the score to 20-7. Iowa pushed ahead with an 11-play drive that took 5:30 off the clock and ended with Mike Meyer’s 46-yard field goal, his third of the game, giving Iowa a 23-7 lead with 4:48 left.

Minnesota averaged 1.1 yards on 27 carries. Nelson, who missed last week with a hamstring injury, wasn’t going to pass the Gophers into this. The Gophers, who finished with a season-low 165 yards total offense, certainly weren’t going to run their way back into it.

The Gophers pressed every button they could. They were pinned.

“From what I noticed during the game, we couldn’t move Iowa,” Minnesota Coach Jerry Kill said. “They handled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball better than we did.”

The Gophers wore T-shirts with a Floyd of Rosedale logo for workouts during the week. The TCF Bank video scoreboard showed videos with Gopher players talking about what the pig, the 98.3-pound bronze traveling trophy, meant to them.

That seeped into the Iowa locker room. Let’s allow center Austin Blythe to speak on how that fired up the Hawkeyes.

“We knew we were going to be here at 2:36 (p.m.) and they were going to be here at 2:36,” Blythe said. “We knew that 60 minutes of game time would decide it and it came out the way it came out.”

And that is letting the play speak for itself.