Iowa Football

Fun Facts: Iowa-Minnesota, Alex Trebek edition

Only one is about Floyd of Rosedale

Alex Trebek (Reed Saxon/Associated Press)
Alex Trebek (Reed Saxon/Associated Press)

1. Iowa has a five-game winning streak on Fridays, covering its last four games against Nebraska and last year’s Holiday Bowl. Its last Friday loss was against Stanford in the 2016 Rose Bowl.

2. The Hawkeyes have won five of their last six games against the Gophers, but by a total score of just 156-153.

3. Iowa is ranked second nationally in net punting. Minnesota is 112th.

4. The Hawkeyes are ranked first nationally in punt return defense, tied for ninth in punt return average, 14th in kickoff return defense, and 19th in kickoff returns.

5. Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim is the first Big Ten player with back-to-back 200-yard/four-touchdown rushing games since Penn State’s Larry Johnson in 2002.

6. Ibrahim had 224 rushing yards in the Gophers’ 41-14 win at Illinois last Saturday. He also had 224 in the 2018 Quick Lane Bowl.

7. Hawkeye wide receivers have four rushes this season for a total of 56 yards.

8. Rashod Bateman of Minnesota has 24 receptions. No other Gopher has more than six. Bateman has been targeted on 45 percent of all Gopher passes.

9. Iowa is averaging 29.7 points. The last time it averaged more in a season was 2002, when it had a whopping 37.2.

10. When Alex Trebek announced in March 2019 that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the Gophers football team sent him a signed oar. Trebek responded with a letter of appreciation. Give the link a click to see Andy Greder’s Twincities.com story about it.

11. The Gophers have tried just two field goals over three games, neither longer than 29 yards. They made 11 field goals last season. Iowa made 29.

12. Iowa lost the first 12 games of this series, and was shut out in eight of them. It hasn’t been shut out by the Gophers since 1967. The Hawkeyes shut out Minnesota in 2008 and 2009.

13. Iowa’s 59 interceptions since the start of the 2017 season ties it with Appalachian State for the most in FBS.

14. The Hawkeyes have one Minnesotan, freshman defensive end Yahya Black of Marshall. The Gophers have one Iowan, senior tight end Ko Kieft of Sioux Center. Kieft had his first career touchdown catch in his first game this season, against Michigan.

15. Minnesota junior defensive end Boye Mafe has 3.5 sacks this season. He also has a 40.5-inch vertical leap, 4.5 inches more than any defensive lineman at the 2020 NFL Combine.

16. Last Friday night, Minnesota Coach P.J. Fleck read his players a book called “Everyone Poops.”

17. Floyd of Rosedale and Elvis Presley were born the same year, 1935. Lewis Grizzard wrote a book called “Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself.”

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18. Speaking of hogs, Christensen Farms of Sleepy Eye, Minn., received $1.86 million from the Iowa Disposal Assistance Program, designed to support farmers who euthanized their hogs after the coronavirus devastated their industry. Christensen Farms disposed of 46,599 euthanized hogs.

19. Sleepy Eye, Minn., took it its name from Sleepy Eye Lake, which was named after Chief Sleepy Eyes. He was one of four Sioux Native Americans selected to meet U.S. President James Monroe in 1824.

20. A Sleepy Eye Holiday Coupon Book, with discounts for services or products, can be purchased at Schutz Family Foods and Randy’s Family Drug & Gift for $10 a book.

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