Iowa collects B1G honors after victory over Gophers
The Iowa defense allowed the Minnesota Gophers to just 30 yards Saturday during the Hawkeyes’23-7 win in Minneapolis.
Senior linebacker James Morris played a big part in that effort and was named Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Morris finished with eight tackles, one sack and an interception in the win. Iowa Defensive Coordinator Phil Parker also was named Big Ten’s Coordinator of the Week by Athlon Sports and senior Mike Meyer was one of three kickers named as a Star of the Week by the Lou Groza Place-Kicker Award.
Iowa won its fourth straight game in part because of a stiff defense that surrendered just 165 total yards of offense to the Gophers. Minnesota (4-1) had been averaging 282 rushing yards and 41.8 points per game through its first four games coming into the weekend.
The Hawkeyes also are one of just two teams in the nation that have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.
And the Gophers’ touchdown drive came following a 66-yard kick return.
Morris’ second interception of the season came with 4 minutes to go in the game and stopped Minnesota’s final drive.
The senior linebacker from Solon, and the other two starting linebackers -Anthony Hitchens and Christian Kirksey – are a big reason why the Hawkeyes rank seventh in the nation in rush defense (79.2) and total defense (256.6).
Hitchens had 10 tackles in the win over Minnestota and Kirksey had the other pick against the Gophers.
Meyer, a Dubuque native, moved to third in career field goals and career scoring at Iowa after connecting on three field goals Saturday.
He hit from 49 yards out to give the Hawkeyes an early 3-0 lead and then booted a 23-yarder in the third quarter and a 46-yarder with 4:48 to go in the game.
His two PATs also increased his streak to 100 consecutive makes, which is the fourth longest active streak in the nation.
Meyer’s 53 career field goals and 278 career points trail only Nate Kaeding (67, 373) and Rob Houghtlin (54, 290) in both categories.
Iowa (4-1, 1-0) plays its Homecoming game this weekend, hosting Michigan State (3-1, 0-0) at 11 a.m. Saturday.
An estimated 2,500 tickets remain for the annual “Spirit Game.”