The Gophers open up Big 10 play on the road as they battle to keep Floyd of Rosedale Saturday at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa. The undefeated Gophers will once again be without the services of starting quarterback MarQueis Gray.
The Gopher defense stepped up big time against Syracuse last Saturday night and Donnell Kirkwood rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns in the Gophers 17-10 win. It is that team mentality that has the squad off to their best start since the 2008 season.
"It's bring your lunch pail and go to work every day. That's what we're going to have to be," said head coach Jerry Kill. "I've preached all along we have no room for error."
A Gophers win would not only ensure Floyd makes a trip back to campus for the third straight year, it also would mean the program would start the season 5-0 for the first time since 2004. Minnesota holds the overall series lead 61-42-2 and has won the last two meetings.
"Our lettermen and the people that have played here through our history have visited with our kids about how important it is," said Kill about the Iowa rivalry. "Anyone that loves college football, studies the history of college football. We have a very rich tradition here at the University of Minnesota. We have to learn from our history to build our program moving forward."
Backup quarterback Max Shortell will start at quarterback and attempt to beat the Hawkeyes in Iowa for the first time since 1999.