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Gophers football needs more out of running game

Minnesota had trouble getting consistent production from its ground game against Iowa.

Matthew Holst - Getty Images

The Minnesota Golden Gophers' ground game was stifled by the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday -- quarterback Max Shortell finished as Minnesota's leading rusher with 46 yards on 16 carries. The team will need more production in that area to have a successful season.

After averaging 184 rushing yards in four nonconference games, the Gophers managed just 102 yards on the ground Saturday, including [running back Donnell Kirkwood's] 33 yards on 12 carries. Kirkwood had 99 and 110 yards in his previous two games.

Through five games, the Gophers rank 59th nationally in rushing offense. Kirkwood leads the team with 394 yards on the ground, with an average of 4.2 yards per carry. Minnesota managed just 3.2 yards per carry against Iowa, and for the season, it's averaging 3.9.

Related: Iowa Runs Over the Gophers With a Second Quarter Surge, Regains Possession of Floyd

The Gophers resume Big Ten play at home against the Northwestern Wildcats next week.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.