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Minnesota Vs. Iowa 2012: Gophers And Hawkeyes Open Up Big Ten Play

The Minnesota Golden Gophers look to improve to 5-0 as they face Iowa Saturday.

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are undefeated at 4-0 and travel to face the Iowa Hawkeyes at noon Saturday on ESPN2. Iowa enters the game as six-point favorites at home despite losing last week to MAC school Central Michigan.

This is the first time Minnesota has been 4-0 since the 2008 season, and the Gophers have not been 5-0 to open a season since 2004. They've been led this season by a potent ground game and an offense that has limited turnovers.

The Gophers are likely to be without quarterback MarQueis Gray, who sprained his ankle Sept. 15, for another week. Gray has passed for 398 yards and run for 234 in three games this season.

In his absence, running back Donnell Kirkwood and wide receiver A.J. Barker have both proven to be effective weapons. Kirkwood has rushed for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns while Barker has caught 14 passes for 283 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Iowa is 2-2 on the season. They also feature a strong rushing attack, asMark Weisman and Damon Bullock have combined for 618 yards and 7 touchdowns this season.

Minnesota has won its last two meetings with Iowa.

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