Alex Padilla and Charlie Jones connected on a go-ahead 72-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and No. 20 Iowa held on to defeat visiting Minnesota 27-22 on Saturday at Iowa City.
Making his first career start, Padilla threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score as the Hawkeyes (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) kept pace with Wisconsin (7-3, 5-2) in the Big Ten West standings. The Golden Gophers (6-4, 4-3) sit a game back of first, along with Purdue (6-4, 4-3).
Padilla finished 11 of 24 for 206 yards, while Keagan Johnson also caught a touchdown for Iowa.
Tanner Morgan and Cole Kramer each threw a TD pass for Minnesota, while Ky Thomas rushed for 126 yards on 29 carries and Chris Autman-Bell had five catches for 109 yards and a score.
Minnesota kicked a field goal on the final play of the first half to go ahead 13-10, but Iowa erased the deficit early in the third quarter. Jones streaked down the right hashmark, and Padilla found him for the long catch-and-run touchdown.
The Gophers responded on their ensuing possession, cashing in on Matthew Trickett’s 29-yard field goal to get within 17-16. However, Padilla’s 27-yard TD pass to Johnson, who broke two tackles on the play, created a 24-16 advantage with 12:49 remaining.
Morgan then found Autman-Bell for a 68-yard score with 5:28 left, getting the Gophers within 24-22. But on the two-point conversion attempt, Morgan’s pass was tipped and the ball fell incomplete.
Following a Minnesota turnover on downs, Iowa tacked on a field goal with 41 seconds left to go ahead 27-22.
The Gophers drove to the Hawkeyes’ 39 in the waning seconds before a sack by Joe Evans forced the clock to expire.
Each team kicked a field goal in the first quarter. Early in the second, Padilla and Jones hooked up for a 34-yard gain on third-and-2 to set up Padilla’s 1-yard TD run. The Gophers came right back with a touchdown, as Kramer hit Ko Kieft for a short gain on fourth-and-2 and the big tight end rumbled for a 37-yard score.
–Field Level Media