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WATCH: Alex Padilla rallies No. 20 Iowa past Minnesota

Iowa quarterback Alex Padilla (8) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

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Iowa quarterback Alex Padilla (8) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. 211113 Minn Iowa Fb 019 Jpg

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.

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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