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MINNEAPOLIS – This game against Iowa was building up to be so big for Minnesota.
The Gophers just needed to win at Illinois, a team struggling as much as any in the Big Ten. Then they'd emerge from a week off in sole possession of first place in the West Division, with an unbeaten record in conference play and the benefit of staying home to host the Hawkeyes.
Well, the Gophers fumbled away their control of the race with that 28-24 loss.
But the Iowa game is always one of the most-anticipated each year for Minnesota. The Floyd of Rosedale Trophy is at stake, the bronze pig they've been playing for since 1935. And the game Saturday will still play a major role in shaping the four-way West Division chase.