- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"Hot damn," cried Gordy. "That one was solid gold, man."
And golden it may have been, for waiting by the dressing room door was Fred Digby, general manager of the Sugar Bowl. Pumping Coach Wyatt's hand a minute later, Digby gave hearty congratulations, turned to a reporter.
"We sure like this team," he enthused. "They'd make a great attraction for us."
Had Iowa used some special trick to make Minnesota fumble five times last Saturday? How had they set the stage for the mild upset which propelled the Hawkeyes into the forefront of the Rose Bowl battle? What ruse brought favored Minnesota its first setback of an otherwise pleasant fall?
The Gopher players weren't sure.
Bob Schultz, Minnesota's right halfback and favorite runner when the going gets tough, explained his own three fumbles—each recovered by the Hawkeyes—this way: "They seemed to get to us before we ever got the ball...."
Bobby Cox, the quarterback, had another idea: "They seemed to have all our plays covered."
On the very first play of this nationally televised game the Gophers incurred a clipping penalty. "I was afraid that was going to be indicative of a long afternoon," Coach Murray Warmath said later. How right he was.
A couple of minutes later Iowa's alert Frank Gilliam pounced on a Gopher fumble. Ken Ploen, the Iowa quarterback, next completed two of the four successful Iowa passes. Fullback Fred Arris plunged over from the one, and with only five minutes and four seconds of the game gone the scoring had ended.
Iowa was thereafter content to sit on its lead while Minnesota moved into Hawkeye territory six times without ever reaching the promised land. The Hawkeyes were opportunists with a sound defense, while the Gophers were the victims of their own mistakes. Although the Gophers had a wide edge in the statistics, the Hawkeyes had the edge where it counted.