Iowa defense sets the tone against Minnesota 

Iowa\’s offense showed signs of life in the 17-10 win over Minnesota, but defense was the key in the victory.

Iowa+players+celebrate+with+Parker+Hesse+during+an+Iowa%2FMinnesota+football+game+in+Kinnick+Stadium+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+28%2C+2017.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Golden+Gophers%2C+17-10.+%28Joseph+Cress%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa players celebrate with Parker Hesse during an Iowa/Minnesota football game in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Golden Gophers, 17-10. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Sean Bock, [email protected]

After dropping its third game of the season at Northwestern, the Hawkeye football team needed a pick-me-up. Though the offense was inconsistent, as it’s been all year, the defense stepped up as Iowa beat Minnesota, 17-10, on Oct. 28 in Kinnick.

Minnesota quarterback Demry Croft was 9-of-29 for 139 yards with an interception. The Gopher offense was forced to punt nine times and turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions in the red zone in the second quarter.

Hawkeye cornerback Josh Jackson had himself a game, breaking up 4 passes with one resulting in a Jake Gervase interception.

“I was trying to stay on top, and I saw the ball come out,” Jackson said. “I just tried to undercut it, but I didn’t get my hand around it fast enough so the best way to do it was to knock the ball down and it ended up in Jake’s hands, so it was good on that part.”

Jackson went into the matchup tied first in the nation with 13 pass breakups. His 4 during the game put him atop the category, and he can be found on NFL Draft watch lists.

“It starts in practice every day,” Jackson said. “I come out, and try to work hard, and study the opponent hard. When it comes to games, you see the formations, and you know what they’re going to do out of them.”

RELATED: Iowa ends three-game skid with win over Minnesota

Making his fifth start of the the season, Gervase intercepted his first career pass and recorded a career-high 8 tackles.

“You have got to stay focused,” Gervase said. “It’s not easy. I want to be out there play, mentally, but the coaches have a game plan, and if you’re in that week, you have to be up and execute.”

Linebacker Josey Jewell made his return to the starting lineup after being out last week versus Northwestern. Jewell led the Hawkeyes with 11 tackles but showed signs of being hurt throughout the game.

“I wanted to play, and I told them I wanted to play, and I kept on telling them that even through Saturday morning,” Jewell said. “It was tough. You want to play every game; you want to be a part of it. If there’s a little pain, play through it and try to give your team the best chance to win. It sucked to sit out, but they did whatever was best for my interest.”

The Iowa defense held Minnesota to a season-low in points. The Hawkeyes had their second-straight first-half shutout, and it was the only time the Gophers have not scored points in a half this season.

Minnesota had 138 yards of offense in the second half, with 63 of those coming on one play.

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