IOWA CITY — Border rivals Iowa and Minnesota have played football annually since 1931, and each year players bring a similar dislike for one another as their predecessors while competing for Floyd of Rosedale.
Iowa won last year’s game in dominant fashion, 31-13 at Kinnick Stadium. The two previous games were held in Minneapolis, which the Gophers took 22-21 (2011) and 27-24 (2010). The teams play at 2:30 p.m. at Minneapolis’ TCF Bank Stadium.
The secret to success in this rivalry, Minnesota safety Brock Vereen said, is to controlling the emotions carried to the football field.
“Iowa is an emotional game, year in and year out, that’s no shock,” Vereen said. “I think we learned in that game that you want to bring emotions to the game, but you don’t want them to distract you and take away from the game. At the end of the day, just because you’re more fired up for a certain game, it doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to play better. You still have to focus on the game and the details is what it’s going to take to win.”
Vereen started at cornerback as a freshman and sophomore when the Gophers upset the Hawkeyes. He moved to safety last year, where he made seven starts but came off the bench last year against Iowa. He remembers the feeling of losing Floyd of Rosedale more intensely than the joy of winning the bronze pig the previous two seasons.
“What hurt the most about it was realizing the feeling that we had two years prior is what they were experiencing now,” Vereen said. “The joy that they were feeling from taking it from us but that lesson and that feeling that we had from that moment is definitely something that we’ll take to this next game.”