Iowa State and Minnesota collide in the 21st Annual Insight Bowl after following very similar paths during the 2009 regular season. Both finished 6-6 overall with 3-1 records in nonconference play and 3-5 slates in their respective conferences.
The Gophers lead the all-time series 22-2-1. Minnesota won the most recent meeting 53-29 in 1997. The schools have met only three times since 1924 and Iowa State's only wins were in 1897 and 1898.
Minnesota's last three bowl bids have been to the Insight Bowl. An 0-2 record here includes the horrible memory of the 2006 contest in which it blew a 31-point lead over Texas Tech and lost 44-41 in overtime. It was the largest comeback in NCAA Division I-A bowl history. In last year’s appearance, the Gophers and Jayhawks lit the scoreboard at the outset, playing to a 14-14 draw in the first quarter. Kansas took command thereafter en route to its 41-21 victory.
Minnesota is 5-8 in bowl games and is currently on a 3-bowl losing streak after winning 3 straight from 2002-2004.
The Cyclones make their second appearance in the Insight Bowl. They earned the school's first bowl victory by defeating Pittsburgh in the 2000 Insight Bowl on the strength if a 27 point first half. Cyclone quarterback Sage Rosenfels was named the offensive player of the game by completing 23 of 24 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Iowa State is just 2-7 in bowl games.
Iowa State's signature moment of the 2009 season was a 9-7 win at Nebraska, the eventual Big 12 north division champion. The 'Huskers had 8 turnovers in that game, including 4 inside the Cyclones' 8-yard line. It was Iowa State's first victory in Lincoln since 1977.
The Golden Gophers rank 113th in total offense while the Cyclones rank 75th. Minnesota ranks 61st on defense and Iowa State ranks 99th.
Iowa State RB Alexander Robinson (Jr.) had 1,056 yards and 5 TD's rushing, plus 243 yards and 4 TD's receiving. Jr. QB Austin Arnaud has completed 57% of his passes for 1,801 yards with 14 TD's and 11 INT's.
Minnesota QB Adam Weber (Jr.) has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns (14-12) while completing just over 51% of his throws for 2,321 yards. Dual-threat freshman MarQueis Gray has played sparingly but many have ben wondering aloud if he shouldn't get the bowl game starting nod over Weber.
The Golden Gophers' offense has been hampered by the loss of Eric Decker to torn ligaments in his left foot. The team's all-time leading receiver with 3,119 yards hasn't played since the first quarter of the 38-7 loss at Ohio State.
Duane Bennett is Minnesota's leading rusher with just 376 yards and 6 TD's.
Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster is 14-23 in 3 seasons at Minnesota and overall.
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads is 6-6 in his first season at Iowa State and overall.