MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- In Brad Banks, Minnesota quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq sees what he strives to be.
Banks, Iowa's quarterbank, remained consistent throughout the season and has led his team to the brink of a Rose Bowl bid.
Big Ten football
Conference All Games
W L PF PA W L PF PA
Iowa 7 0 257 109 10 1 422 197
Ohio St. 6 0 148 63 11 0 342 134
Michigan 5 1 194 134 8 2 293 207
Minnesota 3 3 146 162 7 3 295 211
Penn St. 3 3 167 120 7 3 318 182
Illinois 3 3 165 159 4 6 299 260
Michigan St. 2 4 145 208 4 6 267 292
Purdue 2 4 156 130 4 6 273 212
Wisconsin 1 5 139 166 6 5 278 242
Indiana 1 5 129 240 3 7 223 353
Northwestern 1 6 146 301 3 8 248 462
Iowa at Minnesota, 11:05 a.m.
Ohio St. at Illinois
Penn St. at Indiana
Wisconsin at Michigan
Purdue at Michigan St.
Abdul-Khaliq slumped when the Gophers lost two straight after starting the season 7-1. As a result, Minnesota is heading to a lesser bowl.
Banks, a senior, completed all 10 of his passes last weekend to lead the Hawkeyes to their eighth straight win. A win at Minnesota on Saturday would assure them at least a share of the Big Ten title.
"He's gotten better each week," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
The Gophers agree.
"Good, mobile quarterback," Gophers defensive tackle Dan Kwapinski said. "Something the D-line is going to have to take into account, make sure we stay in our rush lanes to try to keep him in the pocket."
Banks has the ability to take over the game for Iowa. The Gophers will counter with their running game, which is tops in the Big Ten. Gophers running back Terry Jackson II has rushed for 1,168 yards and 4 TDs, and Minnesota averages 234 rushing yards per game.
But after gaining only 180 yards combined over the last two games, Minnesota's rushing attack faces its stiffest challenge yet in the Hawkeyes' run defense. Ranked second in the nation, Iowa has allowed an average of just 67.1 yards per game.
"We can't beat ourselves this week," Jackson said. "That's what we've been doing the past two weeks, beating ourselves, letting defenses control us."
The Gophers are very aware the Hawkeyes have been controlling opposing offenses all season.
"They're just very aggressive and they just run to the ball very well," Abdul-Khaliq said. "You have to know when to run and know when not to run. You have to keep them off balance."
The Gophers, who wrap up their season next weekend at Wisconsin, have two more chances to impress the bowl selection committees.
While Abdul-Khaliq, a junior, hasn't progressed as much as Banks, he still has shown promising signs.
"There is nothing like experience for any position player, especially at quarterback," Ferentz said. "He's a veteran player now. When he plays well, they're tough to beat."
But not as tough as Iowa when Banks is on.
The stakes are already high. To top things off, though, this is a rivalry game. Iowa beat the Gophers two straight times, both times taking the "Floyd of Rosedale" trophy with them.
"We're going to get their best shot," Iowa tight end Dallas Clark said. "It's going to be a great game. They want to take something away from us, they want to get Floyd back."
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