Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams, one of the more underrated players at his position nationally, had three TD catches Saturday as the Golden Gophers hammered Iowa 52-14 to remain in the Big Ten West Division race.
Williams (6-foot-4, 250 pounds), a third-year sophomore, had five catches for 46 yards and the three scores, and two of his catches were quite memorable. His scoring receptions covered 9, 4 and 3 yards. The first gave Minnesota a 21-7 lead; the last gave the Golden Gophers a 42-7 lead with 9:13 left in the third quarter.
While Williams is talented in all facets of the game, he also plays in an offense that is all about the run; he had just 17 receptions and four TDs coming into the game. The five receptions against the Hawkeyes tied a single-game career-high set twice last season, when he finished with 25 receptions and five TDs.
Iowa scored on its first drive, then looked inept on offense the rest of the way. Minnesota -- which plays host to Ohio State next week -- outgained the Hawkeyes 429-205, including 291-84 on the ground.
Minnesota is involved in two big trophy games each season: the Little Brown Jug with Michigan and Floyd of Rosedale (a bronze pig) with Iowa. The Gophers won both games this season, the first time that has happened since 1967.
Gophers coach Jerry Kill showed off some dance moves in a happy postgame locker room. The win moves Minnesota (7-2) a step closer to just its fifth eight-win season since '67. The Gophers have Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin left on the schedule.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.