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IOWA CITY, Iowa - Light snow swirled at Kinnick Stadium an hour or so after Iowa’s 27-22 win over Minnesota on Saturday.

It was fitting.

It’s Big Ten football in November, a cold crucible to close the season, when the dropping temperatures magnify the importance of the final weeks.

Where the Hawkeyes are at is simple. They’re 8-2 overall, 5-2 in the Big Ten, still in the West Division race although they need some help.

It’s all about resiliency, coach Kirk Ferentz said, and the Hawkeyes are certainly that at a time when they need to be.

“Really, in a lot of confidences, this is where things get decided,” Ferentz said. “What are you going to do to hit the gas pedal?”

The Hawkeyes have their acceleration back.

They’ve bounced back from a two-game losing skid. And while they don’t control their own destiny in the West Division race — Wisconsin owns the tiebreaker on the strength of the 27-7 win two weeks ago — the Hawkeyes are survivors, still standing, and this game is a perfect example of that.

Minnesota ran on them for 189 yards, controlling the ball for 40 minutes. But the Hawkeyes’ defense was at its best at the end, stopping a two-point conversion that would have tied the game and then shutting down two possessions in the closing five minutes.

And so it helped, maybe, that the temperatures all day hovered in the 30s. The November chill can be a quality fuel.

“Obviously, you are going to get tired in a game,” said defensive end Zach VanValkenburg, who had a sack of Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan in the first of the Gophers’ last two drives. “ I would say the weather helps.”

It helped that quarterback Alex Padilla, making his first career start, looked to be a perfect fit for November as well. Padilla threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns and ran for one. He was not sacked, and didn’t turn the ball over.

It was game management that Ferentz expected from Padilla, whom he described as “even-keeled.”

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Ferentz and his staff didn’t make a big deal about the start to Padilla during the week.

“We just acted like it was his turn, his time,” Ferentz said.

Of course, you can only be so calm in a situation like this.

“Going out there in the first half, seeing the entire crowd in Kinnick for my first start, [I was] just super excited,” Padilla said. “Couldn’t imagine being in this position when I was a kid, but it was something I have always dreamed of.”

His 1-yard dive in the second quarter gave Iowa a 10-3 lead. Then, with the Hawkeyes down 13-10 in the third quarter, he made a perfect throw to Charlie Jones, wide-open down the right side after a double move that fooled everyone. Jones turned it into a 72-yard touchdown.

“Charlie ran a great route, really had the corner on his heels,” Padilla said. “Just ran right by him, he was wide open. It was one of those ones you are trying not to overthrow because he was so wide open, but he ran a great route. Offensive line, you know, tremendous protection all night. Easy. When he is wide open like that you just have to get him the ball, and he did the rest.”

“First of all, that was a great play for us, and a perfect time for it,” Jones said. “We knew that the defender was going to be playing outside of me, and it was just a double move route, where you fake the out and go to the post. Alex threw a great ball, right where I could get it and I had a lot of space. I knew I was going to have to lay out to catch it and it worked out for us.”

The Gophers, who were part of the four-way knot with Iowa, Wisconsin and Purdue at the top of the West standings, weren’t done. They got to within 24-22 with 5:28 to play on Tanner Morgan’s 68-yard touchdown pass to Chris Autman-Bell, but Iowa safety Dane Belton was able to tip Morgan’s two-point conversion pass to keep the Hawkeyes in the lead.

Then came two more stops, the first leading to Caleb Shudak’s 29-yard field goal that provide the margin, and then the second to end the game when Joe Evans sacked Morgan as time ran out.

Iowa’s defense, which had been on the field seemingly all day, closed out the win.

“Great resilience,” Ferentz said.

And that, the Hawkeyes know, is how you survive in November.

“I talk to the guys about November football just in general,” Ferentz said. “One of three things are happening — you are ascending, tanking, or just kind of getting through it.”

Getting through it is working just fine.