Hawkeye Nation, that was an ugly win.
The No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes (7-2, 4-1) beat the Indiana Hoosiers 18-13 today (4-5, 0-5). And once again, this tough opponent for Iowa had them working until the end of the game.
With 2:50 remaining, Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi executed the Hawkeye’s final score of the day in 55 seconds and three plays with a 52-yard touchdown pass to Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt. It was Clutch Stanzi at his finest. Iowa took the lead, 18-13, after a failed two-point conversion.
Not so fast Iowa…
Indiana came marching back and with 28 seconds left on the clock at 4th-and-10, Indiana wide receiver Damarlo Belcher appeared to catch a touchdown down pass from Hoosier quarterback Ben Chappell in the end zone. Iowa was on its way to another heartbreaking loss.
However, the pass was dropped by Belcher. It looked like a touchdown from tv land but the referees called it a dropped pass after review. There would be neither a miracle touchdown nor a win for Indiana. Iowa let the clock run out and escaped a nightmare loss.
Some bright spots for the Hawkeyes today?
Iowa’s defense had a respectable day, holding the Hoosiers to 91 rushing yards and one touchdown. Indiana only scored 13 points vs. its 31 point average. Chappell was challenged by Iowa’s defense with his diminished 222 passing yards (average 313 yards per game) and zero touchdowns. He completed 58 percent of his passes vs. his 66 percent on the year prior to today’s game.
Stanzi went 22 of 33 for 290 yards (66 percent completion), one interception and the game-winning TD. It was not one of Stanzi’s better performances; however, it was Iowa’s red zone visits today that exemplified some poor execution or perhaps, lack of manpower. With its four trips, the Hawkeyes just couldn’t get it done.
Iowa came away with three field goals from its freshman kicker Mike Meyer; however, once again, he failed on one attempt. Had Iowa grabbed the missed three points, the last few minutes of the game would have been less of a nail biter.
The Hawkeyes also had a season-high nine penalties for 60-plus yards and disappointing punts that enabled Indiana to have some good field position.
One of the bright spots today on Iowa’s offense? Freshman running back Marcus Coker. He stepped up for the injured sophomore running back Adam Robinson and had 129 yards on 22 carries. Coker is still green but he showed some great promise.
Robinson was definitely missed but Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said post game that he will be back next week.
And speaking of Ferentz, today he reached the century mark in wins. Congratulations!
While there weren’t any upsets in the Big Ten today, just a marathon Michigan vs. Illinois game, Iowa keeps its lofty dreams of a Big Ten championship alive with their win should Wisconsin falter.
Next week, the Hawkeyes will travel to Evanston to play the Northwestern Wildcats (6-3, 2-3). Iowa has also struggled against this team but maybe anger and the impending Ohio State game the following week will fuel some fire for the 11:00 a.m. central time game.
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Written by Debbie Baratz