In its second week playing against a nemesis, the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3) lost 20-17 to the Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1, 6-1).
Yes Iowa, forget about Northwestern, Ohio State owns you. The Hawkeyes are now 1-7 against the Buckeyes under Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.
With the win, Ohio State is still in play for a share of the Big Ten conference and Iowa, well, let’s hope you aren’t too disappointed with this year’s bowl game selection.
Unfortunately for Iowa, Saturday’s loss was par for the course in a season that began with high expectations. In its four losses this season against Arizona, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Ohio State, game-winning touchdowns by the opposing team came with less than four minutes remaining happened far too often.
Last season, Iowa rallied in these late-game situations, but this year, Iowa quarterback Clutch Stanzi was nowhere to be found.
On Saturday with 4:02 left in the game and a four point deficit by Ohio State, Buckeye wide receiver DeVier Posey dropped a pass in the end zone on third-down. Ohio State’s athletic quarterback Terrelle Pryor scrambled 14 yards on the fourth down. He got the first down on the Hawkeye 36 and after five plays, Buckeye running back Dan Herron scored the game-winning, one-yard touchdown.
Now down 20-17, Iowa tried to rally for a last minute drive at the 1:47 mark. After an incompletion, a throw away and a sack, Stanzi’s fourth-down, 19-yard completed pass to wide receiver Marvin McNutt was shy by two yards for the much-needed first down at the 1:10 mark.
The win was in the bag for the Buckeyes. Ohio State ran the clock out with four rushing plays.
Taking a look at game statistics, believe it or not, both quarterbacks had similar ones.
Stanzi (20 for 31) and Pryor (18 for 33) both threw for 195 yards passing and had one touchdown. However, Pryor was Ohio State’s leading rusher for the game with 15 carries for 78 yards.
How about a few bright spots for Iowa on Saturday? Its defense and true freshman running back Marcus Coker
The Hawkeye defense had an interception by junior defensive back Shaun Prater that turned into a touchdown run by Coker in the fourth quarter. This gave the Hawkeyes a 17-10 lead at the 11:53 mark.
Prater also had two pass breakups.
Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde had an interception and linebacker Jermiah Hunter had 11 tackles.
Looking at Coker, he entered the Iowa running back arena in his first season after the team lost sophomores Brandon Wegher and Jewel Hampton. Coker first had to recover from a shoulder injury but he stepped in later in the season when sophomore running back Adam Robinson needed some help after being a one man show.
In addition to his one-yard touchdown, on the day, Coker had nine carries for 70 yards.
Robinson didn’t fare as well Saturday with nine carries and 23 yards. In the fourth quarter, he got knocked out and may not play next week against Minnesota.
Iowa wide receiver Marvin McNutt lead the team’s receiving corp. with seven receptions for 92 yards and one touchdown.
Hawkeye freshman kicker Mike Meyer came up short on Saturday with a missed 40-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter. The three points would have put Iowa ahead 10-3 at the half.
Next Saturday, the Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Gophers (2-9, 1-6). The game time has not been determined.
I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to seeing what Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg will bring to the table next season.
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Written by Debbie Baratz