Adam Robinson, push aside the bong and take a look. Yup, that’s right. That pesky freshman running back nipping at your heels just grabbed the Insight Bowl’s Offensive MVP Award.
In a game that came down to the end, the Iowa Hawkeyes left their fourth quarter collapse jinx in the Midwest and beat the Missouri Tigers 27-24.
With 2:15 left on the clock, the Tigers were at fourth and 6 at the Iowa 43. Missouri’s junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw a 10-yard pass to wide receiver T.J. Moe on the left sideline; Moe dove for it and appeared to catch it. But it was questionable whether he had possession or the ball moved when he hit the ground.
After a long review by replay officials, they called it incomplete.
Iowa got the ball back and after a crucial and successful third down play from Stanzi to Iowa tight end Allen Reisner that got the Hawkeyes at first and goal, Stanzi concluded the game (and his final one as a college player) with a kneel-down play on the goal line.
After a tough month with suspensions of the team’s top receiver, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, and its leading rusher, Robinson, along with the team’s three consecutive losses in November, Iowa needed to regroup and practice hard to pull out a bowl win. Looking at their talent pool, Iowa would need to rely on its true freshman running back Marcus Coker to make the running game a success for the team.
On Iowa’s opening possession, the Hawkeyes used Coker in seven of its eight plays. At 3rd and five, Stanzi hit junior wide receiver Marvin McNutt for 49-yard gain, setting up the team’s first touchdown. Coker’s touchdown got the Hawkeyes on the board first at the 10:32 mark.
This was just the beginning for Coker as he had 33 carries for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He set Iowa records for rushing attempts and yardage for bowl games. Coker passed Bob Jeter’s 194 yards on nine attempts in the 1959 Rose Bowl (California) and the previous record of 29 rushing attempts set by Shonn Green in the 2009 Outback Bowl (South Carolina).
And Iowa’s defensive MVP? Sophomore cornerback Micah Hyde
In the fourth quarter after Missouri completed five straight passes, Hyde stepped in front of a pass, picked off Gabbert, ran backwards, then across the field. He reversed direction and ran down the sideline for a 72-yard touchdown with 5:32 left.
This was the game change the Hawkeyes needed.
Iowa took and held onto its 27-24 lead.
This wasn’t the first time Hyde has shown his talent. In the Michigan State game, after getting a lateral from Tyler Sash’s interception, he had a 66-yard touchdown. Both times he made it look easy.
As for the quarterbacks, Stanzi had a typical day: 11 of 21 passes for 200 yards and two interceptions. Gabbert, however, had a great day: 41 for 57, 434 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. His passing yards set a new school record for bowl games.
Missouri’s Moe set an Insight Bowl record with 15 receptions for 152 yards.
With the win, Iowa has three consecutive Bowl game wins–a new record for the school. The Hawkeyes will lose 25 seniors but throughout this season, the team has shown there’s some talent in the pipeline: Hyde, Coker, Morris, Meyer…just to name a few.
I am already looking forward to the 2011 season.
About the Author
Written by Debbie Baratz