Is this a fun season or what?
A last second 15-13 victory over Michigan State, an 8-0 start for the first time in history…who could ask for anything more?
I still don’t like Iowa playing night games and I’ll give you three reasons why.
First of all, waiting all day for the game makes a Hawkeye fan like me ready to climb the walls.
I got up at my usual time on Saturday which is 5:30 a.m., read the paper, watched Sports Center, ate some breakfast, fed the cats, washed two loads of clothes, did some cleaning, baked peach cobbler for Kerry and Darryl’s Halloween party, looked at the clock and it’s only 8 a.m.– only 10 hours until kickoff!
I didn’t even get to go to the Halloween party because I was sick all week. I was going to go after the Iowa game, but celebrating the Hawk win when I’m still run down didn’t seem too smart.
So I not only missed out on the peach cobbler, which I took out to Kerry and Darryl’s in the morning, but I missed out on the best fish fry and chili feed in the state!
The second reason is for the third-straight night game victory, I was so jacked up after that I couldn’t go to bed.
I had to listen to the postgame on the radio, talk to some Hawk friends on the phone about the game, watch all the highlights on all three local stations (2,7 and 9), check out the Big Ten network wrap up. Plus check out Sports Center to get the nation's view.
The game was over at 9:30 p.m. and I finally laid my head on my pillow around midnight.
The final reason I don’t like night games is when Iowa wins I wake up early Sunday morning and have to read the sport pages.
Five a.m. comes way too early when you go to bed at midnight.
I started the day with more highlights on TV, then I read the paper and started typing the story at 6 a.m. I was finished by 8.
You think I’m nuts?
How about the 71-year-old lady from Mount Vernon who broke her hip watching the Wisconsin game and told her husband to wait until the game was over before taking her to the hospital? I’m scared that will be me in 16 years!
Back to the game, if this is a dream season, then don’t wake me up.
Talk about a knock down, heavyweight fight… it was Ali-Frazier in the “Thrilla in Manila”.
The Spartans would knock down the Hawkeyes, then the Hawks would counter-punch back.
Bodies were laying all over the field and my heart goes out to Dace Richardson, who has been on the sideline watching for two seasons rehabbing numerous injuries.
The big lineman from Wheaton has started every game this season until breaking a bone in his ankle during the first series of the game.
Brett Greenwood and Colin Sandeman were also carried off the field after huge collisions, but the Hawks kept fighting.
How about Rick Stanzi?
There have been some great quarterbacks that have led the Hawkeyes throughout the 120 years of Iowa football.
You have to start with Aubrey Devine, who guided Iowa to its longest winning steak ever, 20 games, from 1020-1923, Iowa was 7-0 in 1921 and 1922.
Jump to 1939 and sophomore Al Couppee, with a lot of help from Nile Kinnick, who helped Iowa to a 6-1-1 record for the legendary Ironman team.
In 1956, Kenny Ploen quarterbacked the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten championship and their first Rose Bowl, which was a win and Iowa finished 9-1.
Two years later, Randy Duncan was behind center when the Hawks not only won the Big Ten title, they won their only National Championship. They were also victorious in their second Rose Bowl and Randy was runner-up for the Heisman. Iowa ended the season 8-1-1.
Twenty-seven years later in 1985, Chuck Long guided the Hawks to seven straight wins on the way to a 10-2 record and a Big Ten title. Chuck was also runner-up in the Heisman.
In 1990, Matt Rodgers was All-Big Ten and led Iowa to the Rose Bowl. Iowa finished 8-4.
In 2002, Brad Banks came out of nowhere, was runner-up in the Heisman and Iowa went 8-0 in the Big Ten. The team ended the season with a school record 11 wins.
Sophomore Drew Tate burst on the national scene in 2004, was the offensive MVP in the Big Ten and Iowa shared the championship with a 10-2 record.
Who could forget the last second Outback Bowl 30-25 win over LSU with Drew’s pass to Warren Holloway?
Rick is on his way, leading Iowa to its 12th straight win, a 16-3 record overall and one of the best finishes ever in the victory last Saturday.
Finding Trey Stross across the middle, throwing a perfect pass to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos down the left sideline on the final drive.
Then with fourth down and goal on the seven with two seconds left, Rick put his name in Iowa football history, hitting Marvin McNutt on a slant pattern across the goal line… game, set, match!
“Everyone on this team displayed a very good attitude, very good composure throughout a lot of tough ballgames,” said Rick, who completed 11-27 for 138 yards, one touchdown and no picks for the second straight week. Neither Iowa or Michigan State had a turnover.
“That really goes back to coach Ferentz,” said the 6-4, 225 pound junior. “He’s the leader of this team, everyone looks up to him and everyone wants to win for him. When you have that many guys respecting one guy and everyone’s playing their heart out that’s really something special.”
What a great leader and what a great coach.
Rick had plenty of help. How about Adam Robinson, who just keeps getting better. He breaks tackles, catches passes and he pounded out 109 tough yards on a good Spartan defense.
The offensive line, even without Dace, opened some good sized holes and held the Spartans to two sacks. They lead the league in that category.
Tony Moeaki was held to one catch but that left DJK, Trey Stross and Marvin McNutt open for some big plays.
The defense is still the heart and sole of the team.
Seeing Pat Angerer and crew stop the Spartans on a goal line stand was another game-changing moment.
Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard, Karl Klug and Broderick Binns have ‘Fearsome Foursome” written all over them.
Adrian was named Big Ten defensive player of the week. The 6-3, 282 pound junior had four tackles, two sacks for -19 yards and three tackles for losses totaling -21 yards. Adrian also forced a fumble.
The d-backs held State to 16-31 completions and 5-14 on third downs.
Iowa wouldn’t have won without Daniel Murray’s three field goals. They weren’t pretty but all three counted.
Ryan Donahue averaged 44.7 on six punts, another good job.
A “never say die” team, a great coaching staff and an 8-0 record for the first time…wow!
I feel so good I’m even going to give the 'Clones some play on beating the Cornhuskers, 9-7 in Lincoln. Eight turnovers for the Big Red? Are you kidding me?
I still don’t know if Iowa can run the table but if they can just get past the Indiana Hoosiers next Saturday at Kinnick…