Jan. 15, 2004
ANOTHER BANNER YEAR!!!
The superlatives being said about Iowa football are too numerous to repeat at this point. But the fact is: Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeye football program have established themselves as being part of the elite upper tier of college football. The notion that Iowa’s 2002 visit to the Orange Bowl and 11-2 record was a one-year wonder has quickly been dispelled.
In many respects, what the 2003 Hawkeyes accomplished is much more impressive than last year’s group. A victory in the 2004 Outback Bowl (37-17) over Florida put the finishing touches on a season most expected to be one of rebuilding. It turned out Ferentz merely had to reload to produce a 10-3 campaign.
The results: the first back-to-back 10 win seasons in school history. The most wins ever (21) over a two-year period. The first back-to-back Top Ten finish in the Associated Press poll since the 1950’s. The first back-to-back January bowl appearances in school history and Iowa won its first January bowl since 1959.
Offensive lineman Robert Gallery was named a consensus all-American and became Iowa’s third Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s top interior lineman. Place kicker Nate Kaeding was named to the first all-America team for the second straight year in becoming Iowa’s all-time leading scorer while setting 14 school records in the process.
IOWA ENDS SEASON IN STYLE
The Hawkeyes ended their season with three straight victories over ranked opponents (No. 22 Minnesota, No. 21 Wisconsin and No. 17 Florida). It is believed to be the first time in school history Iowa won three straight contests against ranked opponents in the same season.
HAWKEYES IN ALL-STAR GAMES
DT Jared Clauss played in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 10 in San Francisco, CA. RB Fred Russell will play in the Hula Bowl in Wailuku, HI on Jan. 17. PK Nate Kaeding and SS Bob Sanders are invited to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL on Jan. 24. WR Maurice Brown and LB Kevin Worthy will play in the Gridiron Classic in The Villages, FL on Jan. 31, while LB Grant Steen is invited to play in the Las Vegas Classic in Las Vegas, NV on Jan. 17.
Iowa has played 1,052 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 530-483-39 (.522). That includes a 334-191-16 (.632) record in home games, a 196-292-23 (.406) record in games away from Iowa City, a 258-326-25 (.444) mark in Big Ten games and a 216-158-15 (.575) record in Kinnick Stadium.
IOWA WINS 21 GAMES IN TWO YEARS
Iowa won as many as 10 games in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. The Hawkeyes (21-5) are one of only 12 Division I-A schools to have won 21 games the last two years. The other schools include: Ohio State, 25-2; Boise State, 25-2; Oklahoma, 24-4; Georgia, 24-4; Miami, 23-3; USC, 23-3; Kansas State, 22-6; TCU, 21-4; Texas, 21-5; Maryland, 21-6; LSU, 21-6. Furthermore, only seven teams had a better winning percentage than Iowa’s 80.8 percent. Both Ohio State and Boise State posted a .926 winning percentage, followed by Miami and USC (.885), Georgia and Oklahoma (.857) and TCU (.840).
HAWKEYES ON THE TUBE
Iowa’s bowl game marked the 43rd consecutive game the Hawkeyes have been selected for television. The last Iowa contest that was not televised was at Illinois on Oct. 14, 2000.
BIG TEN BOWL SEASON
A record eight members of the Big Ten Conference played in bowl games. They included Iowa (Outback), Michigan (Rose), Ohio State (Fiesta), Purdue (Capital One), Michigan State (Alamo), Minnesota (Sun), Wisconsin (Music City) and Northwestern (Motor City). Iowa defeated Michigan (30-27), Wisconsin (27-21) and Minnesota (40-21), while losing to Ohio State (19-10), Purdue (26-14) and Michigan State (20-10). All three of Iowa’s losses were on the road. The Hawkeyes did not play Northwestern.
IN THE RANKINGS
Iowa finished the season ranked eighth in both major polls and the FWAA/Grantland Rice Super 16 poll for the second consecutive year. The Hawkeyes’ final ranking was the highest of 2003. This year marks the first time in school history that Iowa ranked in the top 10 four different times after falling out after a defeat.
HAWKEYES THIRD IN BOWL APPEARANCES
Iowa ranks third in the Big Ten in bowl appearances. Ohio State and Michigan have received a conference-best 35 bowl bids each, while the Hawkeyes played in their 19th bowl game. Michigan State ranks fourth with 16. Penn State has gone to seven bowls while a member of the Big Ten Conference.
HAWKEYES EARN BIG TEN ACCOLADES
Senior Robert Gallery was honored as the 2003 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Iowa landed eight players on this year’s coaches and media first and second all-Big Ten teams. Earning first team accolades by both the coaches and media are OL Robert Gallery, PK Nate Kaeding, DE Matt Roth and SS Bob Sanders. Gallery and Sanders were unanimous selections by the coaches, the only two in the selective group. LB Abdul Hodge was a first team honoree by the media and a second team pick by the coaches. Other Hawkeyes named to the second team by both the coaches and media are RB Fred Russell, DE Howard Hodges and LB Chad Greenway.
DT Jared Clauss and LB Grant Steen were honorable mention all-Big Ten choices by the coaches.
HAWKEYES EARN NATIONAL HONORS
Senior offensive tackle Robert Gallery became Iowa’s third Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s top interior lineman and was named to the Walter Camp, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Associated Press, The Sporting News, College Sports Television, SI.com, ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Southern Football Weekly and Football Writers of America’s (FWAA) first all-America team. Place kicker Nate Kaeding garnered all-America honors by the AFCA, AP, SI.com, ESPN.com and Rivals.com. Strong safety Bob Sanders was a second team all-America selection by the AP. Wide receiver Calvin Davis and offensive guard Mike Jones were named to the Rivals.com Freshman all-America team. Both were named to the group’s honorable mention unit. Jones was also named to The Sporting News third Freshman all-America squad and Big Ten all-Freshman team. Linebacker Edmond Miles was also named to the Big Ten all-Freshman team by the publication.
KAEDING AND CLAUSS EARN ACADEMIC HONOR
PK Nate Kaeding and DL Jared Clauss were named to the 2003 Verizon District VII first Academic all-America squad. This marks the second consecutive year Kaeding has been selected to the first team. Clauss was named to the second team last season. Kaeding is a history major with a 3.48 GPA and Clauss is a communication studies major with a 3.53 GPA.
HAWKEYES EARN ACADEMIC HONORS
Seniors Kody Asmus, QB Nathan Chandler, DT Jared Clauss, DB Sean Considine, OL Robert Gallery, LB Jacob Gancarczyk, TE Erik Jensen and PK Nate Kaeding, junior LB Tom Revak, sophomores OL Brian Ferentz and WR Matt Melloy and redshirt freshman TE Ryan Majerus were named academic all-Big Ten. The academic honor is the third for Clauss, Considine, Gallery, Jensen and Kaeding.
HEAD COACH Kirk Ferentz
The 2002 Associated Press Coach of the Year, Walter Camp Coach of the Year, AFCA Regional Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year, Kirk Ferentz (pronounced FAIR-rintz, rhymes with parents), concluded his fifth season as Iowa’s head football coach. He resurrected the Iowa program and led the 2003 Hawkeyes to a 10-3 record and a 37-17 Outback Bowl victory over No. 17 Florida. Ferentz guided the 2002 Hawkeyes to an 11-2 record, a Big Ten title and an Orange Bowl berth. Iowa posted a 21-5 (.808) overall mark and a 13-3 (.813) Big Ten record the last two seasons under Ferentz.
Ferentz, at Iowa, holds an overall record of 32-29 (.525) and a 20-20 (.500) mark in Big Ten games. In eight seasons as a college head coach his career mark is 44-50 (.468). Taking over a program that won three games in 1998, Ferentz guided the 2001 Hawkeyes to a 7-5 overall record, including a win in the Alamo Bowl over Texas Tech. Iowa in 2001 was 4-4 in the Big Ten, earning a fourth place tie.
Ferentz and the Hawkeyes posted a 3-9 record in 2000, winning two of the final three games while playing one of the strongest schedules in the nation.
Twenty-one of Iowa’s 61 games over the last four seasons have been decided by seven points or less and 23 were played against opponents who were ranked in the top 25 at the time.
Ferentz joined the Iowa staff after serving as assistant head coach and offensive line coach of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He had been part of the Baltimore (Cleveland Browns prior to the move) staff for six years.
Ferentz was named head coach of the Maine Bears in 1990 and held that position for three years. Ferentz was a member of Hayden Fry’s Iowa staff for nine years as offensive line coach (1981-89). He coordinated Iowa’s running game during his coaching stint with the Hawkeyes. Iowa appeared in eight bowl games during the time Ferentz was an Iowa assistant, posting a 4-4 record. A pair of Rose Bowls (1982 & 1986), two Holiday Bowl appearances (1986 & 1987) and a pair of Peach Bowl visits (1982 & 1988), along with appearances in the Gator (1983) and Freedom Bowls (1984) highlighted his previous Iowa stay. Iowa’s record in those nine years was 73-33-4 and included two 10-win and two nine-win seasons.
Ferentz was born in Royal Oak, MI, and attended high school in Pittsburgh, PA. Kirk earned his bachelor’s degree in English Education from the University of Connecticut in 1978, where he was a football captain.
OCHOA BREAKS SCHOOL RECORDS
WR Ramon Ochoa returned 40 punts for 495 yards in 2003, both are single season school records. Ochoa’s 495 yards break WR Tim Dwight’s record of 440 (24 returns) set in 1996. In addition, his 40 punt returns broke Peter Marciano’s record of 39 set in 1987. Ochoa returned four punts for 50 yards in the Outback Bowl. The 50 yards and 12.5 average are Iowa bowl records, while the four returns tie Tim Dwight’s mark set in the 1997 Sun Bowl.
IOWA EXTENDS HOME WINNING STREAK
Iowa’s 40-22 win over Minnesota on Nov. 15 extended its home winning streak to 12. The 12-game home winning streak, dating back to 2002, is a new Kinnick Stadium record. Overall, Iowa’s longest home winning streak is 20 games, dating from Nov. 19, 1918 to Oct. 20, 1923. In Big Ten games only, Iowa’s current streak of nine straight wins is the best for the Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium. Overall, Iowa won 10 straight home conference games from Nov. 9, 1918 to Oct. 20, 1923. The current nine-game win streak in conference games began with a 42-24 win over Minnesota in 2001.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Iowa had at least one Big Ten Player of the Week five times.
PK Nate Kaeding earned the accolade twice this season and five times in his career. Kaeding scored 16 points both weeks he was honored (at Iowa State and vs. Minnesota). He became Iowa’s all-time scoring leader after he set a school record for most kicking points in a game (16) at Iowa State. Kaeding later matched career highs in points in a game (16), field goals in a game (4) and longest field goal (55) vs. Minnesota. The senior has kicked four field goals in a game twice this season and four times in his career.
SS Bob Sanders was named Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 17. Sanders collected a season-high 16 tackles (10 solo), including two tackles for loss and one sack and forced a career-high three fumbles, recovering one vs. Minnesota. In one of the turning points of the game, Sanders forced and recovered a Minnesota fumble on Iowa’s goal line in the second quarter, stopping a Golden Gopher scoring threat. The three-time first team all-Big Ten honoree earned the second weekly honor of his career and first since the 2001 campaign.
Punter David Bradley was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 1. Bradley punted five times against Miami (OH) for a 48.4 average. He downed one punt inside the 20-yard line and boomed a career-long 62-yarder in the second quarter.
DB Jovon Johnson was named Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week vs. Miami (OH) after leading the Iowa secondary with two interceptions, the fifth and sixth of his career. Johnson returned his first interception 20 yards to the Iowa one-yard line, which led to Iowa’s second touchdown. He intercepted his second pass in the end zone to erase a potential Miami (OH) scoring drive. He also finished with five tackles and three pass break-ups.
LB Chad Greenway was named co-Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Iowa defense to a dominating performance in a 21-2 victory over then-No. 16 Arizona State. Greenway matched a career-high with 17 tackles (11 solo). It marked the second consecutive game that the sophomore tallied 17 stops. This marked the first time Greenway earned the weekly Big Big Ten honor.
DE Matt Roth was named co-Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 3. Roth forced his third fumble of the year and collected six tackles (4 solo) vs. Illinois. He also matched his career-high with three sacks. The fumble forced by Roth was recovered by Sanders and returned three yards for a touchdown. The accolade is the first for Roth.
IOWA 37, FLORIDA 17
After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, Iowa scored 27 unanswered points en route to a 37-17 triumph over No. 17 Florida in the 2004 Outback Bowl. The victory was Iowa’s first over the Gators and its first January bowl win since the 1959 Rose Bowl.
After allowing an early Florida touchdown, Iowa scored on three of its next four possessions to end the half. WR Maurice Brown caught a three-yard touchdown pass from QB Nathan Chandler to even the game at 7-7 late in the first quarter. PK Nate Kaeding converted a 47-yard field goal, followed by a Chandler five-yard scoring run and a 32-yard Kaeding field goal. The Hawkeyes took a 20-7 halftime lead.
Iowa maintained momentum in the second half after holding Florida to a three-and-out on its first possession. Matt Melloy blocked the Gator punt and also recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. It marked the first time in Iowa bowl history that a Hawkeye player both blocked and recovered a punt in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Gators added a field goal on their next possession, but two possessions later Outback Bowl MVP, RB Fred Russell, scampered 34 yards for a touchdown to give Iowa a commanding 34-10 advantage. Kaeding added a 38-yard field goal to end Iowa’s scoring.
Russell finished with 204 all-purpose yards. He carried the ball 21 times for 150 yards and one touchdown and returned three kickoffs for 54 yards. Chandler completed 13-25 passes for 170 yards, one passing touchdown, one rushing score and no interceptions. Brown caught six passes for 96 yards and one score. Defensively, Iowa held the Gators to an Outback Bowl record-low 57 rushing yards, marking the eighth time in 2003 that the Hawkeyes held their opponents to 75 yards or less on the ground. DB Sean Considine collected a game-high nine tackles (3 solo, 6 assists). LB Abdul Hodge registered eight stops (3 solo, 5 assists). DT Tyler Luebke, DE Matt Roth and DE Howard Hodges each sacked Florida QB Chris Leak one time.
IOWA, FLORIDA FINAL GAME NOTES
- Iowa’s 37 points are the fifth-most it has scored in a bowl game and the most scored since the Hawkeyes tallied 38 in the 1995 Sun Bowl.
- Iowa held Florida to only one total yard in the second quarter.
- The Hawkeyes improve to 10-8-1 in bowl games, 3-2 against Southeastern Conference squads. It was Iowa’s first victory in the state of Florida (1-5).
- WR Maurice Brown’s three-yard touchdown reception was the 14th of his career and marked the second straight bowl game the senior caught a touchdown. He caught an 18-yard score in the 2003 Orange Bowl.
- WR Ramon Ochoa returned four punts for 50 yards. The 50 yards and 12.5 average is an Iowa bowl record, while the four returns tie Tim Dwight’s mark set in the 1997 Sun Bowl.
- PK Nate Kaeding’s 13 points tied an Iowa bowl record. Tom Nichol collected 13 points in the 1984 Freedom Bowl, while Kaeding first accomplished the feat in the 2001 Alamo Bowl.
- RB Jermelle Lewis finished with 45 yards on 12 carries. The 12 attempts was a season high for Lewis.
- WR Ed Hinkel caught three passes for 43 yards. It marked the first game in 2003 that the sophomore caught more than two passes in a game. The 43 receiving yards was a season high for Hinkel.
- Iowa scored 25 points or more for the third consecutive game and eighth time in 2003.
- The Hawkeyes were not penalized in the first half. Iowa’s first penalty came on a false start with 5:59 left in the third quarter. The Hawkeyes matched their season low in penalties (3).
- Iowa did not turn the ball over, marking the first time since the Buffalo game in week two that the Hawkeyes played turnover-free ball.
- The Hawkeyes nearly doubled the Gators in time of possession in the first half. Iowa held the ball for 19:43, while Florida maintained possession for 10:17. Iowa had no three-and-outs in the first half. The Hawkeyes finished the contest with a 34:10 to 25:50 edge in time of possession.
IOWA VS. RANKED TEAMS
These are Iowa’s most recent wins vs. nationally ranked opponents:
40-22 over 22nd-ranked Minnesota, 11/15/03
On the Road:
27-21 over 21st-ranked Wisconsin, 11/22/03
37-17 over 17th-ranked Florida, Outback Bowl, 1/1/04
IOWA FOOTBALL AWARD WINNERS
Iowa seniors OL Robert Gallery and SS Bob Sanders were named co-winners of the 2003 Roy G. Carver Most Valuable Player Award.
Senior PK Nate Kaeding was named the Special Team Specialist of the Year for the third straight year, while senior WR Ramon Ochoa was named the overall Special Teams Player of the Year.
Iowa’s permanent team captains for 2003 include PK Nate Kaeding, OL Robert Gallery, SS Bob Sanders, DE Howard Hodges and RB Fred Russell. (See Honors Page For Full List of Award Winners)
IOWA STARTS ON OFFENSE
Iowa has started on offense in 53 of its last 55 games. Iowa’s games at Miami, OH (9-7-02) and at Michigan State (9-27-03) are the only contests that the Hawkeyes didn’t start on offense. Iowa has started the game on offense in 55 of 61 games under Kirk Ferentz.
KAEDING REWRITES IOWA RECORD BOOKS
PK Nate Kaeding concluded his historic career scoring 13 points (3-3 FG, 4-4 PAT) in the Outback Bowl, which ties an Iowa bowl record. He finished his career with 373 career points, including 367 kicking points. He is Iowa’s record holder in 14 statistical categories. In addition, Kaeding tied for first in Big Ten career kick scoring with Minnesota’s Dan Nystrom (1999-02). He also finished third in overall conference career scoring.
Kaeding finished his career as the NCAA record holder for career field goal percentage of 40 yards or more (min. 20 FG made). He converted 82.8 percent (24-29) of his attempts from 40 yards or beyond. Kaeding ranks 10th in NCAA Division-IA history in career kick scoring and 19th in career field goals made.
Kaeding became the first Hawkeye to ever win the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the nation’s top place kicker, in 2002. He was one of three finalists for the 2003 Lou Groza Award.
Kaeding was named to the 2003 AFCA, AP, SI.com, ESPN.com and Rivals.com all-America squad. He also garnered first team all-Big Ten accolades by both the media and coaches and Verizon academic all-District first team honors for the second consecutive season. After receiving numerous accolades last season, Kaeding entered his senior season on four pre-season all-America teams (Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Athlon and The Sporting News).
In Iowa’s final regular season game at Wisconsin, Kaeding connected on a 50-yard field goal just before halftime, his second kick of 50 yards or more in as many weeks. He added a 28-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Against Minnesota, Kaeding tied career highs in points in a game (16), field goals in a game (4) and longest field goal (55). In addition, the 16 points and four field goals in a game tied his own school record and the 55-yard field goal ties as the third longest in school history. His efforts earned him co-Special Teams Player of the Week, marking the second time this season and fifth time in his career that he has earned the Big Ten honor.
Kaeding kicked four field goals in a game twice in 2003 and four times in his career. He first accomplished the feat in a win at Penn State in 2000. He also kicked four field goals in Iowa’s Alamo Bowl win over Texas Tech in 2001 and at Iowa State this year.
Kaeding was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for the first time this year on Sept. 15. He became Iowa’s career scoring leader after he set a school record for most kicking points in a game (16) at Iowa State. Kaeding kicked four PATs and four field goals. Kaeding passed Ron Houghtlin as Iowa’s all-time scoring leader. Houghtlin held the record since 1987.
Kaeding recorded his first career touchdown at Ohio State when he scored a five-yard touchdown on a fake field goal in the fourth quarter.
Kaeding missed his third career PAT following a Penn State block in the second quarter this year. He had converted 56 straight PATs before the block. Kaeding’s previous miss was at Penn State in 2002. It was also blocked.
For the season, Kaeding converted 20-21 field goals and 40-41 PATs for 106 points, which ranks third in single season scoring at Iowa. He ranked fourth in the Big Ten in scoring (8.2), third in field goals made (1.54) and fourth in kicking points (7.7). His 1.54 field goals made per game ranked 15th nationally.
Kaeding’s final numbers included 67-83 career field goal attempts, including 24-29 from outside 40 yards and 5-6 from outside 50 yards, and 166-169 PATs. Kaeding is the school record holder for career field goals (67) and PATs (166). The 67 career field goals rank third in league history. Minnesota’s Dan Nystrom (1999-02) ranks first with 71.
In 2002, he was selected as a first team all-America selection by The Sporting News, the Football Writers Association, ESPN.com and CNN-SI.com and a second team choice by the Associated Press. He was also named to the first all-Big Ten coaches team, while earning second team laurels by the media. Kaeding was also an Verizon Academic all-America second team selection.
Kaeding made 57-58 PATs and 21-24 field goals to finish the 2002 season with 120 points. Kaeding’s 120 points are an Iowa single season scoring record and a Big Ten single season kick scoring record. He set an Iowa single season record for PATs made (57) and attempted (58). His only PAT miss and one of his three missed field goals were blocked.
The Coralville, IA, native had an overall consecutive field goal streak of 22 (19 in 2002) end after missing a 27-yard attempt vs. Wisconsin in 2002. Prior to that game, his last miss was in the first quarter of the 2001 Alamo Bowl win.
Below is a list of Kaeding’s school records:
Single season scoring: 120
Career scoring: 373
Single season kick scoring: 120
Single game kick scoring: 16 (twice)
Career kick scoring: 367
Field goals in a game: 4 (4 times)
Career field goals: 67
Consecutive field goals: 22
Single season PATs made: 57
Career PATs made: 167
Consecutive PATs made: 60
Single season PAT attempts: 58
Career PAT attempts: 169
Bowl game scoring: 13 (twice) – tied with Tom Nichol (’84 Freedom)
GALLERY EARNS OUTLAND TROPHY
Senior offensive tackle Robert Gallery (6-7, 320) was the recipient of the 2003 Outland Award, which is emblematic of the nation’s top interior lineman and became Iowa’s 18th consensus all-American. He was also named the 2003 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. Gallery became the third Iowa player to win the Outland Trophy and the ninth Hawkeye to earn the Big Ten honor. He was also named to the first all-Big Ten team by both the media and coaches and was a unanimous choice by the coaches. In addition, Gallery was named to the FWAA, AFCA, Walter Camp, AP, The Sporting News, College Sports Television, SI.com, ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Southern Football Weekly first all-America squads. He was a semi-finalist for the Lombardi Award.
He was a first team all-Big Ten selection last season and was also named to several pre-season all-America teams. The pre-season teams include: The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and Playboy and a second team all-America pick by Athlon Sports. In addition to his talents on the field, Gallery has been a member of the academic all-Big Ten team in each of the last two years.
Gallery started 44 consecutive games at tackle after moving from tight end his freshman year. His 44-game starting streak was tops in the Big Ten.
Gallery was the only Iowa player to be selected a team captain every week in 2003. He also recorded three tackles this season following Iowa turnovers.
In addition, ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. has Gallery listed as his fourth best overall prospect for next spring’s draft.
SANDERS BIG TEN’S BEST SAFETY
Senior SS Bob Sanders is only the ninth Hawkeye to earn first team all-Big Ten honors three-consecutive years. The last Iowa player to be a first team all-Big Ten selection three years was Jared DeVries (1996-98). Sanders was named to the first team by both the coaches and media and was a unanimous selection by the coaches. He was also a second team all-America selection by the Associated Press.
Sanders collected 10 tackles (5 solo) at Ohio State to top 300 career tackles. Sanders was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career after collecting a season-high 16 tackles (10 solo), including two for loss and one sack, forcing a career-high three fumbles and recovering one vs. Minnesota.
Sanders registered three tackles at the Outback Bowl. He finishes his Hawkeye career ranked seventh in career tackles (348). He had seven career interceptions.
Sanders finished the regular season with 30 tackles in Iowa’s final three games. In Iowa’s final regular season game at Wisconsin, Sanders was instrumental in preserving Iowa’s six-point lead down the stretch. He collected seven tackles (2 solo), including one for loss, recovered one fumble and intercepted his first pass of the season.
The native of Erie, PA, collected 72 tackles in nine games in 2003. He ranked third on the team in tackles and led the Big Ten and nation in forced fumbles (6). All six forced fumbles came in conference games.
Against Illinois, Sanders registered three tackles (2 solo), forced a fumble and recovered a fumble, which he returned three yards for his first career touchdown. The previous week vs. Penn State, Sanders forced two fumbles and registered six tackles (4 solo).
Sanders, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right foot Sept. 5, returned to Iowa’s lineup at Michigan State, after missing three games, and recorded seven tackles (5 solo). Sanders collected seven tackles (six solo) and had one pass break-up vs. Michigan in his first start of the season.
Sanders was a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Year award and the Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Year award. He was also named a pre-season first team all-American by The Sporting News and third team all-American by Athlon Sports.
Sanders did not start in Iowa’s season-opener against Miami (OH) due to his foot injury, but did see significant minutes.
Sanders was a first team all-Big Ten selection by both the media and coaches last season and was named a fourth team all-America selection by The Sporting News. He was a first team pick by the coaches in 2001.
HODGES AND ROTH LEAD DEFENSIVE LINE
Defensive ends Howard Hodges and Matt Roth led Iowa’s defensive line in 2003. Both were named to the pre-season watch list for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award and earned all-Big Ten accolades. Roth earned first team honors by both the coaches and media, while Hodges was a second team pick by both. Hodges was also named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, which goes to college football’s top interior lineman and was named a pre-season third team all-American by Athlon Sports.
Hodges ranked third in the Big Ten and 16th nationally in sacks (0.85), ranked second on the Hawkeyes in TFL (13) and seventh in total tackles (53).
Hodges registered four tackles, including one sack vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl. He posted four tackles, including two for loss and one sack, in Iowa’s regular season finale at Wisconsin. Hodges collected a career-high 12 tackles (11 solo) in Iowa’s victory over Minnesota. He collected five tackles, including one sack, vs. Penn State. He registered four tackles, including a career-high three sacks, at Ohio State the previous week. At Michigan State, he registered five tackles, including two sacks.
The native of Copperas Cove, TX, earned first team all-Big Ten honors in 2002 when he recorded 62 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and nine QB sacks.
Roth ranked second in the Big Ten and 13th nationally in sacks (0.88) and fifth in tackles for loss (1.23). He ranked second on the Hawkeyes in quarterback hurries (4) and eighth in tackles (51). He recorded at least one sack in 15 of Iowa’s last 20 games. Roth also tied for second in the league and 26th nationally in forced fumbles (4).
Roth posted four tackles, including one sack, vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl. Against Illinois, Roth forced a fumble that SS Bob Sanders returned for a three-yard touchdown and collected six tackles (4 solo). He matched his career high with three sacks. His efforts earned him his first Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week honor.
The native of Villa Park, IL, led the Hawkeyes in sacks (10) and ranked 11th in tackles (48) in 2002. His 10 QB sacks ranked second in the Big Ten in all games and ranked first in conference games only (9). Roth ended the 2002 season recording at least one sack in each of the last seven games.
Senior WR Ramon Ochoa led the Hawkeye receiving corps and punt and kickoff return units this season. Ochoa ranked first on the squad in receptions (34) and touchdown receptions (6) and ranked second in receiving yards (477).
On special teams, Ochoa returned 40 punts for 495 yards, both school records. Ochoa returned four punts for 50 yards in the Outback Bowl. The 50 yards and 12.5 average are Iowa bowl records, while the four returns tie Tim Dwight’s mark set in the 1997 Sun Bowl.
His 12.4 return average ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 19th nationally. He returned 18 kickoffs for 396 yards. His 22.0 average ranked fifth in the conference.
Ochoa returned his first career punts in grand fashion against Buffalo. Ochoa returned three punts for 99 yards. He returned a punt 70 yards for his first career touchdown on his second attempt. The 70-yard scamper marked the 11th-longest punt return in school history. The native of Maywood, CA, recorded a 21-yard return on his first attempt and eight yards on his third.
In its last regular season game at Wisconsin, Ochoa scored Iowa’s first two touchdowns on an 18-yard scoring run on a reverse and a six-yard reception. The 18-yard scoring run was his first career rushing touchdown.
For the season, Ochoa scored eight touchdowns, six receiving, one rushing and one on a punt return. He becomes the first Hawkeye player to post at least one rushing and receiving touchdown and a punt return for a score in a single season since Tim Dwight ran for three scores, caught four touchdowns and returned two punt returns in 1996.
Ochoa had his best game at wide receiver in Iowa’s win over Minnesota, posting career highs in receptions (8) and receiving yards (92). He also caught a six-yard touchdown, his fifth of the year and returned two punts for 56 yards (28.0). Against Penn State, Ochoa caught five passes for 67 yards and one touchdown and returned seven punts 50 yards (7.1 avg.). At Ohio State, Ochoa caught four passes for 86 yards, including a career-long 51-yard reception.
Against Michigan, Ochoa recorded 169 yards total offense. He ran back three punts for 48 yards, three kickoffs for 85 yards and caught two passes for 36 yards, including a crucial 31-yard touchdown that gave Iowa a 10-point cushion (30-20) late in the fourth quarter.
Ochoa caught four passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns in Iowa’s win over Arizona State. His 40-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter marked his first scoring reception. His other touchdown was a three-yard reception in the third quarter.
BROWN CATCHES ON
Senior WR Maurice Brown played in eight games in 2003 after missing five contests due to injury. Brown ranked first on the squad in receiving yards (507), second in receptions (33) and touchdown receptions (4).
Brown caught six passes for a game-high 96 yards and one touchdown in the Outback Bowl. It marked the second straight bowl game that Brown caught a touchdown pass. He caught an 18-yard pass from QB Brad Banks in the 2003 Orange Bowl.
The native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, had a 17-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter at Iowa State. Brown did not return to the game after making the touchdown reception, due to injury. He caught one touchdown pass in each of Iowa’s first three games.
In his first game back from injury, Brown saw limited action and caught two passes for 31 yards vs. Illinois. At Purdue, Brown caught a career-high eight receptions and matched a career high with 129 receiving yards. He had a touchdown reception in the first half called back due to an Iowa penalty. Brown had at least 100 receiving yards for the first time this year and the sixth time in his career.
He caught four passes for 82 yards and one score in Iowa’s win over Buffalo and seven passes for 78 yards and one TD in Iowa’s season opening win over Miami (OH).
In his first full season as receiver in 2002, Brown established a new school record with 11 touchdown receptions. Brown finished with 966 receiving yards, which ranks fourth best in school history. The honorable mention all-Big Ten selection, also ranked fourth nationally with an average 20.1 yards per reception.
Brown’s career totals include 84 receptions for 1,515 yards. He ranks 13th in receiving yards and 18th in receptions on Iowa’s career receiving charts. He boasts 18.0 yards per catch on 84 career receptions, which ranks third-best at Iowa. Bill Schultz (1973-76) is Iowa’s leader with a 22.3 average on 57 catches, while Robert Smith (1983-86) ranks second with a 20.8 average on 69 catches.
FIVE PUNT BLOCKS IS A FIRST FOR IOWA
Iowa blocked a single season school record five opponent punts, three of which were returned for touchdowns.
Sean Considine blocked two punts at Iowa State, Chris Smith blocked a Michigan punt, Chad Greenway blocked a punt vs. Penn State and Matt Melloy blocked his first career punt vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl. Iowa won each game that it blocked a punt.
The first block at Iowa State and blocks vs. Penn State and Florida were returned for Hawkeye touchdowns, while Iowa added a field goal following the second block at Iowa State and the block vs. Michigan. Matt Melloy both blocked and recovered a punt vs. the Gators in the Outback Bowl.
CONSIDINE LEADS SPECIAL TEAMS
Junior DB Sean Considine blocked two Iowa State punts, tying the Iowa school record for blocked kicks in a game. His first block was recovered for a Hawkeye touchdown and the second resulted in a field goal. Considine blocked punts last season in wins over Purdue and Utah State, and both were recovered for touchdowns. Iowa’s individual record for blocked kicks in a season is three and the record for career blocks is seven.
In addition to his special teams success, he is a leader defensively as well. The native of Byron, IL, ranked second on the team in interceptions (3) and was fourth in tackles (64). He scored his first career points when he returned a fumble 18 yards against Buffalo.
Considine had a great finish to the season. At Purdue, he collected a career-high six tackles (5 solo). He bested that performance with seven tackles (6 solo) vs. Minnesota and matched his career high with seven tackles (4 solo) in Iowa’s regular season finale at Wisconsin. In addition to collecting seven tackles against the Badgers, his 24-yard interception return was the turning point in the game. Considine returned the interception to the Wisconsin one-yard line late in the third quarter. RB Fred Russell scored on the next play to give Iowa a 24-21 lead. He also deflected Wisconsin QB John Stocco’s game-tying pass attempt in the end zone on the final play of the game. He registered a career and game-high nine tackles and recorded one pass break-up vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl.
LINEBACKERS ARE BIG TEN LEADERS
Linebackers Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge, both sophomores, were a force in the middle of Iowa’s defense in 2003. Hodge and Greenway both earned all-Big Ten laurels. Hodge was a first team pick by the media and a second team honoree by the coaches, while Greenway earned second team accolades by both.
The duo of Hodge and Greenway ranked first and third in the Big Ten in tackles, respectively. Both collected double figures in tackles in seven of Iowa’s last 10 regular season games.
Hodge ranked first in the Big Ten and 27th nationally in tackles (10.8) and his 141 tackles rank second in single season tackles at Iowa. Andre Jackson (1972) is Iowa’s record holder with 171 tackles. Nine of his 141 tackles are for loss, ranking fourth on the Hawkeyes.
Hodge recorded 38 tackles (19 solo) in Iowa’s final three contests. He collected eight tackles vs. Florida in Outback Bowl. Hodge posted 14 tackles (7 solo) at Wisconsin and tied a career high with 16 tackles (9 solo) and had one pass break-up vs. Minnesota. At Purdue, Hodge registered a game-high 11 tackles (7 solo), including one for loss. Against Illinois, Hodge collected a team-high nine tackles (7 solo) and recovered his second fumble in as many weeks. Against Penn State, Hodge recovered his first career fumble and returned it 47 yards, the longest return by Iowa this year. The native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, also registered five solo tackles against the Nittany Lions.
At Ohio State, he collected a career and game-high 16 tackles, including 1.5 for loss, had one pass break-up and forced a fumble on Iowa’s goal line to stop an Ohio State scoring threat.
Against Michigan, Hodge collected a game-high 13 tackles (3 solo), including one for loss. He registered 15 tackles at Iowa State and then matched his tackle total the next week vs. Arizona State.
Greenway ranked third in the conference in tackles (10.2) and was third on the Hawkeyes in TFL (11) and pass break-ups (6). His 132 tackles rank 12th in single season tackles at Iowa.
Greenway collected four tackles vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl. He posted 10 tackles at Purdue and vs. Minnesota and recorded 11 at Wisconsin. Four of his 10 were solo vs. Minnesota, including two for loss. He also had one pass break-up. Greenway collected seven solo tackles and three assists at Purdue, including one half for loss. He collected eight tackles (2 solo), including one for loss and one pass break-up vs. Illinois. Against Penn State, he registered a game-high 11 tackles (9 solo). He recorded a career-high 17 tackles at Iowa State and duplicated his efforts vs. Arizona State. His performance vs. ASU earned him Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week laurels, the first of his career. At Ohio State, Greenway collected 10 tackles (5 solo), including 2.5 for loss.
- The Hawkeyes were 5-2 against ranked opponents in 2003. Iowa defeated No. 16 Arizona State (21-2), No. 8 Michigan (30-27) and No. 17 Minnesota (40-22) in Iowa City, No. 21 Wisconsin (27-21) in Madison and No. 17 Florida (37-17) in the Outback Bowl. The Hawkeyes lost to No. 8 Ohio State (19-10) and No. 14 Purdue (27-14) on the road.
- The Hawkeyes were the only team to beat Miami, OH this year (21-3) and one of only three squads (Oregon, 31-27 and USC, 28-14) to beat Michigan (30-27). Since the week one 18-point defeat at Iowa, the RedHawks won their last 13 games and averaged 49.9 ppg. Miami’s (OH) scoring offense ranked No. 1 in the nation.
- Iowa scored consecutive points of 40 vs. Minnesota, 20 at Wisconsin and 27 vs. Florida in its final three games.
- Iowa out-scored its opponents 131-22 in the second quarter and 115-31 in the third quarter. Iowa held its opponents scoreless in the second quarter nine times in 2003. In Iowa’s regular season finale at Wisconsin, the Badgers scored seven points in the second quarter. It marked the first time Iowa’s defense yielded a second quarter touchdown all season. Wisconsin scored the touchdown following an interception return to Iowa’s 36-yard line.
- After struggling with penalties and penalty yardage all season, Iowa finished the season strong by limiting the amount of mistakes in its final three games. The Hawkeyes collected only three penalties for five yards vs. Minnesota, three for 30 yards at Wisconsin and three for 15 yards vs. Florida.
- David Bradley posted a career long 75-yard punt in the second quarter vs. Minnesota. The 75-yard punt ties for the fifth-longest in school history. Nick Gallery had a 75-yard boot vs. Indiana (10/14/95).
- Iowa’s 18-play, 77-yard game-opening touchdown drive vs. Illinois, that consumed 9:06, marked its longest scoring drive since the Hawkeyes scored a touchdown on a 19-play, 81-yard drive that consumed 9:28 against Michigan on 10/20/84.
- Iowa’s 48 punt returns is a new school record.
- Iowa ranked in the top three in the Big Ten in 13 statistical categories, including ranking first in field goal percentage, red zone defense and scoring defense.
- The Hawkeyes have won 19 of their last 21 games in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the end of the 2000 season. Iowa’s two losses came against Iowa State (36-31 in 2002) and Michigan (32-26 in 2001).
- The Hawkeyes rushed the ball a season-high 51 times vs. Penn State.
- Iowa totaled a season-high 505 yards of offense vs. Illinois. The previous season best was 442 vs. Buffalo. The last time Iowa collected 500 yards, or more, total offense was vs. Utah State (518) on 9/21/02, a span of 19 games.
- Iowa has won 18 of its last 21 regular season games. The Hawkeyes’ loss at Michigan State on Sept. 27, stopped a 13-game regular season winning streak, the third longest in school history.
- Iowa posted five home sellouts in 2003 (Arizona State, Michigan, Penn State, Illinois and Minnesota). Iowa’s home attendance average of 65,798 was its best since 1998 (68,330).
- Iowa opponents scored first in eight game in 2003. The Hawkeyes scored on their opening possession in four of 13 contests, including touchdown drives vs. Buffalo and Illinois and field goals vs. Iowa State and Minnesota. Iowa won all four contests when it scored on its opening drive.
- Hawkeye Coach Kirk Ferentz started the season 4-0 for the first time as Iowa’s head coach. He has posted a 25-8 (.758) mark over the last 33 games.
- Iowa’s 56 points against Buffalo mark the first time it has scored 50 points, or more, since a 62-10 win over Northwestern (11-9-02).
- Iowa finished fourth in the Big Ten and now has 45 first-division finishes in the conference, including four championships and seven additional finishes among the top three teams in the league.
LEWIS FINISHES STRONG
Junior RB Jermelle Lewis scored a 34-yard touchdown, his first rushing touchdown of 2003 vs. Minnesota. Lewis finished the game as Iowa’s leading rusher (9 attempts, 63 yards). His first touchdown of the season came on an eight-yard reception at Purdue. He rushed seven times for 20 yards and caught one pass for eight yards at Wisconsin and carried the ball a season-high 12 times for 45 yards vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl.
For the season, Lewis rushed 46 times for 241 yards. The native of Bloomfield, CT, missed Iowa’s first seven games recovering from off-season knee surgery.
JOHNSON ENDS SCORING THREATS
DB Jovon Johnson intercepted six passes in 2003, two in the end zone. The six interceptions are the most by an Iowa player since Damien Robinson had six thefts in 1996. The six picks tie for sixth in a season at Iowa.
Johnson finished the season with three interceptions in Iowa’s last three games. The native of Erie, PA, had three tackles, three pass break-ups and one interception vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl. He intercepted his fifth pass and second in as many weeks in Iowa’s regular season finale at Wisconsin. The native of Erie, PA, returned the interception a team best 39 yards. It resulted in a second quarter touchdown.
Johnson returned his fourth interception of the year eight yards vs. Minnesota. It marked the second straight season that he has intercepted Minnesota QB Asad Abdul-Khaliq. He collected two interceptions against Miami (OH) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, one of which came in the end zone. Johnson intercepted his third pass of the season, in the end zone, against Arizona State.
Johnson ranked second in the Big Ten in interceptions (6) and 22nd in the nation. Additionally, he was ninth on the team in tackles (41) and ranked first in pass break-ups (13). He ranked second in the Big Ten and 18th nationally in passes defended (19).
His 10 interceptions in 25 career games ties for seventh in career interceptions at Iowa. He was named Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 1. Johnson led the Iowa secondary with two interceptions, the fifth and sixth of his career. Johnson returned his first interception 20 yards to the Miami one-yard line, which led to Iowa’s second touchdown. He intercepted his second pass in the end zone to erase a potential Miami (OH) scoring drive. He also finished with five tackles and three pass break-ups.
CHANDLER DIRECTS HAWKEYE OFFENSE
Senior Nathan Chandler became only the fifth Hawkeye QB to lead Iowa to a 10-win season. He completed 165-307 passes for 2,040 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His 2,040 yards passing rank 13th-best, while his 2,185 yards of total offense rank 13th-best in a single season at Iowa.
His pass efficiency rating of 122.4, ranked seventh in the Big Ten and 66th nationally. Chandler completed at least one touchdown pass in 12 of Iowa’s 13 games. Iowa’s game at Ohio State marked the only time this year he failed to toss a touchdown pass. Chandler’s 18 touchdown passes ties for third in the league. He passed for over 200 yards in three of Iowa’s last four regular season contests. He completed a season-long 51-yard pass to Ramon Ochoa at Ohio State.
He rushed the ball 89 times for 138 yards and six touchdowns. His six rushing touchdowns rank second on the squad behind RB Fred Russell (7).
Chandler finished his career completing 13-25 passes for 170 yards, one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown and no interceptions in Iowa’s bowl win over Florida.
Against Minnesota, Chandler completed 17-28 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown, and he also scored on a two-yard run. He completed 14-23 passes for a career-high 243 yards and one touchdown vs. Illinois.
In Iowa’s win over Michigan, Chandler collected career bests in completions (17), attempts (34) and passing yardage (195). He also threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in Iowa’s upset win over then-No. 9 Michigan.
Against Arizona State, Chandler completed 15-23 passes for 154 yards, threw for three touchdowns and had one interception. He had thrown 67 passes (20 last season) before his first interception. The three scoring passes were the most for an Iowa QB since Brad Banks had four TD passes in an overtime win at Penn State in 2002.
Chandler directed the Iowa offense to its first victory over Iowa State, in six tries, in week three. He completed 7-14 passes for 72 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed three times for 53 yards, including a career-long run of 42 yards in the second quarter.
Against Miami (OH), Chandler completed 12-19 for 129 yards, two touchdowns and 24 yards rushing. The native of Southlake, TX, was 6-6 for 37 yards on the Hawkeyes’ first scoring drive and 7-7 for 40 yards in the first quarter. The scoring drive ended with Chandler’s second career touchdown pass. He threw the third touchdown of his career and the second of the game in the fourth quarter when he floated a 28-yard pass to Mo Brown.
Chandler completed 8-11 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns in Iowa’s victory over Buffalo. He engineered touchdown drives on Iowa’s first four possessions, before the coaching staff substituted Drew Tate late in the second quarter.
Chandler transferred to the University of Iowa after one season with Pasadena CC. Chandler saw action in five games last year. The native of Southlake, TX, completed 7-12 passes for 92 yards last year against Akron, which was his first game as a Hawkeye. Chandler threw his first touchdown pass, as a Hawkeye, in Iowa’s convincing victory over Northwestern. He finished the game completing 2-2 passes for 33 yards. He combined with QB Brad Banks’ 10-10 for 197 yards to break the NCAA record for team passing percentage in a single game. The previous mark was 11-11.
RUSSELL: OUTBACK BOWL MVP
RB Fred Russell earned all-Big Ten accolades for the second-straight season. The senior earned second team honors by both the coaches and media.
Russell was named the Outback Bowl MVP after collecting 204 all-purpose yards vs. Florida. He rushed 21 times for 150 yards and one touchdown and returned three kickoffs for 54 yards.
Russell, who was a candidate for the Doak Walker Running Back of the Year Award, joined Sedrick Shaw (1994, 1995, 1996) and Ladell Betts (2000, 2001) as the only Iowa running backs to rush for over 1,000 yards in more than one season. On his last rushing attempt vs. Illinois, Russell scampered 14 yards for a touchdown, which put him at 1,010 yards for the season. Last year, Russell rushed 220 times for 1,264 yards and nine touchdowns, becoming the 10th Iowa running back to surpass 1,000 yards in a season.
In Iowa’s regular season finale, Russell carried the ball 18 times for 137 yards and one touchdown. Against Minnesota, Russell rushed eight times for 23 yards. He also had two kickoff returns for 78 yards, including a 46-yard opening kickoff return that is the longest for the Hawkeyes this year and is a career long.
Against the Fighting Illini, Russell finished the game with 94 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. It marked the third time in his career that he rushed for two touchdowns in a game (vs. Akron and at Indiana – both in 2002).
Russell rushed 282 times for 1,355 yards and a team-best seven touchdowns. His 1,355 yards rank third on Iowa’s single season rushing chart. He ranked third in the league and 25th nationally in rushing (104.2) and sixth in the league in all-purpose yards (116.9).
Russell led the Iowa offense in its victory over Penn State, rushing a career-high 36 times for 148 yards.
The native of Inkster, MI, rushed for 100 yards, or more, in a game seven times in 2003 and 15 times in his career. He accomplished the feat in three consecutive games this year as he rushed 27 times for 154 yards vs. Arizona State, 23 times for 122 yards at Michigan State and 26 times for 110 yards vs. Michigan.
Russell started the 2003 campaign on the right foot as he rushed 22 times for 167 yards and one touchdown against Miami (OH). Additionally, Russell tallied the longest (66) and second-longest (58) runs of his career. Against Buffalo, Russell tallied 98 yards on 12 carries in a half of play.
His career totals include 514 attempts for 2,760 yards and 17 touchdowns, which ranks fourth-best for yardage among Iowa running backs. Russell’s 5.4 career average ranks second all-time (min. 400 attempts) at Iowa. Tavian Banks ranks first with a 5.9 average. Russell finishes his Hawkeye career with 102 points, which ties for 22nd on Iowa’s career scoring chart.
Russell was named to the 2002 first all-Big Ten coaches team and was a second team selection by the media.
TRUE FRESHMEN IN 2003
Iowa had seven true freshmen see action in 2003, WR Scott Chandler, FB Champ Davis, WR James Townsend, RB A.J. Johnson, OL Mike Jones, WR Eric McCollom and QB Drew Tate.
Tate played in six games and completed 6-11 passes for 55 yards and one touchdown, which was a 13-yard pass completion to WR Matt Melloy vs. Illinois. The native of Baytown, TX, also rushed five times for 46 yards.
Jones played and started seven games at left guard in Iowa’s last seven games of the season. Jones was named to the Rivals.com Freshman all-America team. He was named to the group’s honorable mention unit. He also garnered third team freshman all-America honors and was named to the Big Ten all-freshman squad by The Sporting News.
Davis rushed for 30 yards on six attempts, 22 of which came against Buffalo. Davis also caught three passes for 33 yards against the Bulls before missing several games due to injury.
Johnson rushed 22 times for 63 yards.
McCollom and Townsend saw their first action in Iowa’s win over Arizona State. Townsend caught three passes for 16 yards. McCollom played primarily as a wide receiver, but did have one rushing attempt from the quarterback position. Chandler played in his first game at Michigan State and also saw action in five other games, but did not catch a pass.
Iowa had only two true freshmen play in 2002 (DB Jovon Johnson and WR Clinton Solomon).
SPECIAL TEAMS SUCCESS
After a successful season in 2002, Iowa’s special teams continued to shine in 2003. Iowa scored four special team and two defensive touchdowns in 2003.
Matt Melloy blocked his first career punt in the third quarter vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl. Melloy also recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Hawkeyes a 27-7 advantage. The touchdown was Melloy’s third score. He caught two touchdowns during 2003. Melloy became the first Hawkeye to block and recover a punt in the end zone in an Iowa bowl game.
Against Illinois, SS Bob Sanders scored his first career touchdown when he returned a fumble three yards for a touchdown. Against Penn State, LB Jermire Roberts scored his second career touchdown when he returned a blocked punt 26 yards.
At Ohio State, the Hawkeyes scored a touchdown on a fake field goal. Holder David Bradley pitched the ball to place kicker Nate Kaeding, who ran five yards to the right corner of the end zone.
At Iowa State, Sean Considine blocked two punts, both leading to points. Considine’s first punt block was recovered in the end zone by Chris Smith, while Kaeding kicked a field goal after the second blocked punt. Against Michigan, DB Chris Smith blocked Iowa’s third punt of the season in the third quarter that led to a Kaeding field goal.
Against Buffalo, Ramon Ochoa returned a punt 70 yards for a TD and Considine returned a fumble 18 yards for a score.
Iowa returned 33 kickoffs for an average of 22.2 and 48 punt returns for an average of 13.1. Iowa’s 48 punt returns is a new school record, breaking the previous mark of 47 set in 1987. The Hawkeyes ranked third in the Big Ten and 13th nationally in punt returns and second in the conference and 34th nationally in kickoff returns. Iowa’s kickoff coverage unit yielded 16.6 yards per return on 39 attempts, which ranked third in the Big Ten.
In 2002, Iowa’s special teams blocked four kicks (two punts, one field goal and one PAT). All four blocks resulted in points for the Hawkeyes. Both blocked punts were recovered in the end zone, while the blocked field goal and PAT attempt were scooped up and returned for scores.
FIRST CAREER TOUCHDOWNS
Iowa had 11 players record their first career touchdowns in 2003. The list includes FB Aaron Mickens (vs. Miami, OH), DB Sean Considine (vs. Buffalo), RB A.J. Johnson (vs. Buffalo), QB Nathan Chandler (vs. Buffalo), TE Erik Jensen (vs. Arizona State), TE Mike Follett (at Michigan State), WR Calvin Davis (vs. Michigan), PK Nate Kaeding (at Ohio State), WR Matt Melloy (vs. Penn State), SS Bob Sanders (Illinois) and TE Tony Jackson (Illinois).
DEFENSE MAKES A STAND
- The Hawkeyes ranked in the top 25 nationally in four defensive statistical categories: scoring defense (7th), rushing defense (8th), total defense (16th) and pass efficiency defense (24th).
- Iowa had four players post double figure tackles the last two weeks of the regular season.
- Iowa’s rushing defense yielded 1,205 yards (92.7), which ranks second-best in school history.
- Iowa’s red zone defense ranked first in the Big Ten. Hawkeye opponents scored on only 62.5 percent (20-32) of their possessions inside the 20. The Hawkeyes forced and recovered two fumbles on the goal line (at Ohio State and vs. Minnesota).
- Iowa’s rushing defense held eight of its opponents under 75 yards rushing.
- Iowa’s rushing defense allowed only seven plays of 20 yards or more in 2003.
- Iowa collected 34 sacks, which ranked fourth in the Big Ten.
- Iowa held No. 17 Florida to one total yard in the second quarter and yielded only one Gator red zone possession in the Outback Bowl.
- Four different Hawkeyes earned Big Ten Weekly defensive honors (Jovon Johnson, Bob Sanders, Matt Roth and Chad Greenway).
- The Hawkeyes forced 22 fumbles, recovering 12. Iowa returned two fumbles for touchdowns (Considine – 18 yards vs. Buffalo and Sanders – 3 yards vs. Illinois).
- The three interceptions vs. Wisconsin mark the first time since the opening game of the season that Iowa had more than one in a game. The Hawkeyes had four interceptions in the 21-3 win over Miami, OH and one interception in five other games.
- Iowa held Penn State without a first down on its first four possessions. In addition, the Nittany Lions failed to convert on its first seven third down attempts and finished the game 2-15.
- After gaining 16 yards on the first play of the second quarter (its longest play from scrimmage in the game), Arizona State went five straight possessions without a first down.
- After scoring on four of its first five possessions, Michigan failed to score on 11 of its last 12 possessions.
- Iowa’s defense allowed only 210 points (16.2), which was tops in the Big Ten and seventh in the nation. Six of the opponents’ 21 offensive touchdowns came against Iowa’s second team defense in the fourth quarter of five big wins (Buffalo, Iowa State, Illinois, Minnesota and Florida).
- Iowa collected four interceptions against Miami (OH) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It marked the first time Iowa collected four interceptions in a single-game since a 62-0 victory over Indiana in 1997. Iowa also had four interceptions in a win over Northern Iowa that season. The highly-regarded Roethlisberger had only 10 interceptions in 14 games this season as Miami posted a 13-1 record.
- Iowa’s defense collected 25 takeaways (13 interceptions, 12 fumbles), including 10 (five interceptions, five fumbles) the last three games.
- FS Sean Considine intercepted three passes, blocked two punts and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
HAWKEYE COACHES IN THE HALL OF FAME
Iowa is currently tied for second with the most coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame with five. Iowa’s inductees include Howard Jones, Dr. Eddie Anderson, Edward ‘Slip’ Madigan, Forest Evashevski and Hayden Fry. Nebraska boasts the most coaches in the Hall of Fame with six.
IOWA LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
Iowa’s Leadership Council for the 2003 season included 13 players (five seniors, three juniors, three sophomores two redshirt freshmen and a true freshman). Permanent team captains are named at the conclusion of each season. The Leadership Council for this season includes seniors Robert Gallery, Bob Sanders, Nathan Chandler, Nate Kaeding and Jared Clauss, juniors Sean Considine, Jonathan Babineaux and Jermelle Lewis, sophomores Ed Hinkel, Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway, redshirt freshmen Jason Manson and Cy Phillips and true freshman Drew Tate.
Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and his son, Brian, were believed to be one of only five father-son duos in Division I. They join Lee Owens and his son Andy from Akron, Art Briles and his son Kendal from Houston, Tony Samuel and his son Travis from New Mexico State and Mike Bellotti and his son Luke from Oregon.
BIG PLAY HAWKEYES
Seven of Iowa’s 50 offensive plays of 20 yards or more produced touchdowns. RB Fred Russell scampered 34 yards for Iowa’s last touchdown of the year in its bowl win over Florida. RB Jermelle Lewis scored his first rushing touchdown of the year when he scampered 34 yards vs. Minnesota. WR Ramon Ochoa caught a 31-yard touchdown vs. Michigan. WR Maurice Brown caught a 28-yard pass for a touchdown against Miami (OH) and a 23-yard score vs. Buffalo, RB Marcus Schnoor scored on a 33-yard run at Iowa State, while Ochoa caught a 40-yard pass for a touchdown vs. Arizona State.
The Hawkeyes posted five or more offensive plays of 20 yards or more in five of their last six contests.
The Hawkeyes also recorded big plays on special teams, including eight long punt returns (70, 43, 41, 24, 23, 21, 21, 21) and 17 kickoff returns (46, 38, 37, 33, 32, 31, 31, 27, 26, 26, 26, 25, 23, 23, 22, 21, 20).
Iowa’s defense yielded 31 offensive plays of 20 yards or more, including only four running plays over 20 yards. Michigan and Minnesota both recorded six of the 31. Iowa held Ohio State to only one big play (34-yard passing play) and Purdue to two (20-yard rushing play and a 45-yard touchdown pass).
IOWA BY QUARTERS
Iowa outscored its opponents 126-22 and 115-31 in the second and third quarters, respectively. Hawkeye opponents owned a 91-72 advantage in the first quarter and a 62-59 edge in the fourth quarter.
The Hawkeye defense allowed only one touchdown in the second quarter, which Wisconsin scored in the regular season finale.
ON THE AVERAGE
Iowa averaged 5.6 yards on 377 first down plays, 4.6 yards on 278 second down plays, 4.8 yards on 191 third down plays and 3.4 yards on seven fourth down plays.
AVERAGE SCORING DRIVES
Iowa’s 59 scoring drives averaged 6.7 plays, 46.9 yards and 2:37 elapsed time. Twenty-nine of Iowa’s 59 scoring drives covered 50 yards or more.
The Hawkeyes posted a season-high 18-play, 77-yard drive that amassed 9:06 on their first offensive possession against Illinois. Iowa had four scoring drives that amassed seven plays or more in its bowl win over Florida.
Iowa opponents recorded 33 scoring drives, averaging 7.7 plays, 52.2 yards and 2:47 elapsed time. Eight of Iowa’s opponents’ 33 scoring drives covered 75 yards or more.
IOWA IN THE RED ZONE
The Hawkeyes marched inside the red zone 55 times and scored 48 times (87.3%). Iowa’s 87.3 percent scoring proficiency ranked third in the league.
Iowa scored eight touchdowns and six field goals its last 15 trips inside the 20. Of the Hawkeyes’ final 15 drives inside the 20, their only failure came when Iowa let the clock expire in a convincing 37-17 win over Florida in the Outback Bowl. Iowa was 4-5 against the Gators, scoring two touchdowns and two field goals.
In Iowa’s last regular season game at Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes scored three touchdowns and one field goal. The Haweyes scored three touchdowns and three field goals vs. Minnesota the previous week. Iowa was also a perfect 6-6 vs. Illinois. The Hawkeyes posted four touchdowns and two field goals against the Fighting Illini.
Four of the Hawkeyes’ red zone failures in 2003 came when they had a comfortable lead and let the clock expire – once each against Miami (OH), Buffalo, Penn State and Florida. QB Nathan Chandler fumbled inside the five-yard line against Miami (OH) in Iowa’s other scoring failure.
Hawkeye opponents advanced inside the red zone 32 times and scored only 20 times (62.5%). Iowa’s outstanding red zone defense ranked first in the Big Ten.
Florida advanced inside Iowa’s 20 only once and failed to score in the Outback Bowl. Minnesota was 3-6, scoring two touchdowns and one field goal. Iowa forced three fumbles inside its own 20, including one at the goal line. Purdue was 2-3, collecting two touchdowns. Penn State is Iowa’s only opponent this year not to have an offensive possession reach the red zone. Ohio State failed to score any points on two possessions inside the red zone. A fumble on the goal line and a fumbled snap on a field goal attempt halted two potential scoring drives. Michigan was a perfect 3-3, scoring two touchdowns and converting a field goal. Michigan State scored on all four possessions inside the red zone. Iowa stopped Arizona State’s only red zone scoring threat when DB Jovon Johnson intercepted a pass at the goal line. Buffalo and Iowa State each tallied touchdowns, while Miami (OH) kicked a field goal. Miami (OH) was 1-2, Buffalo was 1-1, while Iowa State was 1-3.
For the second straight season and for the third time in four years, Iowa’s regular season schedule included 12 games. Iowa played seven games in Kinnick Stadium, where it posted a perfect 7-0 mark. Seven of Iowa’s 13 games were played against bowl eligible squads. Iowa recorded a 5-3 record against those teams, including victories over No. 4 Michigan (30-27), No. 16 Miami, OH (21-3), No. 22 Minnesota (40-22), No. 21 Wisconsin (27-17) and No. 17 Florida (37-17).
Iowa’s 2003 home schedule included dates with Miami (OH), Buffalo, Arizona State, Michigan, Penn State, Illinois and Minnesota. Road games were at Iowa State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Iowa’s bye week was Oct. 11 and Iowa did not have to play consecutive road games for the time since 1999.
The Hawkeyes did not play Indiana (2-10) or Northwestern (6-7). The last time Iowa did not play the Hoosiers was 1990, while 1970 was the last time the Wildcats were not on Iowa’s schedule.
IOWA DEPTH CHART
Iowa’s Outback Bowl depth chart included 20 seniors, 12 juniors, 13 sophomores, six redshirt freshmen and three true freshmen. These numbers do not include return specialists. Iowa’s three true freshmen include quarterback Drew Tate, offensive lineman Mike Jones and fullback Champ Davis.
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS
Iowa scored 70 points off 25 turnovers (13 interceptions and 12 fumbles), plus an additional 19 points following four blocked punts (two at Iowa State, one vs. Michigan and one vs. Penn State).
Iowa scored a season-high 17 points off turnovers following four Wisconsin miscues in its last regular season game. In fact, Iowa posted 23 points in its final two games after forcing nine turnovers. The previous week, Iowa scored six points after four Minnesota fumbles and one interception.
SS Bob Sanders scored his first career touchdown on a three-yard fumble return against Illinois.
WR Matt Melloy caught a two-yard touchdown pass from QB Nathan Chandler following a 47-yard fumble return by LB Abdul Hodge vs. Penn State.
The Hawkeyes scored 10 points after creating two turnovers at Iowa State. QB Nathan Chandler found WR Maurice Brown in the end zone for a 17-yard score after LB Grant Steen recovered a fumble and PK Nate Kaeding connected on a 19-yard field goal after Steen intercepted a pass.
Against Buffalo, DB Sean Considine scored his first career touchdown when he returned a fumble 18 yards for a score in the first quarter. Brown caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Chandler after Considine intercepted his second pass in as many weeks in the second quarter.
Iowa scored seven points off four Miami (OH) turnovers, all of which were interceptions. DB Jovon Johnson intercepted Miami (OH) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on its own 21-yard line and returned the pick to the one-yard line, with RB Fred Russell scoring two plays later. The Hawkeyes’ other three interceptions came inside the opponents’ red zone. Chris Smith recorded his second career interception on Iowa’s own three-yard line. Considine collected his first career interception when he picked off Roethlisberger at the 19-yard line. Finally, Johnson recorded his sixth career interception, and second of the day, in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Iowa turned the ball over 21 times, including four at Michigan State and three times each at Ohio State, vs. Penn State and at Wisconsin. Michigan State tallied 13 points off Hawkeye turnovers, while Wisconsin scored 14 points. Iowa State and Penn State scored seven points each, while Minnesota converted a field goal.
RON AIKEN ON NCAA COMMITTEE
Iowa defensive line coach Ron Aiken is one of four Big Ten assistant coaches to be chosen to participate in the first NCAA Advanced Coaching Program, which is a component of the NCAA Coaches Academy. Aiken, along with Michigan assistant head coach John Campbell, Michigan State running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Reginald Mitchell and Illinois assistant coach Donald Thompson were among the 20 coaches selected to attend the Academy.
The Academy is designed to assist minority coaches in excelling in head coaching positions, to enhance and strengthen the skills that many ethnic minority coaches currently possess and to provide exposure and networking opportunities for these coaches. The program was held Jan. 2-4 in Orlando, FL, and preceded the American Football Coaches Association convention.
GAMES ON TELEVISION
All 13 Iowa games were televised in 2003. The Hawkeyes were televised nationally on ESPN three times (at Purdue, vs. Minnesota and vs. Florida), ESPN2 twice (vs. Arizona State and vs. Miami, OH) and Fox Sports Net (at Iowa State). Iowa games were shown regionally on ABC four times (vs. Michigan, at Ohio State, vs. Penn State and at Wisconsin) and on ESPN Plus twice (Buffalo and Illinois). Iowa’s game vs. Arizona State was a night game and the Hawkeyes played four mid-afternoon games (vs. Michigan, at Ohio State, at Purdue and at Wisconsin).
2004 IOWA SCHEDULE
Iowa returns to an 11-game regular season schedule in 2004. The Hawkeyes open their season with back-to-back home contests against Kent State (Sept. 4) and in-state rival Iowa State (Sept. 11) before traveling to Arizona State (Sept. 18) to conclude their non-conference slate. Iowa will host Michigan State (Oct. 2), Ohio State (Oct. 16), Purdue (Nov. 6) and Wisconsin (Nov. 20) during conference play and travel to Michigan (Sept. 25), Penn State (Oct. 23), Illinois (Oct. 30) and Minnesota (Nov. 13). Iowa is idle on Oct. 9.