Dec. 26, 2004
- Ferentz to ESPN: Sounds corny, but Iowa is home
- Iowa and LSU: Side-by-side in final BCS list
- UI, Ferentz ink contract extension
- Big Ten Championship merchandise
- Bowl game ticket information
- Listen to the bowl game online!
- Watch Kirk next Tuesday live!
- Purchase your Hawkeye tickets online
- Listen to the Hawkeyes on XM Radio
Some have said and others have written that he’s carried the 2004 Iowa Hawkeyes on his back. Statistically, it would be hard to argue otherwise.
When Drew Tate, Iowa’s talented all-Big Ten sophomore quarterback from Baytown, Texas, completes his first pass in the 2005 Capital One Bowl against Louisiana State on New Year’s Day, it’ll likely put him over 2,500 yards passing for the season. He’s either thrown (18) or run (2) for 20 of the 29 touchdowns Iowa has scored thus far in 2004. He’s completing passes at a 62 percent clip.
Not bad for a guy who said he’s just been “helping the team find a way to win” since Iowa’s loss at Michigan, a defeat that dropped Iowa’s record to two wins and two losses.
“I’ve gotten better at decision-making and taking what the defenses gives us. I’m also more comfortable with our offense. That’s daily thing. I get more comfortable each day whether it’s practice or game day.”
UI Quarterback Drew Tate
Ahhh. The Michigan game. Hawkeye fans remember two things about that one. Five turnovers and “The Play.” The former is self-explanatory. Iowa fumbled three balls away and Tate threw a pair of interceptions in Iowa’s second and final loss during the 2004 regular season.
The latter will be forever remembered as the play Drew Tate won the hearts of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. Scrambling late in the game to put Iowa on the scoreboard, Tate had his helmet ripped from his head by a charging Wolverine. However, instead of crumbling, the hard-nosed Texan righted himself, focused, and fired a near-strike downfield.
It didn’t matter that the play was dead the moment his helmet hit the playing field. Tate’s toughness and fire was on display for all to see. And everyone in black and gold liked what they saw.
They liked it even more the following week when Tate completed 25 of 36 pass attempts for a career high 340 yards and a touchdown in guiding Iowa to a 38-16 romp past a Michigan State team that arrived in Iowa City unbeaten.
It was the second of six games that Tate would complete 24 or more passes. It was the first of three games that he would throw for more than 300 yards. And, it was, of course, the first of a remarkable run of seven straight Big Ten victories that ended with Tate throwing for three touchdowns in the Hawkeyes’ 30-7 thrashing of Wisconsin that gave Iowa its second league championship in three seasons.
How does Tate grade himself? Humbly, of course.
“I’ve gotten better at decision-making and taking what the defenses gives us,” said Tate. “I’m also more comfortable with our offense. That’s daily thing. I get more comfortable each day whether it’s practice or game day.”
It’s like that a strong performance will vault Tate onto the national stage. His performance to date has him climbing the steps and rightfully so.
“I’ll hopefully be able to handle that like I did in high school,” Tate said about any attention that might come his way. “(The media and others) can do whatever. You just have to be humble and deal with it.
“This is a team game afterall,” Tate added. “I’m one guy and one guy just doesn’t get it done on game day.”
Tate was coached by his father in high school. He father will arrive in Orlando on Monday, but he’ll be a spectator first, a dad second, and a coach a distant third.
“I’m sure he’ll come to a practice or two, but the coaching…he’ll leave that to the staff. He’s just a father and a fan now,” Tate smiles.
A proud papa-fan, though.
“I think he knew what I could do if given the right opportunity. He obviously was one of the first to see the potential,” Tate said.