Sept. 10, 2005
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- The Schedule: 2005 and Beyond
AMES, IA — No. 8 Iowa’s 23-3 loss to Iowa State on Saturday will be one for the history books, but not in the way the Hawkeyes wanted it to be recorded.
Iowa didn’t score a touchdown against its in-state rival for the first time since 1978. Iowa hasn’t scored fewer points in Ames since a 2-0 win in 1910. It was the first Cyclone victory over the Hawkeyes on their home field since 2001. And for good measure, the defeat came before the largest crowd – 54,290 – to pack Jack Trice Stadium since its reconfiguration in 1996.
It was hardly the way the Hawkeyes wanted their nine-game winning streak, which had been the third best in the country prior to the game, snapped.
“There’s not a heckuva lot to say,” Head Coach Kirk Ferentz said after the game. “It was a thorough beating for us and a good team win for them. They did a good job.”
But if there is anything to say: Turnovers plagued Iowa, and the Cyclones capitalized.
Iowa State, unranked following a 32-21 struggle against Division I-AA Illinois State last week, scored on four of Iowa’s five turnovers starting in the first quarter. The Cyclones now lead the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series, 5-0, with the 3-point win and take possession of the Cy-Hawk Trophy for the first time since 2002.
In that period, Brian Ferentz snapped the ball over quarterback Drew Tate’s head and sent Tate and running back Albert Young struggling to recover. The Cyclones’ Jason Berryman, however, recovered the ball on Iowa’s 12-yard line, setting up a two-play drive capped off by a 12-yard pass from quarterback Bret Myer to Austin Flynn to go up 6-0.
“We just had miscommunication,” Young said of the fumble recovery. “Drew told me to get it, but it looked like he was going to take it. It was just miscommunication on our part.”
Young, by far, had the best game for the Hawkeyes, who struggled to get into an offensive rhythm the entire game. The sophomore rushed 18 times for a career-best 140 yards.
“Our No. 1 goal each week is to win the turnover battle,” Young said. “For us to come out here and put it on the ground so many times, it’s heartbreaking because that’s not how we play football, and we’ve got to clean it up.”
“Albert looked good,” Ferentz said. “He looked sharp out there, and he had it going pretty good.”
The second quarter all but sealed the game for the Cyclones.
Steve Paris picked off a Tate pass at the Iowa State 28 and returned it for 18 yards, which set up an 11-play, 42-yard drive that ended in a Tony Yelk field goal.
Tate endured a strong hit from Paris as he forced him out of bounds on the play, and the sideline report was that Tate suffered a concussion. He walked off the field, was examined by team doctors, and then went to the locker room. He was out the rest of the game, returning to the sidelines in sweat clothes and guiding his replacement, Jason Manson.
“I don’t think we did anything with ease today, and you’ve got to give Iowa State the credit there. They took us out of our comfort zone real fast, and we were extremely fortunate to be down 16-0 with four turnovers in the first half.”
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
“I think, needless to say, if a quarterback throws a pick he’s got to make an effort to make the tackle, but obviously we don’t want Drew doing that,” Ferentz said of Tate’s physical acumen. “We’d rather not have him throwing interceptions, so he doesn’t have to do that. That’s probably the best solution.”
In little more than a quarter of play, Tate went 5 of 11, with the interception, for 57 yards. A 27-yard pass to tight end Ryan Majerus was Tate’s longest.
Down by 9 midway through the second, the Hawkeyes tried to answer with a new quarterback from his own 17-yard line. After a penalty – the one of six on the day – and a 2-yard run by Young, Manson tried to connect with wideout Ed Hinkel but got ISU’s LaMarcus Hicks instead. Hicks returned the interception 28 yards for the Cyclones’ second touchdown and a 15-0 advantage.
Yelk, the Cyclones kicker, nailed the point after for a 16-0 halftime lead. The fifth-year senior only missed his first extra-point attempt on the game.
“I got hit as I released,” Manson said of the interception, “and I was trying to get it to Hinkel. It got away from me and the guy made a play.”
Helped along by 30 yards on the ground from Young, Manson led a strong charge into ISU territory for just the second time of the game to start the third quarter, but the less-experienced quarterback couldn’t move the ball across the 26.
Iowa settled for a 44-yard field goal from Kyle Schlicher to stay in the game, 16-3.
“I knew we still had a chance (in the second half),” Manson said. “I never quit. On offense, we never quit. It was 16-0 with a whole half to play. We just wanted to get back into the game and execute, but a lot of turnovers held us back.”
The entire team credited Iowa State’s defense for the stagnant offensive play. Matt Robinson led the Cyclone attack with 11 tackles, seven solos. Three ISU players recorded sacks over Iowa quarterbacks, including Tim Dobbins who had two quarterback hits as well.
“They played a great game, and they forced us into some stuff we didn’t want to be in,” Hinkel said. “And they changed up their coverages a lot and we couldn’t really get a read on them.”
Ferentz agreed with his senior receiver.
“I don’t think we did anything with ease today, and you’ve got to give Iowa State the credit there,” he said. “They took us out of our comfort zone real fast, and we were extremely fortunate to be down 16-0 with four turnovers in the first half.
“I really felt like we did have a shot in that second half.”
Iowa’s next opportunity came when Manson led his second charge into the Cyclones’ field in the top of the fourth, reaching Iowa State’s 29-yard line.
Nik Moser, however, forced a fumble by Scott Chandler, which was recovered by Hicks on the 20-yard line. That recovery led to a 9-play drive highlighted by Meyer’s longest pass of the game, a 40-yarder to Todd Blythe that got ISU to the Iowa 2-yard line. Ryan Kock pushed in the two-yard run for the Cyclones’ last touchdown with 3:50 left in the game.
“We had to be one of the most improved teams in the country form week one to week two,” Iowa State Coach Dan McCarney said. “It was a hard-earned victory over a real tough Iowa team. This was a big step for where we want to be toward the end of the season.”
Manson went 10 of 31 on the game for 117 yards and one interception. Iowa State’s Myer was 14 of 24 for 154 and Hicks led the ground attack with 118 yards on 28 carries.
Iowa’s defense, led by Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway with 13 tackles apiece, kept it in the game. Defensive end Mike Follett recorded two sacks, and sophomore Adam Shada made a 9-yard interception return on Iowa State’s first drive.
“I wouldn’t say they wore us down,” said cornerback Jovon Johnson, who recorded four tackles and two pass breakups. “I’d rather say they were overpowering us up front late in the fourth quarter. Sometimes the better team comes out and gets the job done, and that’s what (ISU) did today.”
Greenway said the team learned a valuable lesson Saturday.
“We learned we need to get a lot better,” the senior linebacker said. “That’s one thing we learned. We need to be more sound and be more physical and really improve in every aspect.”
Young said the game, and its lessons, will stay with the team until it returns to Kinnick Stadium next week.
“With five turnovers, you can’t beat anyone,” he said. “It’s going to be something that sticks with us today and tomorrow, and we’re looking forward to UNI next week.”
Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com