Iowa Holds Off Indiana, 38-21

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Oct. 15, 2005

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IOWA CITY — Kirk Ferentz said he had a “strange feeling” on the sideline during Saturday’s Big Ten Conference matchup with Indiana.

Strange feeling or not, the Hawkeyes pulled out a 38-21 win over the Hoosiers before the 15th-straight announced sellout at Kinnick Stadium and posted their 22nd consecutive home victory.

But the odd sensation the head coach had was justified.

Indiana (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) came the closest of any team this season to ending the home winning streak, sneaking to within three points of the Hawkeyes with 9:51 left in the game.

“It was an interesting third quarter to say the least,” Ferentz said. “I give Indiana nothing but credit. Today certainly the third quarter didn’t go exactly to script. But the bottom line was that when they closed the gap, our guys responded the way they should have.”

Iowa (5-2, 3-1) built up a 24-7 lead through the start of the third quarter, thanks to a 31-yard run by Albert Young and 42-yard catch by Clinton Solomon – all while holding off a strong aerial attack by the Hoosiers’ quarterback Blake Powers, who passed for 360 yards and set a new stadium record with 36 completions.

But Powers and receivers James Hardy and James Bailey teamed up for time-consuming drives through the third and into the fourth quarters which culminated in short touchdown passes to edge within three points with 9:51 left in the game.

The Hoosiers ate up 7 minutes, 46 seconds on an 18-play drive in the third that crossed 94 yards and made the game 24-14. On their next scoring drive, they crossed 80 yards in about three minutes to go 24-21.

Iowa responded with a 26-yard touchdown run by Young, who had 125 yards on 26 carries, and a 30-yard score by running back Damian Sims to put the game away about four minutes later.

“It was kind of an ebb and flow type ball game,” Ferentz said. “The bottom line is that we hung in there, and in the fourth quarter when we needed to get it going, we got it going and that was really nice to see.”

Senior receiver Matt Melloy, who scored his first touchdown since last year’s season-opener by dragging Indiana cornerback Tracy Porter and safety Troy Grosfield into the end zone on an 8-yard reception to start the game, said the final quarter was pretty tense.


Fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes are encouraged to wear black on Saturday, Oct. 22, when the Hawkeyes entertain Michigan in the first-ever ‘Black Out Saturday” event at the UI.

“Anything could happen and the offense rose up to the challenge,” he said. “Right after they scored and put it within three we scored again. That shows our offense is growing up a little bit, but at the same time we still have some room to improve.”

Indiana Coach Terry Hoeppner said the final score was “disappointing,” considering how close his team came and the big scores it gave up at the end.

“Obviously the guys didn’t quit,” he said. “I was proud of the effort we gave, but we’ve got to play and coach better than what we did today.

“We felt it was going to be a 60-minute, 15-round bout. Mentally, I think, we were prepared for it, but we just didn’t finish. We just didn’t finish the game the way I thought we would,” the coach added.

Hoeppner was right to compare the game to a boxing match.

The Hoosiers ran 101 offensive plays to post 446 yards, compared to 57 for 425 by Iowa. They dominated time of possession as well, keeping the ball for 40 minutes and 9 seconds. The Hawkeyes’ had the ball for just fewer than 20.

“I learned a long time ago that at the end of the day the only stat that counts is points,” Ferentz said. “It all starts there. I’d much rather have the right score on the board at the end of the day. That’s what we’re worried about.”

Hoeppner agreed with Ferentz.

“We thought we had a good game plan coming in, but if you don’t win, numbers really don’t mean too much,” he said.

Cornerback Jovon Johnson said the offense gave the defense “a spark” in the fourth.

“They had the momentum going their way a little bit, and they wanted to put the cherry on top so they threw it up for a big play. And fortunately, we were able to come down with it and give it back to our offense.”
Sophomore Adam Shada on his interception in the third quarter

“It was a challenge for us, but whenever you come out on top it’s good,” said Johnson, who had a career day with 17 tackles. “Indiana has some great receivers, and good quarterback and some real good backs, so they gave us a test in the fourth quarter to see how strong we were going to respond.”

The Hawkeye defense, which ranks fifth overall in the conference, preserved its team’s lead in the game despite allowing the big yardage by Powers.

Adam Shada, a sophomore cornerback who’s stepped in for Antwan Allen this week, picked off a touchdown-saving throw by Powers in the third. Shada also had 13 tackles to join Abdul Hodge (18), Chad Greenway (14) and Johnson in double digits.

“They had the momentum going their way a little bit, and they wanted to put the cherry on top so they threw it up for a big play,” Shada said. “And fortunately, we were able to come down with it and give it back to our offense.”

Johnson said the number of snaps he went through on defense as well as special teams – he filled in for the injured Ed Hinkel on punt returns – will likely catch up with him tomorrow.

“My body’s sore,” he said. “I know tomorrow I’ll be sore, but right now I’m enjoying the victory.”

Barry Pump,