Iowa Falls in Overtime

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Oct. 22, 2005

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IOWA CITY — The fans that packed sold-out Kinnick Stadium for the first-ever “Black-Out” event were at least dressed appropriately Saturday.

As Jerome Jackson’s 1-yard touchdown run in overtime snapped Iowa’s 22-game home winning streak, the stadium was draped in the official color of mourning.

Michigan emerged with a 23-20 win over the Hawkeyes in the first-ever overtime situation inside the 76-year-old structure. Both teams are now 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten Conference.

“The credit goes to Michigan because they did what it took to come out with a win today,” Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It’s how close games against good teams go.”

All of the Wolverines’ conference victories this year have come within the last 24 seconds of the game or in overtime. Until the final stanza, the Hawkeyes hadn’t trailed in a home game for 46-straight quarters.

“We needed the win today, because our season has had some ups and downs, but I think we did the things we needed to do,” Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr said. “I give Iowa a lot of credit. I think they played extremely well.”

The Hawkeyes led the entire way until 8:51 remained in the game and Michigan quarterback Chad Henne connected with Steve Breaston for a 52-yard touchdown pass, which, after the extra point by Garrett Rivas, gave the Wolverines a 17-14 advantage.

“We missed a tackle, and he took it the distance,” cornerback Jovon Johnson said. “There’s nothing you can do about it except make that tackle.”

After intervening drives by both teams, Iowa took the ball at its own 12-yard line with less than three minutes to go. Quarterback Drew Tate found receivers Clinton Solomon and Scott Chandler to methodically work the Hawkeyes to midfield. He then found sophomore Herb Grigsby on a 30-yard pass that held up under review to put Iowa in striking distance at the Michigan 21 with 1:29 on the clock.

Running back Albert Young couldn’t get closer than the Michigan 13, however, and the Hawkeyes had to settle for a 32-yard field goal attempt by Kyle Schlicher with exactly two seconds left on the clock, not unlike the field goal Rob Houghtlin made in 1985 at Kinnick against the Wolverines that was commemorated at halftime.

And just like 20 years ago when the Wolverines tried to ice Houghtlin with three timeouts, Michigan tried to ice Schlicher with two. It didn’t work then. It didn’t work Saturday. The junior made the score, tied the game at 17 as time expired, and put the Hawkeyes in just their third period of extra time ever.

“I knew we had to go out there and put it through and keep us alive in the game,” Schlicher said. “When you’re out there like that and it’s a pressure situation, your mind takes over and your body just goes through its motions like its done thousands of times before.”

Schlicher had earlier missed a field-goal attempt short and low, but everything clicked when the game was on the line.

“We didn’t necessarily want a shot at the end zone, but we were playing for a touchdown,” Ferentz said. “That’s for sure. But we didn’t want to take any foolish chances. You don’t want to give them a chance to win it right there.”

In overtime, Iowa again had to settle for three points as a rejuvenated Michigan defense kept the Hawkeyes no closer than the 10-yard line. Schlicher made a 28-yard field goal to put Iowa up 20-17.

Michigan, though, was helped by a 17-yard pass from Henne to Jason Avant and Jackson moved the ball another five yards to the 1-yard line. The Hawkeye defense made one goal-line stand, but Jackson pushed through on third-and-goal for the win.

“I looked up to the sky and asked God to give me strength,” Jackson said. “(The offensive line) said in the huddle, ‘We’re going to get you in, Jackson.’ I believed in them, and they believed in me. I’m so happy right now.”

With 11 carries for 44 yards, Jackson was second to Kevin Grady on the ground. Grady had 62 yards on 18 attempts. For the game, Iowa out-gained Michigan 139-122 on the ground.

“I can’t speak enough about Jerome,” Carr said. “I think we had some guys who the team needed to stand up and play an important role.”

Henne went 14 of 21 with one interception for 207 yards. In addition to the long throw to Breaston, the junior found Avant on a 5-yarder to tie the game at 7 apiece in the second quarter.

The Hawkeyes, though, led in almost every statistical category. They had 85 more yards of total offense. Young had his fourth-straight 100-yard plus game with 153 yards on 30 carries, and Tate ended the game completing 27 of 39 for 288 yards with one interception.

“I could have rushed for 300, and if we’d have lost I’d still be upset,” Young said. “I would have preferred to rush for 50 and get a win, put it that way.”

Michigan keyed in on the run in the second half and made Iowa as close to one-dimensional as it could get.

“They did a few things that made it difficult,” Ferentz said of his team’s running game. “If they take one phase away, you’ve got to do things to compensate.”

Iowa scored on its first possession with a 13-yard pass from Tate to Grigsby on third-and-2. Grigsby stretched over the heavily-guarded left front edge of the end zone just about six minutes in.

Tate again found Grigsby on a 4-yarder to go up 14-7 heading into halftime.

“Herb did some great things,” Ferentz said. “We had guys step up. That’s something which is a part of having guys hurt or injured. The long and short of it was that the guys responded.”

“We hit the wall a little bit of the time, and we certainly hurt ourselves a little bit and put ourselves in some tough situations. It makes it tougher to overcome those types of things. I thought we really responded when we had to.”
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz

Coming into the game Iowa was the least-penalized team in the nation, but that title is likely out the window following an 11-flag performance that cost the Hawkeyes 94 yards. And many of those came at critical times for Hawkeyes, when they were making progress or when they were stopping the Wolverines.

“I don’t know how accurate the holding calls were because they were holding our receivers, too,” Tate said. “It just goes back to they made plays when they needed to and we didn’t.”

One particularly upsetting call involved pass interference by Johnson when Michigan was at second-and-8 from its own 25-yard line.

“There’s no way I could have pass interference on a guy who was behind me,” Johnson said, adding the calls influenced his play. “From here on out, it’s up to us. We determine our own destiny.”

Ferentz said the penalties took his team out of its rhythm.

“We missed some opportunities today, whether you want to talk about penalties or turnovers,” the coach said. “Anytime in conference play those things happen, there’s a pretty fair chance that it’s going to show up in the end. When those things happen, you’ve got to keep moving.”

The Hawkeyes now move into their bye week before traveling to Northwestern on Nov. 5. They don’t return home until the season finale against Minnesota on Nov. 19.

“I’d sure as heck rather go into (the bye week) with a win,” Ferentz said. “But the bye week has been scheduled like the rest of the three games, and you have a 50-50 chance on those things.”

Barry Pump,