Brodell Takes a Hit, Finds Paydirt

Sept. 13, 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa’s Andy Brodell took a cheap shot from an Iowa State defender Saturday at Kinnick Stadium on a punt return in the second quarter of the Hawkeyes’ 17-5 victory.

The junior from Ankeny had the last laugh.

He fielded another punt with a little less than seven minutes to play and Iowa clinging to a 10-3 lead over their intrastate rival, steadied himself and found a seam. Eighty-one yards later, he was in the south endzone of historic Kinnick celebrating with Iowa’s 33rd consecutive sellout crowd and his mates on the punt return squad.

“I thought about fair catching it, the conservative route,” Brodell told Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak of the Hawkeye Radio Network shortly after Iowa’s third straight win of 2008.

“I’m glad I didn’t. I found a seam, caught a couple of nice blocks and the rest is history. I was just happy to get in the endzone.

“We try to give great effort on special teams because we know it can be a difference maker,” the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder added.

It was a difference maker. It put Iowa State in a 14-point hole against an Iowa defense that still hasn’t allowed a touchdown in 12 quarters of football.

Was he thinking at all about the hit he took in the first half?

“No. Not at all. You have to forget about those as soon as they happen. You focus on spotting the ball and securing the ball. When you’ve done that, then you look upfield to see what’s available,” Brodell said.

Podolak defined Brodell’s play as “pivotal.” It was a difference maker in a game that was still on the table for the visitors from Ames.

Iowa’s game next Saturday at Pittsburgh will be televised live by ESPN2 with coverage to begin at 11 a.m. Iowa time.

“We knew we had to match their intensity and I think we did and then some. Lately, this game hasn’t been decided by talent or skill as much as intensity. We played hard and focused,” said Brodell.

“When we had to do it today, we made the plays. In a game like this, you have to make plays, have to be ready. When we had to have it, the guys came up with the big plays,” offered Brodell’s coach, Kirk Ferentz, who noted his team “passed a test” in securing the victory.

“We also responded. We put ourselves in tough situations and rebounded and recovered. And we answered. They tied the game and we too k the ball and marched down field and scored,” he added.

Ferentz likes what he’s seen of his 2008 Hawkeyes.

“I like what I’m seeing. They’re working hard. They’re growing. I have a good feeling about this group,” he said.

Iowa travels to Pittsburgh next Saturday for their final non-conference game of the 2008 seasson against the Pitt Panthers. Game time is set for 11 a.m. Iowa time with the television source to be either ESPN or ESPN2. The television decision will be made and announced on Sunday.

Iowa returns to historic Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 27 to open the 2008 Big Ten Conference season and celebrate Homecoming 2008 It’s the first time the Hawkeyes will open their conference slate at home since a 24-18 victory over Penn State on Sept. 29, 2001.

A limited number of “singles” are available for Iowa’s games against Northwestern, Wisconsin and Penn State. Tickets are also available for the home season finale against Purdue. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1-800 IA-HAWKS or click HERE.