Iowa's Miscues the Key in Back-and-Forth Battle

Oct. 23, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Big Ten football. Smash-mouth football. A battle of heavyweights. Call it what you will, two teams who don’t mind playing in artificial dirt and mud, don’t mind scratching and clawing, don’t mind punching and counter-punching squared off in Kinnick Stadium Saturday afternoon.

And back and forth, punch, counter punch is what they did:

Back: Wisconsin 3, 3-0 lead for the visitors.

And forth: Iowa 6, 6-3 lead the home team.

Back: Wisconsin 7, 10-6 lead for the Badgers.

And forth: Iowa 7, 13-10 lead for the Hawkeyes.

Back: Wisconsin 7, 17-13 lead for the bad guys.

And forth: Iowa 7, 20-17 lead for the good guys.

Back: Wisconsin 7, 24-20 lead Brett Bielema’s squad

And forth: Iowa 7, 27-24 lead for Kirk Ferentz’s squad

And forth: Iowa 3, 30-24 lead for the 70,000-plus in Kinnick who were louder than loud all afternoon, rain and all.

And back: Wisconsin 7 with 1:06 left to play, 31-30 Badger lead and final score.

Statistically this game was even up. Iowa held a slight advantage in total offense. Wisconsin had the ball more, chewing up big chunks of clock on three different touchdown drives.

But Iowa missed an extra point, missed a chance for field goal late in the second quarter, and allowed a 17-yard gain off a fake punt on a fourth and four play midway through fourth quarter that gave the Badgers another opportunity and they took advantage, marching downfield to score the game-winning touchdown.

“Give them credit. They came out making plays and got the job done. They converted on third downs. We just have to get better,” said junior safety Tyler Sash, Iowa’s leading tackler.

“There’s a lot of football left. We have a good team and we have to play better. We’ll determine what’s going to happen this season. Sure, it’s going to hurt and it should, but we have games to play.”
Kirk Ferentz

“We have to flush this. There are plenty of games left to play including Michigan State,” he added.

The Spartans are the only remaining unbeaten team in the Big Ten and will come into Kinnick next Saturday looking to avenge their last-second, last-play-of-the-game loss last year in East Lansing. Game time for the fifth annual “Blackout Saturday” event is 2:30 p.m. Iowa time.

“Special teams and penalties stand out. Things like that hit you and they’re hard to overcome,” offered Kirk Ferentz.

“We battle back, but we made way too many errors to win today,” he added.

“There’s a lot of football left. We have a good team and we have to play better. We’ll determine what’s going to happen this season (in the coming days). Sure, it’s going to hurt and it should, but we have games to play.”

Offensively, Iowa was led by the same cast of characters: Ricky Stanzi, Adam Robinson, Marvin McNutt and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. Stanzi completed 25 passes for 258 yards and three scores, including a pretty 45-yarder to DJK.

A-Rob was the game’s leading rusher, accumulating 114 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries. McNutt had a game-high seven catches for 70 yards and one touchdown whlie Johnson-Koulianos tied Kevin Kastens as Iowa’s all-time leading receiver with five catches for 93 yards.

Defensively, Tyler Sash had a big game and Brent Greenwood got the game’s only turnover — late in the fourth quarter that Iowa converted into three points, but Iowa’s defense didn’t have an answer for UW’s Scott Tolzien.

“He came to play. We didn’t,” said Iowa’s all-American defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn.

Iowa vs. Wisconsin 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Iowa Hawkeyes 6 7 7 10 30
Wisconsin Badgers 3 7 14 7 31
Iowa Statistical Leaders
Passing: Ricky Stanzi 25 of 37, 258 yards, 3 TD
Rushing: Adam Robinson 23 carries, 114 yards, 1 touchdowns
Receiving: Marvin McNutt, 7 receptions, 70 yards
Tackles: Tyler Sash, 13 total tackles