Iowa 31, Pittsburgh 27

Sept. 17, 2011

Recap | Box Score | Photo Gallery 1 media-icon-photogallery.gif | Photo Gallery 2 media-icon-photogallery.gif | Photo Gallery 3 media-icon-photogallery.gif

Iowa (2-1) erased a 21-point third-quarter deficit to rally to beat Pittsburgh (2-1) today at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, 31-27. The Hawkeyes trailed 24-3 with 3:11 left in the third quarter, but rallied to score 28 points the last 16:16 to win 31-27.

The 21-point comeback is Iowa’s largest comeback in school history. The previous record comeback was 18 points in a 34-31 victory over Oregon on Oct. 29, 1949 in Iowa City. Iowa trailed 24-6 with 2:30 left in the third quarter against the Ducks.

Iowa scored 21 fourth-quarter points today, the most fourth-quarter points scored since posting 28 in a 42-24 triumph over Indiana on Oct. 31, 2009.

Iowa has scored over 31 points its first three games this season: Tennessee Tech (34), Iowa State (41) and Pittsburgh (31).

Iowa improves to 23-1 in its last 24 non-conference home games. The Hawkeyes have won 51 of their last 62 games in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the 2002 season.

Pittsburgh won the toss and deferred to the second half. Iowa has started on offense in 126 of its last 146 contests. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 129-of-152 games under Coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa games vs. Iowa State (9/10/11), Minnesota (11/27/10), Wisconsin (10/23/10), Ohio State (11/14/07), Indiana (10/31/09), Purdue (11/15/08), Penn State (11/08/08), Wisconsin (10/10/08), Minnesota (11/10/07), at Northwestern (11/3/07), vs. Michigan State (10/27/07), at Penn State (10/6/07), vs. Iowa State (9/16/06), vs. Minnesota (11/19/05), vs. Michigan (10/22/05), at Purdue (10/8/05), at Minnesota (11/13/04), vs. Purdue (11/6/04), at Miami, OH (9/7/02) and at Michigan State (9/27/03) are the only contests that the Hawkeyes didn’t start on offense. Iowa won 13 of the 20 games.

Iowa did not score on its opening drive for the second time in three games. Iowa scored a passing touchdown on its first possession at Iowa State. Pittsburgh did not score on its first possession, due to a lost fumble. The Panthers scored with 6:35 remaining in the first period, marking the first points Iowa has allowed in the first period this season. Seven of Iowa’s opponents scored on their first possession a year ago. Iowa has allowed nine opponents to score on their opening drive in its last 42 games.

Senior defensive tackle Tom Nardo started for the first time in his career. Dominic Alvis started at end after starting the opening two games at tackle. In addition, safety Tanner Miller started for the first time, while Micah Hyde started at cornerback after starting the opening two games at safety. Jordan Bernstine started at strong safety, earning the first start of his career.

Junior QB James Vandenberg started for the fifth time in his career. He completed 31-48 attempts for 399 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, with one interception. He scored his second rushing touchdown of the season on a one-yard run in the third period. The 399 passing yards passing ties Chuck Long for seventh best in a single-game in the Iowa record books. Long passed for 399 yards on 19-26 passing against Northwestern on Oct. 26, 1985. The 31 pass completions rank fourth in school history behind Chuck Hartlieb (44 vs. Indiana in 1988), Scott Mullen (36 vs. Indiana in 1999) and Drew Tate (32 vs. Florida in 2006). The 48 pass attempts rank as the third most by a Kirk Ferentz coached team (55 vs. Florida in 2006; 51 vs. Minnesota in 1999). The 399 yards passing are the second most by an Iowa team under Coach Ferentz. Vandenberg had career bests in completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns. His previous single-game passing bests were 20-33 for 233 yards and two touchdowns in the 2009 overtime loss at Ohio State in his first career start.

Senior WR Marvin McNutt, Jr. grabbed eight passes for 112 yards today. McNutt surpassed 100 career receptions in the game and now has 106 receptions for 1,859 yards. The eight receptions is a career high. McNutt previously had seven receptions for 155 yards at Indiana in 2010. McNutt is now tied with Quinn Early (1984-87) for 15th in career receptions. His 1,859 yards ranks 10th all-time at Iowa. McNutt surpassed Travis Watkins, Marv Cook and Quinn Early today in career receiving yardage.

Junior Keenan Davis had a career bests in receptions and yards (10-129), with one touchdown. Last week at Iowa State, he had five receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt freshman Kevon Martin-Manley had four receptions for 76 yards and two scores. All four receptions and both touchdowns came in the fourth period. Martin-Manley scored on touchdown catches of 25 and 22 yards, including the game winner.

Iowa wide receivers Marvin McNutt, Jr. (8-112) and Keenan Davis (10-129) each had over 100 receiving yards. The last time Iowa had a pair of receivers top the century mark in receiving yards, in a game, was in a 42-34 home win over Indiana in 2009. McNutt, Jr. had four receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown, while Derrell Johnson-Koulianos had three catches for 117 yards and a score.

DL Dominic Alvis caused a fumble in the first period, which was recovered by senior DL Broderick Binns. Today marks the second straight week Binns has recovered a fumble and he now has four in his career. He also had a pass break-up, giving him a pass break-up in three of Iowa’s last five games. Binns’ totals for the day included five tackles (four solo), a sack for a loss of six yards, a pass break-up and a fumble recovery.

Junior DB Micah Hyde came up with his first interception of the season in the second period. He added his second theft of the game, and sixth of his career, in the fourth quarter. Hyde had two touchdown returns on interceptions a year ago. Hyde finished the contest with 10 total tackles (nine solo).

Sophomore PK Mike Meyer made a 22-yard field goal in the second quarter, improving to 7-7 on the season, before missing from 40 yards in the second period and 50 yards in the third. He made all four attempts last week against Iowa State. He is 11-11 on PAT kicks in three games. He has made 21-26 career field goals.

Iowa scored on all three red zone possessions today, two touchdowns and a field goal. The Hawkeyes have scored on 117 of the last 128 (.914) red zone possessions (77 TDs and 40 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. Iowa is 98-109 (.899) combined inside the red zone its last 32 games. Pittsburgh was also a perfect 3-3 in the red zone, but had two field goals and a touchdown.

Senior Eric Guthrie punted six times for 273 yards for a 45.5 average, including booming a long of 50 yards. He has had kicks over 50 yards in consecutive weeks; Guthrie had a career long kick of 59 yards last week at Iowa State.

James Morris led the Hawkeyes matching a career high with 13 tackles (six solo). Christian Kirksey added eight tackles and Anthony Hitchens equaled a personal best with seven stops (six solo).

Neither Iowa nor Pittsburgh scored any points following turnovers today. The Hawkeyes collected two interceptions, both by Micah Hyde, and recovered a fumble. The Panthers collected an interception. Iowa has scored 20 points in three games following eight opponent turnovers (four fumbles, four interceptions). The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 59 of its last 65 games, dating back to 2006. Iowa opponents have scored seven points following three Iowa turnovers in 2011.

True freshman DB John Loudermilk saw his first career action on Iowa’s special teams. Loudermilk is the eighth true freshman to play for Iowa this season. True freshman Damon Bullock had his first rushing attempt of the season.

Instant replay was used in the third period, when the spot of the ball on a Pittsburgh punt return was overturned. Later in the third period instant replay was used on an Iowa pass reception that was initially ruled incomplete. The call was overturned, giving Iowa a first down.

Iowa is home again next Saturday, hosting Louisiana-Monroe in its final non-conference game (11 a.m., BTN).

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