More Hawkeye Heroes Emerge in East Lansing

Oct. 13, 2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The University of Iowa saluted a “Citizen Hero” – Gary Launderville of Storm Lake – two Saturdays ago at historic Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes used heroic efforts of a handful of Hawkeyes to claim a 19-16 double-overtme victory Saturday over the Michigan State Spartans.

Topping that list is back-up-turned-starting-cornerback Greg Castillo, whose interception on State’s 3-and-9 play in the second overtime secured Iowa’s fifth overtime victory under Kirk Ferentz, a win that pushed Iowa to 4-2 overall in 2012 and a perfect 2-0 in Big Ten Conference play heading into next Satudray’s ANF Day at Kinnick when the Hawkeyes entertain Penn State.

That pick was the second in as many games for Castillo and came just two snaps after Mike Meyer nailed a 42-yard field goal in the first possession of the second extra period. Castillo also had five tackles in his second straight start on the corner.

Then there’s Mike Meyer. In regularion the junior from Dubuque had field goals of 24 and 28 and the extra point that sent the game into overtime. Meyer also knotted the game at 16-all when he split the uprights with a 27-yard to close out the first overtime session.

How about offensive lineman Andrew Donnal. Flagged for a 15-yard personal foul on the first play of Iowa’s final drive – pushing the Hawkeyes back to their own 18 – the sophomore from Monclova, Ohio rebounded to lead Mark Weisman into the end zone on the runningback’s 5-yard game-tying touchdown.

And, speaking of Weisman, the biggest story of the current UI football season, hammered and hammered and hammered the Michigan State defense and eventually found daylight on a 3-and-6 from the Michigan State 45. 37 yards later, the Hawkeyes were knocking on paydirt against one of the nation’s top games. Weisman, who didn’t see action in the overtime periods because of a tweaked right ankle, carried the pigskin for 116 yards on 26 attempts.

Lasty, Iowa’s defense collectively, earned hero status. The Hawkeye “D” didn’t stop Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell but they did slow him particularly in the overtime session, forcing the home team to turn to the passing game which turned costly for the Spartans and delightful for the visitors.

Three Hawkeyes reached double-digits in tackles: Anthony Hitchens (15), Joe Gaglione (11), and James Morris (10). Iowa’s defensive play also helped the Hawkeyes win the battle of time of possession and a draw in take-aways.

“Our players battled and competed. I couldn’t be prouder of their effort today,” said Ferentz, who earned win No. 100 as head coach of the Hawkeyes.