Nov. 1, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa offensive lineman Pete McMahon played for Alamo, Outback and Capital One bowl champions. He was a member of the 2002 Hawkeye team than won 11 regular season games.
But no game sticks out more for McMahon than his final one in Kinnick Stadium on Nov. 20, 2004. It was the day Iowa thumped No. 9 Wisconsin 30-7, and play-after-play McMahon thumped eventual first-round draft pick Erasmus James.
“It was a very memorable game for me,” McMahon said. “Senior year, Senior Day, going against a very good Wisconsin team. There was a lot of press on the gentleman that I was going up against; we came out on the winning end. Our whole O line pretty much dominated their defensive line throughout the game. It was not only a win for the team, but a big win for us as an O line and me individually.”
There was always a little more to the Iowa-Wisconsin rivalry for McMahon, who was raised in Dubuque, Iowa, just across the Mississippi River from Wisconsin.
“Growing up that close to the border of Wisconsin and being a Hawkeye fan, it was always a rivalry,” McMahon said. “We don’t have that in-state rivalry within the Big Ten. As a kid growing up in Dubuque, a lifelong Hawkeye fan, that Wisconsin rivalry was it for us.”
McMahon played during the first three of four straight wins by Iowa over the Badgers. In 2002, the Hawkeyes won 20-3 in Kinnick; in 2003, they won 27-21 in Camp Randall Stadium; and then the big one for McMahon in 2004 in a battle between No. 17 Iowa and No. 9 Wisconsin.
Like current Hawkeyes Mike Meyer and Riley McCarron, McMahon came to the UI as a walk-on from Wahlert High School. McMahon said he was “surrounded by a lot of great coaches” that helped develop his athleticism, including strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, offensive line coach Joe Philbin (now head coach of the Miami Dolphins), offensive line coach Reese Morgan (now defensive line coach for the Hawkeyes), and head coach Kirk Ferentz.
“All the offensive line knowledge coach Ferentz possesses helped me grow as an athlete and as an offensive lineman,” McMahon said.
During his career, McMahon admired the Friday messages from the many alumni who served as honorary captains. Now it is his turn.
“It means a lot to me to be part of that, especially this weekend against Wisconsin,” McMahon said. “There are a lot of parallels between this week’s game and my senior year.”
Iowa and Wisconsin is scheduled to start at 11:06 a.m. (CT) on Nov. 2 in Kinnick Stadium. It is the annual “Blackout Game” with Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, and Shannon Spake calling the action for ABC. The teams are playing for the Heartland Trophy and the all-time series record stands at 42-42-2.