Sept. 6, 2014
- Hawkeye Football Game Day
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Sunday marks a milestone for University of Iowa defenders Louis Trinca-Pasat and Quinton Alston.
When the calendar flips to Sept. 7, Trinca-Pasat will turn 23 years old; Alston will be 21. Both celebrated Saturday at a come-from-behind party with 64,000 fans during a 17-13 victory against Ball State. The Cardinals had won 17 of their last 19 games.
“I’m not thinking about my birthday, my mom’s birthday is today, so I’m about to go out and take her on a date,” Alston said. “It’s date day with my mom (Connie) today.”
“It would have been a crappy birthday if we would have lost, because I’m really hard on myself,” Trinca-Pasat said. “But we got the victory which makes it that much sweeter. My family is here, too, so it’s good.”
Trinca-Pasat finished the game with eight tackles, Alston had five. Both were credited with tackles for loss.
For most to the game, the Iowa defense was worthy of treats. It held Ball State to 219 yards on 66 plays (3.3 yards per play) and did not allow a touchdown. Back-to-back hard-fought wins should pay dividends for the Hawkeyes.“(UI defensive line) coach (Reese) Morgan constantly tells us to keep our heads up; we can’t get too low in the valleys or too high in the peaks. We hung in there. We knew we were playing decent, so we had to keep doing what we were doing and eventually the offense would come through. It did in the end and it was a great team win.”Louis Trinca-Pasat
UI defensive tackle
“It’s necessary. When we get into our Big Ten schedule, we’re going to have a lot of close, gritty games,” Alston said. “There will be a lot of games where we have to go out there and show our toughness. We need it.”
Only one drive by the Ball State offense gained 50 yards, and that took 11 plays and included a 26-yard pass completion. The final three Cardinal drives were three plays for seven yards, three plays for no yards, and two plays for four yards (ended with a lost fumble). Iowa forced four three-and-outs and nine Ball State drives gained 21 or fewer yards.
“(UI defensive line) coach (Reese) Morgan constantly tells us to keep our heads up; we can’t get too low in the valleys or too high in the peaks,” Trinca-Pasat said. “We hung in there. We knew we were playing decent, so we had to keep doing what we were doing and eventually the offense would come through. It did in the end and it was a great team win.”
Iowa is 2-0 to begin a season for the first time since 2010. The Hawkeyes host Iowa State on Sept. 13 with the Cy-Hawk Trophy on the line, but they have a day to enjoy the win against Ball State. The two Hawkeye birthday boys will put their party caps on in similar ways.
“I’ll spend it with my family and spend a little time with my teammates, but we have to keep that 24 hour rule, win, lose or draw,” Alston said. “We have to get in the film room, see what we did wrong, see what we did well, and continue to grow.”
“I’ll go eat with my family, that’s about it,” Trinca-Pasat said. “I’ll recover tomorrow.”
Trinca-Pasat played a key role on Iowa’s final defensive play. He was applying pressure to Ball State quarterback Ozzie Mann, who was sacked by Drew Ott and fumbled. Trinca-Pasat saw the loose ball and dove. He was a fraction of a second behind teammate Carl Davis.
“I tried to go for the ball and Carl about breaks my arm getting it,” Trinca-Pasat said.
He survived the lunge by the 315-pound Davis. It’s a god thing, because it’s hard to eat birthday cake with one arm.