Sept. 8, 2014
- Hawkeye Football Game Day
- 2014 Fall Camp Central
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It’s something head coach Kirk Ferentz said couldn’t be done during the 2013 season. Or 2012.
He was referring to his University of Iowa football team overcoming a 10-point deficit to Ball State with six minutes to play Sept. 6. Throw in the fact you are going against a team that in the past two-plus seasons won 17 of 19 games and played in two bowl games.
“We played better football in both drives at the end of the fourth quarter,” Ferentz said. “It was well executed. That’s a positive we’ll take out of the game: staying in there and never giving up.”
Ferentz said the first scoring drive of the fourth quarter was most crucial because time was at a premium. But UI junior quarterback Jake Rudock engineered a 10-play, 69-yard touchdown drive capped with a 12-yard pass play to freshman wide receiver Derrick Willies.
More importantly, the series lasted just 2 minutes, 58 seconds, leaving 2:52 on the clock.
Iowa used its stout defense and two timeouts to limit Ball State to a 29-second drive. The Hawkeyes got the ball back 59 yards from the end zone with 2:23 remaining — and, cool hand Jake behind center.
The drive went like this: pass completion to Tevaun Smith for 16 yards, pass completion to Damon Bullock for nine yards, rush by Bullock for 10 yards, pass completion to Jake Duzey for six yards, rush by Rudock for six yards, scoring pass completion to Duzey for 12 yards.“We played better football in both drives at the end of the fourth quarter. It was well executed. That’s a positive we’ll take out of the game: staying in there and never giving up.”Kirk Ferentz
UI football coach
Final score: Iowa 17, Ball State 13.
“Our guys hung in there,” Ferentz said. “They fought, and like last week, they responded in some difficult circumstances and got it done in the fourth quarter.”
The defense gave the Hawkeyes a chance, the offense completed the rally. It has been a similar tale for the first two Saturday’s of Iowa’s 2-0 start to the season. Here is a look at the numbers in week one and week two:
Against Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes “won” the final 15 minutes, 7-3, in a game they won 31-23. In four Panther fourth-quarter drives, Iowa’s defense limited them to 91 yards on 25 plays (3.6 yards per play).
Rudock, meanwhile, completed 6-of-7 passes for 83 yards and one touchdown, and rushed once for five yards.
Against Ball State, the Hawkeyes “won” the final 15 minutes, 14-0, in a game they won 17-13. In four Cardinals fourth-quarter drives, Iowa’s defense limited them to 45 yards on 16 plays (2.8 yards per play).
Rudock, meanwhile, completed 15-of-23 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed four times for 35 yards.
“It’s a four-quarter game and I was proud of the guys for the way they stuck in there,” Rudock said. “We kept our heads up and kept sawing wood to get down there. At the end of the day, a win’s a win.”
Rudock is now 10-5 as Iowa’s starting quarterback. Two of those wins — Michigan and Ball State — required fourth-quarter comebacks. The Hawkeyes defeated Northwestern in overtime.
“I have been playing sports my whole life and it’s never going to be perfect. Bad things are going to happen,” Rudock said. “It is the way I was brought up with my parents and coaches to keep going to work. It’s not over until it’s officially over, so as long as there is a chance, we’re going to keep working hard.”