Thursday, July 29, 2010
Top Ten Most Memorable - #2
It was a cold, rainy night in Central Michigan. The Hawkeyes knew that to win, they would in one of the more hostile environments of the Big Ten. The student section were yelling obscenities at Iowa fans as they passed by them on the way into the stadium. This was the first night game at East Lansing in close to 20 years, and the fans were looking to derail an undefeated Hawkeye team, and prove to the conference they were a player in the title race.
It was a true defensive battle with some of the hardest hits each side had received all year. State fans cheered everyone of them as well as booed a severe hit, that after deliberation by the officiating crew, resulted in an unsportsmanlike penalty. The Spartan fans were into every hit, run, pass and kick.
It was a game of field goals until late in the game. Michigan State mounted a drive that had a hook and ladder and a desperation touchdown pass giving them a 13-9 lead with just over a minute remaining. Those on the media level knew they were seeing something dramatic. The Hawkeyes needed seven to achieve that school record winning streak.
Quarterback Ricky Stanzi calmly led the Hawkeyes down the field, but time was running down. It came down to four downs from inside the ten with :15 to go. Michigan State fans felt victory was moments away, but time could not click off the home scoreboard fast enough. It came down to a 4th down with :02 to go. Stanzi under center looked for Marvin McNutt on a slant, good for the touchdown and the Iowa bench erupted onto the field. Michigan State fans were stunned, and the noise was coming from across the field where the 4,000+ Iowa fans partied deep into the cold Michigan night.
Once onto the buses the Iowa party had their best chance to check their phones for messages, Facebook for posts and Twitter for tweets. At that time we all noticed that "Iowa" was a trending topic on the famous social media site Twitter.
A week later the streak extended, but for the last time with another dramatic win over Indiana. But that night in East Lansing will long be remembered for how close it came for the streak to end.
Amy T #2 - Iowa 45 - Minnesota 21 - 2002. The Big Ten Championship was on the line, as well as an undefeated Big Ten season as 30,000+ Iowa fans found their way into the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome to bring the goal posts back to Iowa City. At the end of the game the field looked more like Kinnick Stadium than that of a border rival as many Hawkeye fans found their way onto the field. Goal posts were taken down as obnoxious noises were played over the dome's loud speakers encouraging Iowa fans to leave, however they weren't going without the torn down goal posts.
Phil H #2 - Iowa 26 - Penn State 23 - 2000. The game that got the winning ways of the Kirk Ferentz Era started. The week prior the head coach of the Hawkeyes ended 18 months of speculation as he finally signed his contract. After that, the Hawkeye program took off and it started on a beautiful Fall afternoon in State College. Nittany Lion fans didn't know what they were seeing as they expected the storied program to walk all over the one-win Iowa team. The Hawkeyes showed fight, and a glimpse to their fan base as to what was to come. A Nate Kaeding field goal and Ryan Hansen interception sealed the win, the first of many over the Nittany Lions during the Kirk Ferentz era.
Pete #2 - Iowa 38 - Wisconsin 16 - 2008. If Shonn Greene hadn't impressed the Doak Walker voters prior to the October afternoon in Iowa City, the four touchdown performance didn't leave any doubts. Greene proved he was an all-around back on this day as he outran, eluded and ran over Badgers all day long.