Thursday, July 29, 2010

Top Ten Most Memorable - #2

Iowa 15 - Michigan State 13 - 2009. For a baseball player to set a record, it may take many home runs, but the last one sets the record. It is the journey that is as important as the record setter. In 2009 there were many memorable moments leading up to the Michigan State victory, but the win at Spartan Stadium is the memorable night that set the record of number of consecutive wins to start a season.

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.


Jon Pippert said...

Pip's #2 - 2004 Iowa 30 Wisconsin 7. With Ohio State beating Michigan earlier in the day this game meant the winner would be co-champions of the Big Ten. That didn't change Iowa's focus because they would have been just as determined if Michigan would have won. Although Iowa had two early interceptions they didn't give up any points from those turnovers. After Wisconsin tied the game late in the second half, Drew Tate made a great play and threw a 51-yard TD with a minute remaining in the first half. In the second half the Iowa defense dominated and the offense was taking advantage of the turnovers and field position their defense was giving them. Not many games in Kinnick can top this game with the whole team celebrating a Big Ten Championship for the 2nd time in 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Al's #2 - 2002 Iowa 45 Minnesota 21. The culmination of a very special regular season for Coach Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes. No, this game didn't provide the nail biting excitemnt that other games this season did but it was the end point of one of the greatest regular seasons in Iowa Football history. From the moment we entered the dome that Saturday morning there was that special feeling in the air, or dome. The Hawkeye offense put on a show with highlights led by Heisman runner up Brad Banks. The Iowa defense flexed enough muscle creating key turnovers when needed. Anyone who was there that day will never forget the scene down on the fake turf after the gmae ended. Iowa players and staff celebrated like we had never done before. Moments after the horn sounded many of the 30 to 35000 Iowa fans in attendance joined the celebration. Coach Ferentz would be led off the field on the shoulders of players and fans while others tried to outrun Dome security. The riot control sounds proved no match for the fans, nor would the goalposts from the south endzone. This unbelievable celebration was well worth it considering what the team went through to get back to the top of the Big 10. Iowa football was officially back!