Friday, July 2, 2010

Top Ten Most Memorable Regular Season Games

Kirk Ferentz arrived in 1999 to become the head football coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes, and in that time there have been many memorable moments on the field. He has had his share of great games, wins, players and plays that have defined not only his career but placed Iowa Football in the elite of college football programs. Drawing upon a few individuals who have been with the program since that time I have asked for their Top Ten Most Memorable Regular Season Games.

Those who responded with their lists were Sports Information Director Phil Haddy, Iowa Football Recruiting Secretary Amy Thomas, Kinnick Stadium Facility Director Pete Van ElsWyk. The four of us came up with our own lists - all for different reasons. And on this list we kept it to regular season contests. There were many memorable bowl wins, but I wanted to give a little more meaning to what got the team to the post season. We will count down those games and I encourage anyone who reads this to post theirs in the comment section as we progress from ten to one.

Engy's #10 - 2009, Iowa at Ohio State--The Big Ten Championship was on the line at the Horseshoe in Columbus. The winner of the game would receive the automatic Rose Bowl bid. Iowa was without starting quarterback Ricky Stanzi who was lost the week before in the team's first loss of the season. They were also without running back Brandon Wegher. The coronation of the Buckeye's as champs seemed evident by many of those in attendance. However the Hawkeyes played with heart and determination of a champion. James Vandenberg came on to lead the Hawkeyes with the confidence of an experienced senior, not a freshman making his first start. The Keokuk native threaded the needle on some passes, as well as aired out a few stretching the Buckeye secondary. The talented Iowa Defense had the Buckeyes on their heels throughout the game, chasing the Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor all over the field. It had the feel of a title fight, showcasing what Big Ten football is all about to a national television audience. However as the game entered overtime, the Hawkeyes could not make the end zone, as the Buckeyes hit a 39 yard field goal for the victory.
Memorable doesn't need to mean winning, but amid all of the close contests Iowa played in 2009, this may have been the most entertaining. In one of the most iconic settings for college football, a title game played to the wire is memorable, even if the outcome wasn't a win.

Phil's #10 - 2008, Iowa 55 - Minnesota 0. The last game at the Metrodome, or as Iowa fans referred to it as, "Kinnick North." The worst loss by the Gophers in the series of the rivalry.

Amy's #10 - 2002, Iowa 31 - Purdue 28. A signature game in the historic 2002 undefeated Big Ten season. A dramatic Iowa comeback, along with a defensive stop to secure the victory.

Pete's #10 - 2007, Iowa 10 - Illinois 6. A walk-on, Brett Greenwood (intern on the Kinnick Summer Crew) intercepted an Illinois pass in the end zone to secure the win in Kinnick Stadium.

Now post your #10 in the comment section. There are no right or wrong answers. Memorable  is subjective and there have been many memorable regular season games. We will post our #9 game in the next few days.


Jon Pippert said...

Pip's #10 - 2000, Iowa 26 - Penn State 23 (2OT). Iowa had struggled in Coach Ferentz's first season and until November of 2000 they had continued to struggle with only one win. However, Nate Kaeding kicked 4 field goals and the win was secured in the 2nd overtime with an interception. This win was Coach Ferentz's first road win and it proved his best teams would play their best football late in the season and set the stage for success in the following years.

Anonymous said...

Al's #10 - 2000, Iowa 21 - Michigan State 16. Coach Ferentz picks up his 1st Big 10 win and 2nd overall win as Iowa's head coach. Heading into the game the Hawks sat 0-5 and appeared to be headed towards one of the worst seasons in school history. Disaster was averted that day though and pandemonium ensued as the final Michigan State pass fell incomplete out of the back of the south endzone. In Heaven There is No Beer nor was there beer in IC that night as the campus went crazy celebrating. Visions of Kevin Kasper streaking to the endzond on a tunnel screen would run through Hawk fans minds for the following week.