Tuesday, October 19, 2010

#1 Iowa - #2 Michigan -- 25 Years Ago Today

On October 19, 1985 is the day Hawkeye Football fans will remember for a long time. Those who were fortunate to be in Kinnick Stadium saw one of the greatest games in Iowa Football history, and it was a game that has never happened since.

Coming into the game the Hawkeyes climbed to #1 in the polls with impressive victories over Drake, Iowa State, and Michigan State. Iowa was still riding the momentum off a 55-17 Freedom Bowl victory over Texas the year before and expectations had been high. Achieving the #1 ranking would be expected for many of the traditional college football programs, but for Hawkeye fans, being #1 was a rare feat.

in 1984 the Hawkeyes handed Michigan one of the worst defeats for Wolverine head coach Bo Schembechler's career, 26-0. However Michigan bounced back in 1985 with one of the top defenses in the nation. Touchdowns didn't happen against the Maize and Blue in 1985, and against Iowa the streak would continue.

It was the most anticipated game of the Hawkeye home schedule, but a match-up of #1 Iowa and #2 Michigan wasn't enough for CBS to televise nationally. The national home to Big Ten football decided to split the game across the nation and provide Georgia Tech and Auburn to a share of the country. But in Iowa the ticket was the most sought after of the year.

The game was truly a classic providing some great memories. Michigan quarterback, Jim Harbaugh fighting the Kinnick Stadium crowd noise in the Hawkeye red zone. The noise was bad enough provoking Schembechler to pull the team off to the sideline until it quieted down. However Harbaugh had to continue to try to be audible, and thus leading to the only touchdown in the game.

Defense was the story of the game. Iowa's led by linebacker Larry Station who made one of the more memorable 3rd down tackles in Iowa Football history. On the Wolverine last drive, Station made a tackle for loss on third down resulting in a Michigan punt which set up the winning Iowa drive.

But the most memorable moment came by way of walk-on placekicker Rob Houghtlin. Houghtlin had already connected on three of four field goals and supplying the only points for Iowa. But what led to him not buying another beer in the state of Iowa (per Sports Illustrated) was the 29 yarder with two seconds to go and down by one to the Wolverines.

Attempts by Schembechler to ice him, Houghtlin wasn't bothered by the extra time, and hit the field goal that is remembered by Hawkeye fans of all time. Fans stormed the field and those who didn't, did not want to leave. Pandamonium swept through Iowa City it arguably the biggest win in Iowa Football history.

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