Outlasted in OT
Sept. 10, 2011
AMES, Iowa -- Iowa raced to a 10-point first-half lead, but couldn't hold on Saturday during a 44-41 setback in three overtimes against Iowa State in front of 56,085 -- the second-largest crowd in Jack Trice Stadium history.
Iowa State improved to 2-0 and overcame three fumbles, two missed field goals and 11 penalties. Iowa is 1-1, losing for the first time in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series since 2007.
"Give credit to them, they outworked us and played hard," UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Iowa posted some big offensive numbers, but in the end those statistics were trumped by the rival Cyclones in one of the most exciting games of the early season. UI running back Marcus Coker -- limited to 41 yards last week -- chewed up 140 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns against Iowa State. He had 35 of Iowa's 43 rushing attempts.
"He got a lot of work and I thought he ran the ball better down the stretch," Ferentz said. "We have to get some guys to help him."
UI quarterback James Vandenberg completed 16 of 28 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. This is the second road start for Vandenberg and both have gone overtime. The Hawkeyes dropped a 27-24 decision at Ohio State on Nov. 14, 2009; that was for the Big Ten championship. This one was a battle for an interim trophy.
As well as Vandenberg played, the sun shone more on Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz. He completed 25 of 37 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns and carried the ball 16 times for 42 yards.
"He did a great job," Ferentz said of Jantz. "He threw it well and he ran it well. You have to give him a lot of credit, he made some big throws."
The Hawkeye defense received a boost from linebacker Christian Kirksey with 13 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
"We could have had a much better game," Kirksey said. "We need to practice harder for the next game. This is a learning experience and we need to fix what needs to be fixed."
There were plenty of big plays in a game of 162: a 29-yard pass from Vandenberg to Marvin McNutt, Jr., that led to a 24-17 go-ahead score in the fourth quarter for the Hawkeyes.
But in the end, Jantz completed a second-consecutive miraculous comeback. With 1:17 remaining, he threw his third touchdown pass to tie the game. The teams traded touchdowns and point-after kicks in the first two overtimes.
In the third overtime, Vandenberg completed 1-of-3 passes for four yards before Meyer kicked a 34-yard field goal -- his fourth of the game. Cyclone running back James White provided the game-winner with a 4-yard run on second-and-goal.
Meyer was successful on all four field goal attempts, including a career-best 50-yarder in the third quarter. Three of those field goal ended Iowa drives that began at the Cyclone 21 and 25-yard lines. Another came after the Hawkeyes had first-and-10 from the Iowa State 38.
"When you have those opportunities, you have to cash in," Ferentz said. "When you get those opportunities in a game like this there will be 40 things you can go back and look at."
Kevonte Martin-Manley's first career catch was a memorable one. On second-and-goal from the Iowa State 6, he hauled in a Vandenberg pass on a drag route drawing first blood for the Hawkeyes. The point-after kick by Meyer made it 7-0 with 5:20 left in the first quarter.
Iowa produced three plays of 12-or-more yards on the drive. The first was a 32-yard third-down completion from Vandenberg to Davis that took the ball into Iowa State territory at the 43. Two plays later, Vandenberg found McNutt for 12 yards. Coker gained 16 yards on a rushing attempt to the Cyclone 1.
The 82-yard scoring drive was set up after an 11-play series by Iowa State that left the Cyclones with first-and-goal from the Iowa 5. Jantz mishandled a shotgun snap and Hawkeye defensive end Broderick Binns dove on it at the Hawkeye 18.
Iowa ended the first quarter on the move again with C.J. Fiedorowicz making his first career catch -- for 24 yards -- and Coker carrying five straight times for 24 yards. The Hawkeyes began the second quarter at Iowa State's 27. Iowa went to the air on the next three snaps before Meyer booted a 42-yard field goal from the right hash that caromed off the left upright and through, giving Iowa a 10-0 lead with 13:32 left in the first half. That matched a career-long for Meyer.
Field position favored Iowa State after back-to-back punts in the second quarter: Cyclone punter Kirby Van Der Kamp kicked a 55-yarder that pinned Iowa on its 5. After three plays, Iowa was backed up in the end zone and Eric Guthrie kicked a 38-yarder leaving Iowa State with outstanding starting field position at the Hawkeye 39.
The teams traded fumbles: Hawkeye linebacker Tyler Nielsen recovered a Shontrelle Johnson miscue at the Iowa 5, but Coker lost the ball two plays later that was recovered by Iowa State's Leonard Johnson at the Iowa 12. Three plays after the turnover, Jantz connected with Darius Reynolds for an 11-yard touchdown. Zach Guyer's PAT cut the Hawkeye lead to 10-7 with 7:40 before intermission.
Iowa State tied the score, 10-10, with 41 seconds left before halftime when Grant Mahoney converted a 54-yard field goal. That ended a wild first half that included big plays, turnovers critical field positioning.
After gaining 135 yards in the first quarter, Iowa picked up 29 in the second and 61 the third.
Iowa regained the lead (13-10) on its second possession of the second half. The scoring drive began after the Hawkeyes forced their third fumble. Jantz completed a pass to Reid Branderhorst, who was sandwiched between James Morris and Kirksey. Kirksey jarred the ball loose and recovered at the Cyclone 21. Meyer made a 20-yard field goal with 9:27 left in the third quarter.
The Cyclones couldn't capitalize after a 51-yard kickoff return by Josh Lenz when Mahoney missed wide left on a 42-yard attempt with 7:19 left in the third quarter.
Meyer added eight yards to his previous long field goal, kicking a 50-yarder with 3:58 left in the third quarter to give Iowa a 16-10 advantage.
The Hawkeyes surrendered the lead for the first time all season when Iowa State scored on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Jantz to Lenz with 2:02 left in the third quarter. Guyer's PAT gave the Cyclones a 17-16 edge. The big gain was a 57-yard completion on a slant pattern from Jantz to Aaron Horne that took the ball form the ISU 27 to Iowa's 16.
Iowa State controlled the first 4:40 of the fourth quarter but came away with no points after a 14-play drive when Guyer missed wide right on a 38-yard field goal.
The Hawkeyes responded with a touchdown by Coker from a yard and a two-point conversion pass from Vandenberg to Keenan Davis, who had a team-high five catches for 95 yards.
That advantage didn't hold as Jantz completed a third-and-15 pass for 19 yards and a third-and-20 pass for 40 more. He capped the drive with a four-yard pass to Darius Darks that forced overtime.
Coker and Keenan Davis scored overtime touchdowns for Iowa.
The Hawkeyes return home Saturday, Sept. 17, to face Big East Conference power Pittsburgh. Kickoff from Kinnick Stadium is scheduled for 11 a.m.
"We've got a lot of work to do this week and in coming weeks," Ferentz said.