Iowa Cruises Past No. 25 Ohio State, 33-7
Oct. 16, 2004
IOWA CITY, IA.-- Drew Tate threw for 331 yards and had a hand in every score, Kirk Ferentz picked up a win in his 100th game as a head coach, and Iowa stopped a 12-year drought against Ohio State Saturday afternoon with a commanding 33-7 win inside Kinnick Stadium.
"It was a great day for our team," said Ferentz, who has now recorded a win against every team in the Big Ten. "That's four straight weeks now where we've carried ourselves like a football team. I thought the guys did a good job in all three phases. You can't say enough."
The win was the first against the Buckeyes (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today; No. 25 AP) inside Kinnick since 1983 and the largest margin of victory ever. The win was just the 14th in history.
For the players - of whom most were too young to remember the last victory - most of the significance was in simply getting two consecutive wins.
"Every game we go out to get the win, regardless of the history," said Marcus Paschal, the free safety.
"It's a special feeling that you only have a few times in your life, and we have to take advantage of it," junior linebacker Chad Greenway said. "We played hard as a team today, and it was nice to see us put things together for the second week in a row.
"Hopefully we'll get things rolling a little bit."
On Saturday, it didn't take long for the Hawkeyes to get rolling - or throwing, as the case may be.
On that drive, Tate found Solomon on an 11-yarder with 3:14 left in the first quarter to cap off a 10-play, 61-yard drive.
The sophomore QB found the junior receiver seven times for 131 yards, including another touchdown in the third quarter. All in all, Tate had a career-high 26 completions and 39 attempts for 331 yards, becoming just the third quarterback in Iowa history to throw back-to-back 300-yard games.
Neither Ferentz, Tate nor Solomon, though, were ready to declare the Hawkeyes a passing team.
"Looking at the stats, and I guess you'd have to say that," Ferentz said, "but what I've been saying all the way long is that we're going to do what we have to do in order to move the football.
"I think we're starting to pick things up and starting to develop a bit of an identity."
"We're a running team," Solomon said, "but this year we've made adjustments."
"I don't know," Tate said. "We're just doing whatever we have to do to win."
They did all that and more against the Buckeyes. But the real story was the Iowa (4-2, 2-1) domination of the Ohio State (3-3, 0-3) offense.
Through the third quarter, the Buckeyes failed to gain more than 100 yards of total offense with 42 plays. They finished at 177 yards for the game, most in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter when Iowa sent in second- and third-stringers.
Ohio State got its score - a 23-yard pass to Rory Nicol from Troy Smith - in the final minutes of the fourth. It was just the second time that the Buckeyes crossed midfield in the game.
The one time Ohio State crossed in the first half, Paschal snagged Iowa's first interception in five weeks. The sophomore saved the Hawkeyes from a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ben Childress and a lot of Ohio State momentum.
"I think the thing that comes to my mind the most...is that when you're playing a good team like Iowa, you have to take advantage of every opportunity you have and give them none," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "You're not going to beat a good team playing well at their place if you have those things happen to you."
It didn't get much better for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State started the second half at their own 28-yard line but defensive linesman Derreck Robinson forced starting quarterback Justin Zwick to fumble, and outside linebacker George Lewis recovered at the 30-yard line.
The fumble set up a five-play drive that culminated in an 8-yarder from Tate to Scott Chandler, for the sophomore's first TD catch.
The Hawkeyes posted a season-high eight tackles for loss, linebacker Abdul Hodge collected a game-high 12 tackles, Greenway finished with seven, and defensive end Matt Roth recorded five tackles and two sacks.
But the Iowa defense would be the first to say they didn't do anything too special to shutdown the Buckeyes.
"We came out, held them to a few points, and didn't let them get anything started," Roth said. "We executed today and stuck to our technique, and it worked for us."
"I don't think it was a secret," he said. "We just knew they had a few fast guys, and we wanted to stay over top of them and not let them outrun us. It was just our normal defense, and we made the plays we've been making from day one."
Greenway, though, was ready to declare the performance the best yet this season from the Hawkeye defense.
"We started early and we kept on them all day," he said. "As a defense, this was probably our best performance of the year. We have to keep building off this and keep getting better."
Ferentz said he spoke to his defense this week about developing a sharper edge, and he said Saturday his team performed with it.
"I think they took a step in that direction today," the coach said. "We played with a little more intensity, a little sounder, a little more aggressively, and we didn't lose our concentration. We played pretty well on defense."
The last question mark following the game is the condition of the Iowa running game. The team has lost three running backs through five games to ACL injuries, and the minute the Hawkeyes were seeing flashes from fourth-stringer Marques Simmons, he sprains his left ankle.
Sophomore Sam Brownlee stepped up and had 10 carries for 35 yards. True freshman Damian Sims also saw his first game action of the year with nine carries for 31 yards, but after those players, the depth chart is at zero.
"The question is, `Who's three?'" Ferentz said. "We're going to have to take a look at that."
Overall, though, Ferentz said this game was a momentum builder.
"We've helped ourselves and at least put ourselves in a better position to do some things."
Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com