Readers' No. 1 -- 2005 Capital One Bowl

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No. 1 -- 2005 Capital One Bowl -- Capital Catch

yayhawkeyes remembers Iowa play-by-play voice Gary Dolphin's call: "They wind the clock. 9 seconds to

 play and Drew Tate doesn't know that. The game is going to end on this play. . . He fires downfield. It's caught . . . And into the end zone! Touchdown Iowa! Touchdown Iowa! No time on the clock! I don't believe what I just saw!"

djwoody: Hawk fans will NEVER forget this ending!

kinnick80: Iowa vs LSU Capital One Bowl is my #1. My house went from 30 people who had been partying since the night before and were about to crash to 30 people yelling and cheering and starting the party all over!

@James_Shapiro: Obvious choice & I was there.

GookHawk: If there was one moment I could point out in my life where I changed from maybe being a Hawkeye fan, maybe a Cyclone (since my dad is an ISU grad), it was Capitol One Bowl against LSU. That was the first time in my life I had cried over a game. It happened again Penn State '08 and Michigan State last year (mainly I think because I realized we could have screwed our undefeated season). Those are 3 great games there.

Flenker was feeling sad-happy (I think he's emo):  The Capital One Bowl that same season. A game I'll never forget, for so many reasons, and left me bawling like a baby.

Thomas' No. 1: The phrase “The Catch” evokes countless stories from any Hawkeye fan. Having been one of the lucky fans sitting in the lower levels that day, I can say with confidence that outside of a national championship win I will never ever attend a greater game.

HawkStang: The Catch. Enough said.

brian_m: Not much more to say.

DenverHawkeye07: Warren Holloway drinks for free in IC for life and Nick Saban goes crying to the Dolphins.

draw73: Not much to say here. Even without Tate to Holloway, it was still one of the most entertaining, back and forth, hard-hitting football games I've ever seen. Plus, anytime you can have Saban's last game end in that fashion.....with him going out by throwing his defense under the gotta love it. Plus, we owed him from 1999 anyway (I think Plaxico Burress just scored again).

Brian: Though Tate-to-Holloway is undoubtedly one of the great all-time Iowa moments, my top five games (hopefully, at least...see #1) all foreshadowed bigger things to come. This one turned out to be the high point of the Drew Tate era, as the team failed to live up to hopes and expectations in 05 and 06.

hawks84: No more needs to be said.

Ross makes a great point on the number of NFL players in this game: Still the most amazing finish to an Iowa game that I can recall seeing (even after some of the late-game insanity last year). Still an amazing game to rewatch. Realizing how many future NFL players were in this game makes it even more remarkable.

Remember, JamesMouton didn't wash his hands for weeks after touching the Big Ten trophy: This is the Hawkeye fan’s “I’ll never forget where I was when …” The Catch happened.

Hank touches on the defense, wisely. They were great: Tate to Holloway. What gets lost is how well the Iowa defense played until late. Jamarcus got his by ending up in Oakland. The students sitting behind up picked Rebecca up and passed her around. Second January bowl win for Ferentz. Unbelievable.

Great story from Aaron, who was in Whistler, B.C., probably skiing or curling: Tate-to-Holloway is all you have to say here. This is the only time in my adult life that I have cried. I was living in Whistler B.C. with a bunch of Australians who did not understand my fanaticism for American football. They agreed to watch the game with me in a bar down the street from our apartment, and by the second half they had turned from skeptics of the sport to die-hard Iowa fans. Clinging to the edges their respective seats throughout the final minutes, they let out deafening cries of jubilation as Tate's pass found its target in the waning seconds. I still get emails of giddy anticipation from one of those blokes at the beginning of every Iowa season! Back to the rankings though: many will argue this win was "greater" than the Outback Bowl the year before; however, in terms of program importance, it bookends the Outback Bowl story that Iowa was not a fluke team. In a game that was more or less controlled by the Hawks most the way, Iowa reiterated in this game that it could and would play with anyone.


Headline: Capital Catch

Headline: Capital Catch

ORLANDO, Fla. - They wanted three points. They got a miracle.

They called "all up." They got ESPN Classic.

They snapped the ball with seven seconds left. They got a play that will go down as one of the greatest in Iowa history.

Not bad for what essentially was a huge screw-up.

Quarterback Drew Tate hit Warren Holloway for a 56-yard touchdown as the stadium clock rolled up four zeroes, and the No. 12 Iowa Hawkeyes pulled out a 30-25 Capital One Bowl victory

Saturday over No. 13 Louisiana State before 70,229 fans at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.

"I think what they (Iowa coaches) wanted to do was get to LSU's 30 and call timeout," Tate said. "And fortunately, it ended with an ESPN Classic."

No time for Gatorade baths. The entire Iowa sideline - coaches, managers, the whole mass of Hawkeyes - jumped Holloway, a fifth-year senior and yet another "Rudy" on the Iowa roster, just outside the north end zone.

Let the record show, Iowa was called for an excessive celebration penalty.

And oh, by the way, that was Holloway's first TD.

"I was at the bottom of the pile, man," Holloway said. "I got knocked down, I don't know anything else after that."

The Hawkeyes (10-3) wanted three points. They got a third straight season with 10 or more victories. When the final Associated Press poll comes out, they'll have their third straight top 10.

They wanted three points.

They got their eighth straight victory.

They got ESPN Classic.

"For this thing to end the way it did today, it's fitting," Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. "The resiliency these kids have shown, I can't put it into words."

The final scene needs some setting, or at least explanation.

LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the third quarterback LSU used, hit wideout Skyler Green for a touchdown with 46 seconds left, giving the Tigers (9-3) a 25-24 lead after a two-point conversion failed. It capped a 12-play, 69-yard drive that drained 4:20 off the clock and left Iowa with 46 seconds to work with.

It also put Russell's name on the Capital One MVP trophy, if only for the 46 seconds LSU had that lead. The red-shirt freshman directed two scoring drives after Iowa running back Marques Simmons scored on a 4-yard run with 12:48 left to give Iowa a 24-12 lead.

"I think the last 14 or 20 seconds of this game somewhat tarnishes the things that this football team accomplished over the last four years," said LSU Coach Nick Saban, who'll begin his job Tuesday as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. "We came from behind and won five times this season. I thought it would be the sixth today."

Iowa took over at its 29. First down was an 11-yard pass to Ed Hinkel. Second down was a 9-yard pass to Holloway.

And now, this is where things started to unravel.

Tate spiked the ball, thinking he stopped the clock. But the Hawkeyes were called for a false start with nine seconds left. They went into their huddle thinking they had a dead clock.

Referee Hal Dowden stuck his head in to remind them the clock was ticking. After a penalty, the clock starts after the official spots the ball.

"I blew it not taking the timeout there," Ferentz said. "I didn't realize after a penalty, they start the clock."

When Tate took the snap with seven seconds left, that was it. It was over. Any Iowa play inbounds and the clock would likely have run out with the Hawkeyes the proud owners of two timeouts.

"From my point of view, I'm just wondering why we're not calling a timeout when the clock was running," defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux said. "I'm like, do we see the clock running? And they hike the ball, and I'm like, OK, this is it."

It was it.

No need to dwell on the timeouts, right, coach?

"Do we have to, the last series?" Ferentz said. "How 'bout we fast forward to that last play."

The play was "all up," where Iowa's four receivers run vertical routes down the field.

Tate looked off wideout Clinton Solomon, whose 57-yard TD grab gave Iowa a 7-0 lead. He looked off tight end Scott Chandler, whose two catches for 41 yards led to Kyle Schlicher's 20-yard field goal.

Tate found Holloway. LSU didn't.

"We ran that play six times today, I think," said Hinkel, who caught 10 for 93 yards. "That was the first time it went Warren's way."

The confusion at the end of the game actually worked in Iowa's favor. Cornerback Ronnie Prude missed the defensive call. He rolled toward Chandler and left Holloway uncovered.

"Drew saw it the whole time," said Holloway, who caught four passes for 72 yards. "He saw defense wasn't ready. He saw a gap in the coverage. And he took advantage."

Tate brushed off two early interceptions to complete 20 of 32 for 287 yards and two TDs. He won the game MVP award.

"We've got a great quarterback," Solomon said. "Don't ever count this kid out."

Except for running back Alley Broussard's 74-yard run at the end of the second quarter, Iowa's defense held. But Iowa's lack of a running game - the Hawkeyes gained 47 yards on 29 carries - kept the defense on the field too long. LSU owned a 34:12 to 25:48 advantage in time of possession.

The Hawkeyes held LSU to 346 yards offense, but ran out of gas late in the fourth quarter.

And LSU finally found a QB it liked.

LSU senior quarterback Marcus Randall left with a rib injury after linebacker Abdul Hodge crushed him in the second quarter. Randall left the game after junior cornerback Jovon Johnson picked off a pass in the third quarter.

Red-shirt freshman Matt Flynn gave it a try but completed just 1 of 4. Finally, Saban went to Russell, who completed 12 of 15 for 128 yards and two TDs.

"He had a game," Johnson said. "I think if they might've gone to him earlier, they might've been in better shape at the end. But we'll never know that now, will we?"

We'll never know where the Hawkeyes would have been if they hadn't blocked two punts, with free safety Sean Considine returning one 7 yards for a touchdown and a 14-12 halftime lead. We'll never know what Ferentz would have done with those two timeouts.

You know, if "all up" doesn't work, if Warren Holloway doesn't catch it and break a tackle and score the first TD of his career on the last play of his career, if this Disneyworld miracle doesn't happen.

"It's all irrelevant right now," Ferentz said.

They wanted three points. They got a miracle.

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