The Central Michigan-Iowa football series: All Iowa, all the time

Ladell Betts with a 23-yard TD run vs. Central Michigan in 1998 (AP photo)
Ladell Betts with a 23-yard TD run vs. Central Michigan in 1998 (AP photo)

Every BCS conference football team in the nation has designated victims, even Indiana (Massachusetts).

Iowa's in 2012 is Central Michigan. Who says so? Iowa. At least it does if you go by single-ticket prices to this year's games at Kinnick Stadium.

$70: Iowa State, Nebraska

$65: Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State

$60: Northern Iowa

$55: Central Michigan

Iowa has played Central Michigan twice, and the story turned out to be the same both times. The Hawkeyes launched seasons that weren't very good by thrashing the Chippewas in Kinnick.

1994: Iowa 52, CMU 21.

The Hawkeyes gained 568 yards. Fullback Kent Kahl had three short TD runs for Iowa. (Does that sound familiar, Mark Weisman?)

Sedrick Shaw, one of Iowa's all-time best running backs, went 80 yards for a score.

It was the first collegiate games for Tavian Banks and Tim Dwight. Banks had a 25-yard TD run. Dwight scored on a short run, had a 36-yard punt return and a 35-yard kickoff return, and had several blocks and tackles on special teams.

Iowa went on to go 5-5-1, while the Chippewas righted themselves and went 9-3, and played in the Las Vegas Bowl.

1998: Iowa 38, CMU 0

Kahlil Hill became the first (and remains the first) Hawkeye to return both a punt and kickoff for touchdowns in the same game.

The punt return was 68 yards, the kickoff return 88 yards.


It was Hill's first college game. The same could be said for running back Ladell Betts, who began a terrific collegiate career by carrying nine times for 62 yards and two TDs.

But Iowa slogged to a 3-8 record in what would be Hayden Fry's final season as its coach. Central Michgian went 6-5.




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