Game Report: Central Michigan 32, Iowa 31
F – Unorganized, undisciplined, undone.
-- Marc Morehouse
D-minus – No angry running back-hating god this day. But Iowa’s defense and onside-kick coverage unit were hexed, vexed and perplexed.
-- Mike Hlas
D -- Not a trophy loss; just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill complete team failure.
-- Scott Dochterman
1 – Passing touchdowns by Iowa this year
5 – Red-zone conversions in 5 attempts for Central Michigan
9 – Points scored by Central Michigan in final 1:33
63 – Consecutive successful extra points by Mike Meyer, breaking Iowa’s record of 60 held by Nate Kaeding
2007 – Last time Iowa started the season 2-2
HIT IN THE GUT
Trailing by two points with 45 seconds left in the game, Central Michigan had two chances at recovering an onside kick. The first attempt was recovered by Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, but the whistle had blown for delay of game shortly before the kick. Central Michigan’s second crack came at the 30.
Kicker David Harman's attempt skidded past Iowa's front line and into an open spot between backup tight end Henry Krieger-Coble, who stepped away from the ball's path, and Fiedorowicz. Central Michigan's Jesse Kroll recovered at his 42.
Iowa had its hands team on the field. The players on the front line include wide receiver Jacob Hillyer, tight end Ray Hamilton, defensive tackle Darian Cooper, tight end Jake Duzey, wide receiver Steven Staggs, Krieger-Coble and tight end Zach Derby. Wide receivers Kevonte Manley-Martin and Keenan Davis, along with Fiedorowicz were on the second line. Cornerback Micah Hyde was back deep.
"We were ready for it," Davis said. "We were lined up correctly. We just had to go get the ball."
Two plays after Kroll's recovery, Central Michigan quarterback Ryan Radcliff dropped back to pass on second-and-6 at his own 46. Central Michigan right guard Darren Keyton blocked Iowa defensive end Joe Gaglione and landed on top of him for several seconds. Gaglione pushed Keyton off him just Radcliff tossed incomplete.
Referee Shawn Smith tossed a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. Gaglione initially was thrilled.
"Honestly, I thought it was (on Keyton)," Gaglione said. "All I was (trying to do) was get him off me. The ref saw what he saw and made his judgment and I guess it's always the second guy who gets caught.
"They said it was unnecessary roughness on my part. It was a stupid mistake."
KICKED IN THE GUT
Gaglione's penalty put the ball on Iowa's 39 with 19 seconds left. After an 8-yard scramble by Radcliff, Harman lined up for a 47-yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining. Harman knocked it through for the win.
"It's gut-wrenching," Iowa linebacker James Morris said. "Dejecting. Is that even an word?"
STUCK IN A RUT
Special teams breakdowns have become a trend in close losses for Iowa.
Central Michigan recovered an onside kick with 45 seconds left en route to a last-second field goal a 32-31 win. It's the third consecutive year Iowa has lost a game in part because its opponent recovered an onside kick. The other two — ironically — came against Iowa's next opponent, Minnesota.
Iowa chalked up nine penalties for 106 yards, the highest yardage total since 111 at Northwestern in 2007. Six penalties were major -- either for personal fouls or pass interference.
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz didn't object to the "undisciplined" label slapped on his team.
"That word would probably fit right in there," Ferentz said. "So I would have to say so; undisciplined, sloppy, however you want to look at it."
WORD TO THE WISE
Iowa running back Mark Weisman rushed for 217 yards, tying Shonn Greene and Nick Bell for the eighth-highest output in school history. He also ran for three more touchdowns, pushing his season total to six. He has rushed for 338 yards this season.
“All that really matters is getting that win,” said Weisman, a sophomore. “It doesn’t matter what you really do out there.”
JUST FOR KICKS
Iowa kicker Mike Meyer set the school record for most consecutive made extra points at 63. The previous record of 60 was set by Nate Kaeding, who is in his ninth season with the San Diego Chargers. Kaeding, a Coralville native, is the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history (86.9 percent).
"I don't think I can be compared to him," Meyer said. "He's on another level. Hopefully I can work my way up there."
Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg completed his first nine passes for 136 yards and a touchdown, the team's first this season. But the Hawkeyes struggled to stay consistent in the passing game. Vandenberg was 7-of-16 for 79 yards the final three quarters.
Perhaps the biggest passing game failure was early in the second quarter when Iowa faced a fourth-and-4 at the Central Michigan 37. Vandenberg lined up in the shotgun and wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley was wide open down the seam for likely touchdown. But Vandenberg was rushed and threw quickly to Keenan Davis for an incompletion, stalling the drive.
"They blew that," Vandenberg said. "They gave us a look we prepared for all week and we got it protected up to the boundary and then the guy over the slot came which couldn't come because nobody was guarding Kevonte and we can't pick him up. We kind of had a longer route called so it's kind of one of those things where it's like woulda, coulda, shoulda. We couldn't execute, that's the bottom line."
LOWER THE BOOM
Iowa's B.J. Lowery suffered perhaps his worst game as a Hawkeye. He was hit twice for major penalties — a pass interference in the first quarter and a personal foul in the second quarter. He also suffered a slight injury and played sparingly through the rest of the game.
"I've just got to do my part," Lowery said. "If it's a flag, it's a flag."
Early in the second quarter, Lowery up a 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Titus Davis on a post route that put the Chippewas ahead 17-14. Young gave Lowery multiple moves and finished the route by faking outside and cutting inside. Lowery nearly tripped over his feet. Radcliff felt no pass rush and easily found Davis for the score.
"It was a good move," Lowery said. "All credit goes to him."
Iowa (2-2) will play host to Minnesota at 11 a.m. Saturday. The winner earns the annual Floyd of Rosedale trophy, which was instituted in 1935 as a peace offering between the universities. Overall the schools have met 105 times, Iowa's most-played rivalry. It's the first time the schools ever will play in September and the first time they meet for Iowa's homecoming since 1979.
"We know they're a tough team — they beat us the last two years — so we have a little extra motivation," Morris said.