Tom Brady and Nick Foles scrapped to beat Iowa

Twelve years apart, future Super Bowl QBs started vs. Iowa

Tom Brady and Michigan had to work for a 12-9 win at Iowa in 1998.
Tom Brady and Michigan had to work for a 12-9 win at Iowa in 1998.

Like four NFL teams that reached the playoffs this season, Iowa lost against quarterbacks Tom Brady and Nick Foles.

No shame there. Brady has beaten everyone a thousand times, it seems, since he became a New England Patriot in 2000. Foles was terrific Sunday in the Philadelphia Eagles’ NFC championship win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Iowa played Brady almost 20 years ago, as crazy as that may sound. Brady, then a junior and first-year starter, didn’t overwhelm the Hawkeyes by any stretch. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 146 yards, and was intercepted twice by cornerback Tarig Holman.

Holman is the head football coach at Neptune (N.J.) High School. You think he has ever mentioned to his players that he picked off Brady twice in a game?

Michigan had five turnovers in that game at Kinnick Stadium but won 12-9 because its defense held Iowa to 159 yards. The Wolverines’ first score was a TD pass from Brady to Tai Streets. Trailing 9-7, he led the Wolverines on a drive for the field goal with 8:19 left that put them ahead for good.

Michigan went 10-3 that season with a 45-31 Florida Citrus Bowl win over Arkansas. Iowa went 3-8 in Hayden Fry’s 20th and final season as the Hawkeyes’ coach.

In 2010, Iowa was ranked ninth when it went to Arizona with a 2-0 record. The Hawkeyes trailed 27-7 at halftime, but tied the game with 8:12 left when defensive end Broderick Binns returned a Foles interception 20 yards for a touchdown.

Binns now is Iowa’s director of player development.

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Foles, then a junior, put the Wildcats back in front when he threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to William “Bug” Wright with 3:57 remaining. That gave Arizona a 34-27 lead that stood as the final score.

Foles completed 28 of 39 passes for 303 yards and two TDs that game.

He took the quarterbacking job in a 27-17 loss at Iowa the year before. Matt Scott started, but was just 4-of-14 passing with an interception. Foles came in and was 6-of-11 with a late 10-yard TD toss. He became Arizona’s starting quarterback for almost the entirety of his final 2 1/2 seasons, and passed for 4,334 yards and 28 TDs as a senior in 2011.

So the 2018 Super Bowl quarterbacks got the best of the Hawkeyes. But they went 3-0 against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger when he was at Miami (Ohio) at 2001, 2002 and 2003, and intercepted Big Ben a total of seven times. Who in the NFL can say that?

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