116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is used to going up against Big Ten defensive linemen. Thousands of fans? That’s a different story.
“That was probably the hardest part of the game trying to get through that mosh pit,” Linderbaum said.
Saturday’s win and subsequent field-storming gave the Hawkeyes a unique experience: celebrating a historic win without suffering any celebratory injuries.
“We have to get off because you could get trampled real quick,” said the 233-pound quarterback Spencer Petras.
More than a few fans hit Linderbaum in the helmet during the celebration.
“I might have a slight concussion from the amount of times we got hit in the head,” Linderbaum said jokingly. “Don’t tell the trainers.”
He doesn’t mind, though.
“That’s the stuff you love,” Linderbaum said. “That’s the stuff you’re going to remember for the rest of your life.”
It was the first time a Kinnick crowd rushed the field since the Minnesota win in 2019. Before that, the last time was toppling then-No. 3 Ohio State in 2017.
“You don’t get moments like this every single day,” wide receiver Nico Ragaini said.
Head coach Kirk Ferentz had an Iowa State Patrol detail to help him clear the field Saturday. He can relate to Linderbaum from other situations as an assistant coach, though.
He has a strategy, too, for getting out of those environments sans concussions.
“In the old days, like when nobody cared if I got run over, I got up against the wall and go right down on the end,” Ferentz said.
Senior defensive back Matt Hankins said the Ohio State field-rushing remains his favorite. He booked it toward the southwest tunnel Saturday when fans began storming the field.
When Hankins’ teammates finally got through to the locker room, they saw an emotional Ferentz. It’s not the first time he has teared up in front of the team.
“I love that about him,” running back Tyler Goodson said. “He shows that he cares about not just winning. He cares about the team and the guys he brought to come play here.”
Ferentz started to tear up a few times in the postgame news conference, too.
“I got that gene from my old man,” Ferentz said. “There’s no denying it.”
Ferentz’s crying gene aside, they had a lot of fun, too. Goodson said the team was dancing with recruits, playing music and jumping.
“It’s just a moment nobody else can feel,” Goodson said. “It’s just an unbelievable feeling, and I wish you guys could feel it as well.”
Several players all pointed to one thing, though, for the days ahead: the 24-hour rule.
The team has 24 hours to enjoy the win. Then it’s on to preparing for Purdue (3-2, 1-1).
“We’re going to enjoy the win for the next 24 hours, but after we watch the film tomorrow, it’s straight to business,” Ragaini said.
Iowa knows all too well about the risk of overlooking an unranked Purdue team. The Boilermakers upset Iowa with a 24-20 win in the first week of the 2020 season.
“We could be crying next week at this time or we could be really happy,” Ferentz said.
The focus on Purdue will be amid what will likely be an increased national spotlight. Iowa will almost certainly spend its fifth consecutive week in the top five of the Associated Press poll when it’s released Sunday. After No. 1 Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M on Sunday, the Hawkeyes could move up to No. 2.
Many outlets, including CBS Sports, include the Hawkeyes in their College Football Playoff projections. Any projections that didn’t include Iowa will likely add the team that now has a signature win on its resume.
Iowa will try not to think too much about its postseason outlook, though.
“We know we have something special here, but we take it day by day,” Ragaini said.
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