Winning Numbers:
The Kirk Ferentz Countdown

Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz has 143 wins under his belt at the University of Iowa. With his first win of the 2018 season, he will surpass Hayden Fry as the winningest coach in program history.

The Gazette will count down each win, as ranked by writer Marc Morehouse, over the next several weeks leading up to opening day.

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KF143 numbers


Three cool things:

1. That Hawkeyes team stunk it up against a below-average Mid-American team ... but ... quarterback Jake Rudock hit tight end Jake Duzey for a 12-yard touchdown with 1:00 left and the Hawkeyes pulled victory out of the recycling bin.


Three cool things:

1. Albert Young quotes. That guy never called a hamburger steak. This was a perfunctory exercise and Young stated that perfectly. “You guys didn’t see the good stuff yet,” Young said. “Maybe next week.”


When Chad Greenway almost touched the ball as much as Drew Tate

No. 19 Iowa 39, Kent State 7 | Sept. 4, 2004

Three cool things:

1. You might read this a lot during this exercise, but holy Chad Greenway.

Two interceptions with one turning into a 30-yard pick-six. Blocked punt. Pass breakup.


Iowa, your press box leaks

Iowa 34, Tennessee Tech 7 | Sept. 3, 2011

Three cool things:

1. I’ve gotten to know the Kinnick Stadium ops crew a little over these 23 or so years. Pretty sure the four-hour rule in the press box (you have to be done four hours after the game) is my bad. I’m consistently amazed how the ops crew moves bodies in and out of Kinnick.

This was a stormy Saturday in September of 2011 and it rained like mad. The lightning delay lasted 84 minutes. It was the one and only in Kinnick that I can remember.

So, that happened.


A good ending to a not-so-great game during a terrible year

Iowa 18, Northern Illinois 17 | Sept. 1, 2012

Three cool things:

1. This was the 2012 season. 4-8 and not a lot of joy for the Hawkeyes. This was a brutal, grinder-type game. A game where the offensive line was going to matter. Iowa was new and unsettled there for the most part. Not all sacks go on the O-line, but there were six against Iowa in this game.

Center James Ferentz was a fifth-year senior and he was basically training redshirt freshman Austin Blythe in this one.

One kernel of ... I don’t know ... fortitude?

“He finished the half on a sour note, but I told Austin that I went the wrong way on the second play of the game,” James Ferentz said. “I sat him down and said, ‘Hey, here I am, five years later and I’m still making mistakes.’”


Three cool things:

1. A honest-to-thud Paki bomb happened in this one. Of course, you remember former Iowa running back Paki O’Meara. The former Cedar Rapids Washington prep was a backup for the Hawkeyes who worked his way into situational play.

In this one, he blocked a punt and returned it 42 yards for a score.

The last I heard, Paki was traveling the world and living a really bright life.


Three cool things:

1. Don’t come at me with the now 17-year-old McCann/Banks debate. But ... This really is that ground. Spent a lot of time in this one on Jon Beutjer’s departure from Iowa football. That, of course, pushed Banks, then a juco transfer from Hinds (Miss.) Community College.


Iowa goes green for Brett Greenwood

Iowa 45, Louisiana Monroe 17 | Sept. 24, 2011

Three cool things:

1. “Green for Greenwood.” Beautiful thing. If I remember correctly, this was mostly a push from the student section. It wasn’t a lot of people, but it of course was a wonderful sentiment.

Greenwood, a starter from 2008-10, is recovering from an anoxic brain injury, the result of a heart arrhythmia suffered while working out in 2011. You’ll see his name come up here a bunch. Greenwood was a terrific player and remains what the program embodies. He’s fighting and always will be fighting. I had a ton of respect for Brett when he played — a self-made player who opened his own doors as a walk-on, and that has grown with the turn his story has taken. As always, the Greenwoods remain in my thoughts and prayers.


Throwback Iowa uniforms for throwing around the Ball (State)

No. 18 Iowa 45, Ball State 0 | Sept. 25, 2010

Three cool things:

1. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels was really starting to take off at this point. That worked out, even with Iowa already having a D-line that included Adrian Clayborn, Karl Klug, Christian Ballard and Broderick Binns.

Daniels is a hurricane at just more than 6 feet. I’m not sure he ever plateaued in the weight room. He just kept coming his last two seasons at Iowa.


Iowa-Buffalo was a blowout, but what else was it?

Iowa 56, Buffalo 7 | Sept. 6, 2003

Three cool things:

1. We have a John Gallery mention. Let’s talk about that a little.

It started with Nick Gallery, who won Iowa’s punting job out of East Buchanan back in the mid-1990s. He averaged 42.9 yards in a four-year career.

You have Robert Gallery. You know him. Oddly, way back then in the late 1990s, The Gazette and KCRG were buddies (owned by the same folks). We did some cross training. I went to cover Gallery’s signing day presser at East Buc with none other than KCRG’s John Campbell. He was such a pro. It also was really cool meeting Robert for the first time. Easygoing, relaxed guy even then. Until it was time to compete, of course.


Three cool things:

1. Hey, Soldier Field! OK, OK, Soldier Field is nice, but, yes, Iowa can do better than Northern Illinois for this.

Not a slight against Northern Illinois. The headliner would be Iowa-Notre Dame at Soldier Field. That’s the game that should be played.


Three cool things:

1. I fish for muskies in northern Wisconsin for three weeks almost every summer. Almost every day, you see a turtle sticking its head out of the water. You’re looking for the 50-inch fish with teeth, but hey, turtle head.

In my world, if the turtle head is a QB controversy, I’m all over it. It’s a go-to. It’s the Michael Jordan of college football beat writer topics.


When Kinnick throws the boos on its own

Iowa 42, Florida International 0 | Sept. 6, 2008

Three cool things:

1. I’m going to get in trouble for the lede. I did then and I will again now. Totally regret it. Then, I thought I was being funny. Now, I see it as something a troglodyte would think and write.


I could’ve changed it for this exercise, but you have to own your stupidity and learn from it. Lesson learned.


Three cool things:

1. Remember when former Missouri State coach Terry Allen was going to be the coach of the Hawkeyes?

The Hayden Fry retirement story was my first biggie at The Gazette. I wasn’t the beat writer. I was the Iowa State guy, but I had a brain and could call people on the phone. Mike Stoops? Hello! Is your brother coming to coach the Hawkeyes?


A shining moment for Jake Christensen

Iowa 24, Northern Illinois 14 | Oct. 28, 2006

Three cool things:

1. This was Jake Christensen’s first start. It was a good result. It wasn’t always pretty and it did come down to a fourth-down completion late in the game to lock this down.

Knowing what we know now, this is a little like reading an alternative reality.


Three cool things:

1. North Texas backup QB Quinn Shanbour had an unforgettable moment. He threw a TD pass to give the Mean Green a 14-10 halftime lead.

That was really great for Quinn Shanbour. The Hawkeyes weren’t too pumped about that moment, but they got it together and dispatched Seth Littrell’s team with relative ease in the second half. (I think Littrell is a coach who’s going to go places.)

Sometimes, the cool thing happened to the other team. And hey, this was a Sun Belt team in a Big Ten stadium. Let’s see if there are two more cool things.


Yada, yada, yada, on to Wisconsin

Iowa 62, North Texas 16 | Sept. 26, 2015

Three cool things:

1. One thing you’re going to notice — if you read all of these and, wow, thanks if you do — is when there’s a middling game in front of me and a ginormous game the next week, I blow through the middling and get right to the Wisconsin.


Evidence for C.J. Beathard mounted against Purdue

Iowa 24, Purdue 10 | Sept. 27, 2014

Three cool things:

1. Oh hindsight, you tricky devil.

Of course, C.J. Beathard should’ve come out of this game with some footing in the Iowa QB race. Jake Rudock was injured at Pitt. Beathard fueled a fourth-quarter comeback and started this game. That was 2-0 with a comeback victory on the road.


The David Johnson game

Iowa 31, Northern Iowa 23 | Aug. 30, 2014

Three cool things:

1. If Iowa is going to play an FCS program, it’d better be UNI.

A number of you are cringing. Too bad. Yes, this fits nicely into the “everything to lose, nothing to gain” category. Iowa loses and it’s going to eat whatever collects between cleats these days. Those little rubber shards? Iowa wins and it’s yawn and next week.

But if UNI wins ... One part of our state has slew the great beast. Folk songs will be written. Feasts will be held commemorating the moment.


Iowa's escape from (almost) New York

No. 25 Iowa 14, Rutgers 7 | Sept. 24, 2016

Three cool things:

1. Quick little journalism story: Our photographer for this game was Jim Slosiarek-MacGyver. I don’t know if you know, but often sports photogs have to ship their giant lenses to games ahead of time. Something got screwed up and Jim’s gear didn’t make it.

He had to scramble. The news photographer community is tightly knit and worldwide, apparently. They are Learjet SWAT team. Jim ended up with a rig the next morning (morning for us Midwesterners) and came up with a really great Brandon Snyder pic after he caused and recovered a fumble that definitively turned the game for the Hawkeyes.

KF143 numbers