Sign up for our countdown email.

Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz has 143 wins under his belt at the University of Iowa, one away from the all-time record.

The Gazette will count down each win, as ranked by writer Marc Morehouse.

134

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

Iowa 56, Buffalo 7 | Sept. 6, 2003

Iowa running back Fred Russell is pushed out of bounds by Buffalo defensive back J.J. Gibson on the Buffalo 1-yard line after a 22-yard run in the second quarter of the game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, September 6, 2003. (The Gazette)
Iowa running back Fred Russell is pushed out of bounds by Buffalo defensive back J.J. Gibson on the Buffalo 1-yard line after a 22-yard run in the second quarter of the game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, September 6, 2003. (The Gazette)
/

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.

Also, at this time, Robert had short hair and blond dye job. He also was going into track, where he was a state qualifier in the high jump.

That moving tight ends to offensive tackle thing really, really paid off in the early 2000s. It helped get the Ferentz era off the ground.

John never won the starting punter job. He finished his career with 10 punts. But he got this, a day in Kinnick playing football with his brother. Not a bad deal.

2. Iowa had nine ball carriers in this game. Nine!! From Fred Russell to Champ Davis to Aaron Mickens. This is going to happen when you’re really trying to run out the clock.

Notice the quotes in the gamer. The starters know you guys want to see the fresh faces on the field. I knew it. This is what puts blood in the veins of recruiting websites.

3. Weird, weird factlet that I almost forgot.

I can’t remember how it started, but there was a national story around this time about college coaches not calling reporters back. Something like that. Kirk Ferentz had his ears open and wanted to prove that wrong.

So ... Early in the week, I hear a rumor that Bob Sanders might be out for a few weeks with a broken foot. I’m like, screw it, I’m calling Ferentz.

Ring. It’s Rita Foley, Kirk’s forever assistant and maybe Hayden, if I remember correctly.

(Quick aside: Rita’s husband, Bob, was the production manager when I worked at the Daily Iowan trying to get pages out. I was a doofus, and Bob helped me learn the value of making deadline. The lesson was harsh, just like deadline, but I learned it.)

Rita transfers me into Kirk.

“Kirk, is Bob Sanders hurt?”

“Yes, had surgery and will be out a few weeks.”

“Uhh.”

“Anything else, Marc?”

“What is going on? Is this Earth?”

Click. Might’ve been one or two more phone calls after that. Got to pick your spots, people.

Quote: RB Fred Russell was benched after hitting 98 yards. I always wondered if that drove running backs nuts, so I asked. Fred was totally cool.

“Man, that’s not a big deal,” Russell said. “I knew I was only 2 short of 100 sometime in the third, you hear those things. But it’s not a big deal. Fans got to see a lot of young guys today and they love that, the young guys love it, so it worked out for everybody.”

That was quintessential Fred.

Note: You know Ferentz’s 24-hour rule, the whole thing about enjoying the accomplishment before getting into the next week?

No way that was going to work here. This was the game before Iowa State. At this point, Iowa had a five-game losing streak to the Cyclones.

“They’ve beaten us five years in a row,” center Brian Ferentz said. “There’s not much any of us can stand here and say. They own us right now.”

Brian remains a good quote. Just wish we had a chance to talk with him more. (There will be occasional airing of grievances during this deal. I promise to keep it to a minimum. My work problems aren’t your problems. It’s like complaining about air travel.)

Why No. 134? — I kind of fold the 2003 team into an underappreciated category. Here was then-offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe: He made Kyle McCann and Brad Banks into good, workable QBs in 2001. He coached Banks to a Heisman runner-up in 2002. And then made 6-7, 255-pound Nathan Chandler into a 10-game winner. The 2003 team lost three games. Close to a brilliant season.

But this was a bottom-tier MAC team and that’s why No. 134.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME

Game story from 2003

IOWA CITY — The Port-A-Cool broke down in the first half. The second-string quarterback entered the game early in the second half. The second-string everyone followed, including the punter.

Yes, Iowa dipped so far into the depths of its depth chart Saturday that the 54,471 fans got their first glimpse of the second-string punter.

Astute fans know that’s John Gallery, brother of all-American offensive tackle Robert Gallery. But a sighting, during a game at Kinnick Stadium, a game that’s not the spring game?

What’s next? Big Foot spotted doing Pilates on the 50?

The Hawkeyes (2-0) didn’t waste any time with Buffalo, scoring touchdowns on their first five possessions and winning going away, 56-7.

It all went downhill when one of the Bulls’ two Port-A-Cools — the big fan thingie that cools players on the sidelines — broke down in the first half. Or, more accurately, it all went downhill when Buffalo, owners of the nation’s longest losing streak now at 12, signed on for this game four years ago.

“We learn a lot in a game like this, believe it or not,” said Iowa quarterback Nathan Chandler, who put up his second steady, efficient game, completing 8 of 11 for 113 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. “Plus, anytime you get out in Kinnick and play in front of the fans, it’s an awesome experience. Anytime you get out on the field, period.”

Chandler directed scoring drives in his four series Saturday.

“In the second half, clearly, we needed to try to focus on us,” Buffalo Coach Jim Hofher said. “The guys knew it. The game had gotten out of hand in the first half.”

The Hawkeyes split 292 rushing yards among nine backs, rolling to 442 yards of offense to Buffalo’s 285.

The day’s biggest frustration probably goes to running back Fred Russell. The senior had all 98 of his yards in the first half and then spent the day watching, just two lousy yards short of 100.

“Man, that’s not a big deal,” Russell said. “I knew I was only 2 short of 100 sometime in the third, you hear those things. But it’s not a big deal. Fans got to see a lot of young guys today and they love that, the young guys love it, so it worked out for everybody.”

You couldn’t swing a Buffalo defensive end — didn’t happen, only seemed like it — without hitting an Iowa freshmen late in the second quarter.

On third-and-nine from Iowa’s 43, freshman quarterback Drew Tate dumped a pass to freshman fullback Champ Davis for a 14-yard gain and a first down at Buffalo’s 41.

Freshman running back A.J. Johnson finished the drive when he plowed in from the 2. Redshirt freshman tight end Ryan Majerus saw his first significant action. And redshirt freshman kicker Kyle Schlicher booted his first extra point and sent the ensuing kickoff out of the end zone for a touchback.

Tate, a prep phenom from Baytown, Texas, drew a pretty good cheer when he entered the game. Do we smell quarterback controversy?

“Oh, no way,” Chandler laughed. “I think fans get excited about the new faces and Drew has a lot going for him. I hope he tears it up. You know I want Iowa to be good for a long time.”

Tate fed off the crowd, directing a TD drive in his first series and finishing 4 of 7 for 37 yards and three rushes for 21 yards.

“That was great. I was surprised, but it was great,” Tate said. “I hope they thought I did pretty well for my first time.”

Iowa’s defense held the Bulls (0-2) to 285 yards on 75 plays, 3.8 yards a play.

The Hawkeyes lost their shutout late when tailback Aaron Leper scored on a 2-yard run with 6:34 left, the first TD Iowa has given up this season.

All in all, it was another impressive, physical performance even without senior strong safety Bob Sanders, who had foot surgery Friday and will be out two to four weeks.

“I think the big thing about this week is that we practiced well,” said junior free safety Sean Considine, who returned a fumble 18 yards for a score and intercepted a pass. “I think that’s a big deal. You have to prepare for what’s in front of you. You can’t look ahead.”

OK, looking ahead now.

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz’s 24-hour rule, the one that focuses on the win and keeps the players from talking about the next week, was shot about 10 seconds into the Buffalo postgame.

Of course, it’s Iowa State week. So you know, the 24-hour rule never stood a chance.

Iowa won 11 games, won a share of the Big Ten championship and went to the Orange Bowl last season.

But they didn’t beat the Cyclones (2-0), who host the Hawkeyes at Jack Trice Stadium next Saturday. Don’t think that’s not on the checklist somewhere.

“No one on this team has beaten Iowa State yet,” said wideout Mo Brown, who caught four passes for 82 yards and a TD Saturday. “That’s what we’ve got to take into next week.

They beat us the last five. It’s our turn.”

Take away from Saturday that John Gallery is a fine No. 2 punter, averaging 46 yards on two kicks, but the 24-hour rule broke like Buffalo’s Port-A-Cool.

“They’ve beaten us five years in a row,” center Brian Ferentz said. “There’s not much any of us can stand here and say. They own us right now.”

By the way, the Port-A-Cool recovered in the second half. Buffalo couldn’t be saved.