Three cool things:
1. A few years ago, schools started sneaking things into the credential agreement. Imagine that, right! One of those things limited on-field access to the last two minutes of games.
I’m not complaining. Iowa’s sidelines put you in the bull ring. There is just no room. I’m cool with whatever.
But ... damn, I miss seeing whatever I could of games from field level. If you ever get the chance, do it. I don’t care what team or level. If it’s Iowa or Iowa State, you are in for speed you won’t believe.
Field-level speed is something to behold.
I really took advantage in this one.
I think we were down there for the last drive or two. I remember seeing Junior Hemingway’s catch and immediately thought it was out of bounds.
Observations from those vids:
— Whoever had the idea to play The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” for reviews (I doubt that’s still a thing), please, stand up and take a bow. There is nothing wrong with good, classic rock blaring out of the stadium speakers (new country, sorry Beathards, makes me cringe).
— I’m glad the Big Ten finally gave it up on showing controversial videos. Iowa seems to throw in an extra layer of shielding the officials.
I would expect this to change. I hope that Iowa knows its biggest competition for ticket revenue is the man cave. If you want the stadium experience to be worth it, show all the replays. Show them multiple times.
Officiating crews get paid green money. No one cares about mistakes more than they do, trust me. They’re like beat cops. They love the game, they love being out there with the players and they absolutely love getting it right. It doesn’t always work that way, and everyone knows that going in.
Anyway, you guys put out a good yell when you see this clearly wasn’t a catch on the video board.
— Booing still works. For whatever reason, it’s a sound that rings out. I’m sure it’s happened, but I don’t remember hearing too many of the “BS” chants from the Kinnick crowd. But I can’t hear anything in the press box (it’s like watching a game at a Kinkos).
— If you watch the vid, you’re going to get a dose of former Iowa SID Phil Haddy.
He’s the world’s greatest video bomber. Watch, he’ll show up behind Trump one of these days (I’m sorry, Phil, I can’t remember your politics).
— We’ve long talked about defensive coordinator Phil Parker and his yelling and how his players love and respect him.
The yelling is real, you guys. I was right down there. What makes it kind of incredible is the fact that Parker gets his point across at top volume. When I reach that point of anger or frustration, I am speaking in tongues. Like “Nottafingah” from “A Christmas Story.”
— This part didn’t make the video, but I wish it did.
I wonder how many games Kirk Ferentz affected with his sideline demeanor. In this one, Iowa’s defense was hanging on by the tips of its Nike gloves. The Hawkeye world was collapsing.
Meanwhile, Ferentz was front and center on the sideline, in the huddles. Demeanor never shifted. Face barely changed.
I’d love to think if I were a coach, that would be how I’d do it. Of course, I’d love to think that.
On this day, that was exactly what the Hawkeyes needed.
2. Iowa blitzed the living daylights out of Denard Robinson and it worked.
I don’t know why I asked the names of the blitzes. I like detail. I think you want detail. Players and coaches don’t like to go into the details, especially if they’re in the playbook.
Safety Tanner Miller went a couple of times. Strong safety Jordan Bernstine gave it a go on fourth down. Linebacker Tyler Nielsen almost had Robinson on third down.
Iowa wanted to pressure Robinson and force him to react. The Hawkeyes dictated the decision making and it paid off.
They were blitzes. The names of those blitzes are on a “need to know” basis.
“I’m not going to get into all that,” Nielsen said. “’Sack Denard,’ that was the name of the call.”
Really, it was Iowa’s best and, maybe, only move.
The Wolverines had first-and-goal from Iowa’s 3 with 16 seconds left and no timeouts. That took run out of the playbook. If someone gets tackled, the last play is a complete scramble.
Defensive coordinator Norm Parker knew that and decided to force Robinson into quick reads. A blitzer broke free or was coming on all four plays. Robinson had time for only one quick look at the defense.
He was flushed by Miller on third down and drifted to his left, but Iowa had running back Vincent Smith draped in double coverage.
“You’re kind of rolling the dice a little bit because he’s a dangerous passer,” Ferentz said. “He can also squirt out of there and run the ball, so the guys had to play great team defense, something we’ve struggled with at times.”
3. I will write about player piles of joy every time. Uncontrollable joy is always a good thing. When the players talk about those moments, they always laugh.
Except maybe for Michigan 2016 and maybe Pitt 2015. Those are still on the list.
Quote: I remember asking James Vandenberg if he actually jumped into the pile. He did.
“I was the first one on top of (Micah Hyde). Then I kind of hopped up and thought, we didn’t just win the World Series.”
Note: This was the first time Iowa had beaten Michigan three straight times. Iowa is on track to pull that off again. Iowa has won the last two in the series. The next game is Oct. 5, 2019, at Michigan Stadium.
Why No. 38? — This was the sunniest day of the 2011 season. This win put Iowa in the Legends race. Michigan State snuffed that out the next week.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME
Game story from 2011
IOWA CITY — Everyone thought Micah Hyde made the play, which is understandable.
The junior made a lot of the plays and he did end up with the ball after it rolled onto the FieldTurf. So, hey, pile on Micah.
“It was funny, B.J. (Lowery) made the play, so I’m running over there to celebrate with him,” Hyde said. “I went to pick up the ball, so everyone thinks I made the play.”
Every Hawkeye made a play in the Hawkeyes’ 24-16 upset of No. 13 Michigan before 70,585 fans Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) have won three straight against Michigan (7-2, 3-2) for the first time and are bowl eligible for the 11th straight season.
Running back Marcus Coker finished with 132 yards and two TDs and Iowa’s defense, blamed last week with everything from Occupy Wall Street to Kim Kardashian’s divorce, came through with a sterling goal-line stand that ended on sophomore B.J. Lowery’s breakup on a pass intended for Michigan wide receiver Roy Roundtree.
This unleashed a torrent of emotion, from the Hawkeyes piling on top of each other around the 20-yard line to Coach Kirk Ferentz, whose sprint up the tunnel had a little extra zip with his face straining to hold back tears.
“I remember getting tackled and then ended up on the bottom of the pile saying, ‘It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me, it was B.J.,’” Hyde said. “It was a good time.”
It was about as wild an about-face as Ferentz’s Hawkeyes have had in his 13 seasons. Ferentz shot lasers out of his eyes and ground his teeth to nubs after last Saturday’s 22-21 loss at Minnesota. This week, it’s tears of joy, well almost. Ferentz was up the tunnel faster than Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
“Our guys really battled and competed,” Ferentz said. “They played through tough moments, and there were a few of them out there. We came up with plays when we had to.”
Coker scored untouched on a 13-yard run to give the Hawkeyes a 24-9 lead with 10:42 left. Iowa’s offense sort of checked out after that, generating just one more first down in two drives.
It was on the defense.
Michigan pounced immediately, with Robinson tossing a 7-yard TD to tight end Kevin Kroger with 7:53 left to make it 24-16.
The Wolverines started their last gasp at Iowa’s 18 with 2:15 left. Eventually, Robinson hit Roundtree for a 19-yard gain to Iowa’s 3. UM had 16 seconds and four cracks from there.
Robinson, who finished 17 of 37 for 194 yards, with two TDs and an interception, tried receiver Junior Hemingway on first and second down. It looked like he might have had him on second down, with Hemingway snaring a one-handed catch around Hyde at the back of the end zone. The play was called incomplete on the field and stood up on video review.
“I was hoping it was a knee or elbow on that one,” Ferentz said. “It just seemed like a weird play. Once I saw it on the board I felt a lot better, but you never know.”
It looked as if Hemingway didn’t quite secure the ball.
“You can’t leave the game up to the officials,” Robinson said. “We have to do it ourselves.”
On third down, Robinson threw short to Vincent Smith. Middle linebacker Tyler Nielsen was free on a perfectly timed blitz and had Robinson dead to rights.
“I got a hand on him, but I don’t think that was enough,” Nielsen said with a laugh. “That’s why he is the most electrifying player in the country.”
Defensive coordinator Norm Parker wanted to put pressure on Robinson and called blitzes on all four downs. Safety Tanner Miller pressured two or three times and was breathing down Robinson’s chinstrap on fourth down.
Iowa was in a nickel defense with man coverage. Roundtree tried to put a slant on Lowery, who didn’t give an inch and made the play with his left hand, which is covered in a cast for a broken wrist he suffered in August. Lowery was locked up with Roundtree every play on the goal-line stand.
“The cast hand, yes,” Lowery said with a laugh. “I kind of had an advantage.”
Because of that cast hand, Iowa remains alive in the Legends Division. It also turns November into a round-robin tournament. Next week, it’s Michigan State (7-2, 4-1) at Kinnick.
Iowa is in it. After the bitter Minnesota defeat, that last sentence feels like a minor miracle. It was enough to move the quarterback, yes, the quarterback, to jump into the pile.
“I was the first one on top of (Hyde),” quarterback James Vandenberg said. “Then I kind of hopped up and thought, we didn’t just win the World Series.”
From piling on the Hawkeyes a week ago to a pile of Hawkeyes on Saturday.
This is one nutty season.