Three cool things:
1. Man, a lot happened in this one.
Let’s start with Tyler Sash and Micah Hyde.
Iowa’s defense was coming off a brutal game at Wisconsin. Not brutal in the “quality” sense, but in the medical.
You really didn’t know what Iowa’s defense would have in the bag going into this one. And then Sash-Hyde happened.
Sash picked off Kirk Cousins — Sash picked off the QB who Vikings fans think will end their Super Bowl drought (and he might) — shook off MSU receiver B.J. Cunningham and turned and pitched to Hyde.
“It just goes to show every week is different,” Hyde said. “You just have to go into every week thinking it’s zero to zero. We’re zero and zero and performance one week doesn’t mean anything the next.”
Hyde followed blockers down the Michigan State sideline, cut toward the Iowa sideline at midfield and won a race to the pylon for a 66-yard return and a 17-0 lead with 10 seconds left in the first quarter.
“I’ve seen that play 100 times on film. They ran it last year and I almost got it last year,” Sash said. “He threw it right to me. Micah’s guy had me held up and so I just gave him an assist. He made a heckuva run back on that. Kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing. He did all the work.”
I met my friend Eric Heneghan in grad school at Iowa around 1990. He wrestled at UI. He became great friends with Tyler.
One time at Iowa, Eric screwed up academics and then ended up getting “taught” a lesson by Dan Gable. There was a man sitting in the bleachers watching. After the “lesson,” Eric took Gable over to introduce him to his dad.
So, you know my friend Eric isn’t a potzer when it comes to wrestling.
Eric always said Tyler had the same smile wrestlers had when they were challenged. There’s no glee. It’s more of a measure, a mental preparation for the climb it would take to beat you.
You know the smile.
Sash laughed when he talked about the lateral because of how the Hyde brothers communicated during the week (Marcus Hyde played safety for Michigan State).
“All I heard all week was Micah and his brother spouting off to each other through their mom,” Sash said. “They wouldn’t talk to each other, but they would talk to their mom. Micah would say, ‘Hey mom, tell Marcus this,’ and they’d go back and forth. I think Micah had some bragging rights on this one.’”
You know the smile and you miss it.
2. This was Norm Parker’s return to Kinnick. I knew about his foot before most media (if not all) and I froze. I didn’t know what to do with that.
I still have a problem with the news commodity. I try to use good judgment.
Parker was 69 at the time and he made his way into Kinnick for the first time since the opener against Eastern Illinois.
Parker was checked into the hospital Sept. 10, just before the Iowa State game. Later that month, he had his right foot amputated because of complications from diabetes.
He made it back for the Michigan State game, where Parker served as an assistant coach for 12 seasons.
“He chirped in there a couple times,” Ferentz said. “He hasn’t been in on the day-to-day, so it’s a little tougher, obviously. It’s sort of like the story about the guy who knows where to tinker. But he was being very respectful and wasn’t trying to backseat drive, but it was just good to have him on the phones and hear his voice.
“He threw a couple tidbits in here and there. We’re hoping in under a week he’ll be back in Iowa City and will be able to start climbing the ladder a little.”
Ferentz even joked about a victory cigar.
”Rumor has it he was going up I-380 and smoking a cigar on the way back,” Ferentz said. “That’s strictly a rumor. I don’t think his doctors would appreciate him smoking cigars right now.”
The Hawkeye defense didn’t get to speak with Parker at Kinnick, but the players knew he was in the house.
“I know he had some things to say up there,” defensive lineman Christian Ballard said. ”We knew he was up there. We certainly miss him.”
3. Michigan State made a late rush to recruit Micah Hyde. They had every right. It’s college football recruiting. There’s no room for dainty.
Actually, Hyde’s older brother, Marcus, was a Michigan State Spartan. They met this day.
They met on the field before the game. Marcus, then a Michigan State senior safety, barely spoke to Micah, then Iowa’s sophomore cornerback, and just told him to hurry up so they could talk to their dozens of family members — including their mother — who watched the game in person at Kinnick Stadium.
“I went over there (after the game), but he was mad, of course,” Micah Hyde said.
Marcus Hyde finished with a team-high nine tackles but had one critical penalty on Iowa’s first scoring drive. Micah Hyde, however, scored his first touchdown at Iowa on a 66-yard return after the Sash interception.
“I’m happy for him,” Marcus Hyde said. “I was kind of mad (after the return).”
The brothers considered themselves enemies during the week. Football does that. It just does.
“If I was the older brother, and my little brother beat me twice, yeah, I would be really disappointed,” Micah Hyde said.
Quote: “No, I don’t know what my career high for assists was,” said Sash, an all-state basketball player at Oskaloosa. “But that’s what that basically was. It’s like a point guard taking a 40-footer. You miss and you’re in trouble. You hit and the coach is happy.”
Note: It was Iowa’s largest margin of victory over MSU since a 41-0 win in 1980. The margin was Iowa’s largest over a top-10 opponent since winning at No. 8 Michigan, 34-9, in 2002.
Why No. 43? — Who’s your favorite No. 43? Pat Angerer or Josey Jewell? They’d both pick the other one, you know they would.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME
Game story from 2010
IOWA CITY — This was an Iowa team with an agenda.
This was a team playing like it had places to go and Big Ten teams to beat and national statements to make.
Done, done and done.
The reins were off a team left constipated after a bitter one-point loss to Wisconsin last week at Kinnick Stadium. For proof, just go to Tyler Sash’s interception and lateral to Micah Hyde.
Maybe that doesn’t happen last week. This week, the Hawkeyes had no margin for error and played like they had nothing to lose.
And they didn’t.
The No. 18 Hawkeyes drilled No. 5 Michigan State, 37-6, before 70,585 Saturday at Kinnick. It was Iowa’s largest margin of victory over MSU since a 41-0 win in 1980. The margin was Iowa’s largest over a top-10 opponent since winning at No. 8 Michigan, 34-9, in 2002.
On Halloween eve, the Hawkeyes (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) dressed as football players and played like it. Michigan State (8-1, 4-1) dressed like football players and played like zombies.
“When things start to snowball on you, it’s hard to stop it,” Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio said. “That’s what I think we ran into.”
Zombies, snowballs, either way. Before the Spartans took their first meaningful drink of Gatorade, the Hawkeyes were up 7-0, taking the first possession 80 yards. Before their eye black was smudged, Iowa was up 10-0 after Mike Meyer’s 37-yard field goal on Iowa’s next drive.
Before Michigan State coaches knew their headphones were on, Iowa went up 17-0 on Sash’s interception and then point guard dish to Hyde, who returned it 66 yards before banking it off the pylon for six.
“No, I don’t know what my career high for assists was,” said Sash, an all-state basketball player at Oskaloosa. “But that’s what that basically was. It’s like a point guard taking a 40 footer. You miss and you’re in trouble. You hit and the coach is happy.”
The snowball settled on the Spartans’ chest and took all the life out of them on quarterback Ricky Stanzi’s 22-yard TD pass to wide receiver Marvin McNutt.
With 7:35 left in the third quarter, Iowa led 37-0.
“That felt pretty good,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said, raising an eyebrow slightly. “Someone asked if you saw that coming. You never see that coming, especially against a good team like this.”
And before you ask.
“No, I didn’t see this coming,” Dantonio said.
It came and now the Big Ten is up for grabs.
Iowa (3-1), Wisconsin (3-1), Michigan State (4-1) and Ohio State (4-1) are locked into some sort of first-place pile. With four weeks left, the Rose Bowl is out there for the taking.
Iowa travels to Indiana (4-4, 0-4) next weekend.
“If someone wants to create that buzz, they can go ahead,” said Stanzi, who completed 11 of 15 for 190 yards and three TDs. “This wasn’t a statement. We never thought that, even after last week. We’re one game at a time.”
If the Halloween metaphor still stands, the Iowa defense dressed in a “Jason” deal from the “Friday the 13th” series.
All 11 of them seemed to be in hockey masks and carrying machetes.
Michigan State countered with zombie.
The Hawkeye defense stymied Michigan State directly after it gave up 59 points in the last two weeks. Against Wisconsin last week, the Hawkeyes defense managed just two legit three-and-outs. Saturday, the Hawkeyes squeezed six out of the Spartans.
“We just went back to the basics,” senior defensive end Adrian Clayborn said. “We went to practice and made it count, which I think we got away from. I think this week we focused on each practice and each drill and really got after it.”
Iowa’s defense did this with coordinator Norm Parker back in the press box. Parker, 69, has been away from the game since having his right foot amputated due to diabetic complications in late September. He chirped in a few observations, but kept his distance.
Iowa’s defense did this with freshman James Morris making his first start at middle linebacker. Redshirt freshman Shane DiBona started the game on the weakside. Outside linebacker Tyler Nielsen left the game in the fourth quarter and was replaced by fifth-year senior walk-on Ross Petersen.
“They’re talented but they don’t have a lot of game experience,” defensive lineman Christian Ballard said. “We had to get up there and keep blockers off these guys and free them up to make plays.”
This was an Iowa team that was free to make plays Saturday. This is an Iowa team with an agenda.