116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
All Iowa's defense asked for was 14 points
IOWA CITY — On Thursday, quarterback C.J. Beathard ran into linebacker Josey Jewell somewhere in Iowa's Hansen Performance Center. They were just shooting the breeze and, sure, the Michigan game came up in the conversation.
It's probably hard to imagine, but college football players also can have water cooler conversations. They're, however, not quite like ours, but let's break this one down.
This was, after all, the next game, the next game after a disaster for the Hawkeyes against Penn State the previous week. And this was Michigan, the No. 3 team in the country with the coolest coach and all those gaudy nation-leading numbers.
Yes, Michigan popped up in the conversation. You might say it was the centerpiece.
''So, how's their defense look?' he asked me,' Beathard said.
''They've got a defense,'' Beathard responded.
''So, how does their offense look?'' Beathard asked Jewell.
''They're offense is good, but ...'' Beathard said, 'but Josey told me, 'We're ready to go. I've been feeling it all week.'
'He said, 'Give us 14 points and we'll win the game.''
'I said, 'All right,'' Beathard said with a laugh. 'It happened to be that exact thing.'
Jewell was mildly embarrassed that Beathard unleashed that conversation into the world. But it did happen.
'That is accurate. I did tell him if they scored 14 points this week, we'd help them out and we'd get a victory,' Jewell said. 'I wouldn't say I called it, I just said it early on.'
Did Jewell believe it?
'Yeah, I believed it,' he said. 'I thought if they got 14 points, if our defense played well, the way we could, if we trusted in ourselves and trusted in everyone around us, just did our job, I thought we could play a heckuva game.'
File Iowa's 14-13 upset over No. 3 Michigan under 'heckuva game.' Freshman Keith Duncan's 33-yard field goal as time expired for sure set off a heckuva celebration.
A week after allowing 599 yards and 41 points, Iowa's defense hounded the Wolverines (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten).
The Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) piled up six three-and-outs, including one after a Beathard interception with 1:54 left in the game. Defensive end Parker Hesse pressured Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight on a third-and-8 and the pass fell incomplete.
Iowa looked to take over at its 49, but Michigan linebacker Mike McCray was called for a facemask penalty while tackling Desmond King on the return. Suddenly, it was first down Iowa at Michigan's 36 with 1:23 left in the game.
'I didn't see it, either,' Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh said on the facemask penalty.
Iowa got a turnover and a field goal out of a fumble on the second-half kickoff. Defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson tackled running back De'Veon Smith for a safety, putting Iowa on the board at 10-2 in the second quarter. The Hawkeyes held Michigan to 201 yards total offense, a season low, a Harbaugh-era low and the lowest output for a Michigan offense since Michigan State held it to 186 in 2014.
Last week, Michigan put up 660 yards in a 59-3 win over Maryland.
'Knock off the No. 3 school? That's big time, that's huge,' Johnson said. 'That's what (head) coach (Kirk) Ferentz talked about all week. He talked about making miracles happen.'
Beathard passed for 66 yards. He didn't seem to care.
'Any way you can get a win, that's all that matters,' he said. 'I'd rather throw for 60 yards and get a win than throw for 400 and get a loss.'
This is where running back Akrum Wadley picked up the slack. Clearly, Iowa's offense now is routing through Wadley. Against the Wolverines, he had a career-high 28 touches (23 carries, five receptions) and generated 167 total yards (115 rushing, 52 receiving, including a 3-yard TD that made it 10-8 late in the first half.
Wadley had 72.6 percent of Iowa's yards. There were 63 non-Wadley yards.
'He's a great back, really elusive,' Beathard said. 'He turns 3-yard runs into big plays, especially in tight spaces, which is crazy. Anytime you can get the ball in his hands, he can make guys miss and turn little plays into big ones.'
Kinnick Stadium had its first bona fide field rush since maybe the Hawkeyes beat Wisconsin in 2004 to clinch a share of the Big Ten championship with ... Michigan.
Even Wadley couldn't escape the mad mob of fans all wearing black and enveloping the Hawkeyes while they tried to weave their ways to the locker room. From goal line to goal line and almost up the tunnel and into the Iowa locker room, the field was covered with celebrating fans.
'I've never been in a situation like that,' Wadley said. 'It's one of the greatest highlights of my life. So many fans, just grabbing you. I didn't know where the team was. Didn't get a chance to shake their (Michigan's) hands. It took me about ... I don't know, some time to get out of there.'
Good job, Kinnick. You stopped Wadley. Michigan didn't.
l Comments: (319) 398-8256; email@example.com