In nine years as head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes, Kirk Ferentz has built up quite a reputation as a coach. Whether it is taking lowly ranked players and turning them from no name walk-ons to NFL stars, or being the highest paid state employee in Iowa, Ferentz has established himself as a well known figure.
In honor of coach Ferentz's body of work as the head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes football program, I have put together my list of what I believe to be his 10 best games.
Let's get going with one of the first ones: a 19-16 win over Texas Tech. This bowl win came after a 6-5 (4-4) season. This battle was a kickers delight, with 21 of the 35 total points scored coming off the feet of Nate Kaeding and Clinton Greathouse.
Iowa also recorded its first bowl victory since beating Texas Tech, 27-0, in the 1996 Alamo Bowl. Iowa also finished with their first winning season since 1997.
Farewell Shonn, Mitch, Matt, Bryan and Bradley, you will be sorely missed. But thanks for the great parting gift. Iowa dominated in every phase of the game, except for punts and punt return yards. Shonn Greene delivered the usual, while the defense forced five turnovers.
And as much as I love watching Iowa play it got boring after the second quarter, when they started talking about the South Carolina chicken. Also, way to be the only Big Ten bowl win of the year guys.
Epic defensive struggles create bizarre scores, and this was one of those cases. Two field goals always beats two safeties, which would turn out to be the outcome. Drew Tate certainly looked like a sophomore, while Iowa still had no offense to speak of. I was at my great grandmother's 100th birthday at a casino and not being able to be out on the floor, I was in a small room with this game playing. I don't know what took a greater toll on my nerves, watching Iowa and Penn State slug it out or listening to my cousins all night. My favorite type of game is the hard hitting, nail biting defensive slugfests that put emphesis on every play, and this game still fuels all my desires.
Iowa completely dominated Wisconsin to win the Big Ten Championship. The Hawkeyes limited the Badgers to 41 yards on the ground and 186 yards total, sacked Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco four times, forced three fumbles and two interceptions, and recorded seven tackles for loss. And somehow the vision of Drew Tate running down the field windmilling his arms still makes me smile to this day.
This was a fun game, and any win against the Buckeyes is still a win. The win was the first against Ohio State inside Kinnick since 1983, and the most points scored against the Buckeyes in the series. The win was just the 14th against the Buckeyes in school history. Drew Tate had a career-high 26 completions on 39 attempts for 331 yards, becoming just the third quarterback in Iowa history to throw back-to-back 300-yard games. The defense had a season-high eight tackles for losses.
(I know its a Bit of a cop-out but as a Hawkeye fan I couldn't help It)
8-2 in the 2000's.
Need I say more?
Minnesota holds a very weird place in my heart. The 2003 Game was the forst game I remember caring about, my very first Iowa game attended was the 2005 Iowa-Minnesota Game with my dad. And the easiest 40 bucks I ever made was off my Minnesota fan cousin in 2008.
Here are some oldies but goodies:
The Goalposts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnUoQZUAdvA
Floyd of Rosedale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej4BEMfEoEQ&feature=related
Iowa has beaten Michigan only 11 times since 1900. In 2002, Iowa played at the Big House with 111,000+ in attendance and it ended up being the worst home loss for Michigan in 30+ years. Iowa absolutely dominated the Wolverines, and byt the end of the game there were only 20,000 spectators in the Big House. Guess which colors they were wearing? Up until the 2008 Penn State win, this was prolly the most dominating win over a conference foe
I like to call this game the Dallas Clark Show. Clark had just three receptions, but two went for touchdowns on the day, avoiding a scare from a good Purdue team hoping to play spoiler. With about 2:30 left in the 3rd, up 17-14, QB Brad Banks dropped back and found Clark wide open and went 95 yards for a touchdown, putting Iowa up for good. On 4th-and-goal, only minutes into the 4th quarter, Clark also caught the final touchdown, sealing th game up, and continuing Iowa's unbeated Big Ten Record in 2002.
While I was not able to watch the entire game until last week, I listened to the fourth quarter on the way back from a class trip and nearly punched a window out when Iowa won. I will admit this, Penn State outmatched Iowa in just about every category, but give credit to the Iowa defense for only allowing 23 points when Penn State controlled the ball for most of the game. And thank you Daniel Murry, I've had faith in you since Pittsburgh.
It was a 56 yard hail mary touchdown pass from Drew Tate to Warren Holloway to end the 2004-2005 season with a 30-25 win over Louisiana State, in what was in my opinion the best Bowl game of the season. Both teams played each other so well, showcasing defensive play after defensive play. Iowa blocked 2 punts, forced LSU to play their third string QB, who led the Tigers to a a quick lead in the fourth. I remember getting up to get more cheese dip after LSU scored to go up late and my Aunt and Uncle screaming for me to hurry up and get in back in to see the play unfold. After all of the action and excitement of 2004-2005 season, what a thrilling finish. This definitely gets my vote as the greatest game of the Kirk Ferentz era.
Thanks for the great years of football Kirk. Here's to ten more, and GO HAWKS!