Ross: Five Big Moments in Kinnick Stadium
Tate to Holloway was over 10 years ago. It’s one of the single biggest moment in Hawkeye Football history. There have been bigger games, but that moment will be around forever in Hawkeye memories.
There have been other big moments for the program since then, some of them seem lost in time. This is my list of the five most important moments at Kinnick in the past 10 years, listed in chronological order.
Andy Brodell punt return, 9/13/2008 – Iowa beats Iowa State 17-5
The 2007 season ended on such a sour note. The Hawkeyes had gone 6-6 and missed a bowl game for the first time in seven years. That season was sandwiched with disappointment. It ended with a home loss to Western Michigan, which kept the Hawks out of a bowl game. It started with Iowa losing its third game of the season to Iowa State and the Cyclones would only win three games that season. So there seemed to be more on the line in the 2008 Cy-Hawk game.
The 2008 game was an ugly battle. The Hawkeyes and Cyclones traded field goals through the first three quarters. The score was 3-3 when Shonn Greene scored from five-yards out early in the fourth quarter, but the Cyclones were still within striking distance when they were forced to punt with just over six minutes left.
Andy Brodell picked a great time for his only punt return for a touchdown in his 64 career returns at Iowa. He danced through and around the Cyclone defese and locked up the win for the Hawkeyes. Iowa fans chanted “HAWKEYE STATE”, the team went on to win nine games, including the Outback Bowl.
The Hawkeyes would not have lost that game if Brodell had not returned the punt, but it put the fans at ease and it electrified Kinnick. And let’s be honest, the season is just a little less bumpy when they beat Iowa State!
Daniel Murray 31-yard FG with :01, 11/8/2008 – Iowa beats #3 Penn State 24-23
If you are what your record says you are, Iowa was just above average through nine games of the 2008 season. Iowa had just lost in heartbreaking fashion to Illinois. Juice Williams led a last minute drive to send the Hawks to 5-4, almost certain to fall to 5-5 with #3 Penn State coming into Kinnick. Penn State was unbeaten and looking to give Joe Paterno another run at a National Title. Those hopes were dashed by a backup kicker.
It was IOWA COLD that day. Bitter. I remember being bundled up for the first three quarters of that game. The fans confidence may have been a little shaky after the Illinois loss. Whatever the reason, be it the cold, the previous week or the opponent, Kinnick was just not alive that day. That is, until the fourth quarter came along and somehow things felt much warmer.
The Hawkeye defense started to hold and the offense found its gear. Ricky Stanzi started to find his receivers and Shonn Greene started to find his holes. Greene scored early in the fourth to bring the Hawks to within two points at 23-21. The defense held again and the offense went back out onto the field with with just under four minutes to play. What followed was a textbook game winning drive. Stanzi found Brandon Myers twice and Darrell Johnson-Koulianos twice. A Penn State pass interference and a few Shonn Greene runs set up the moment for Murray.
There were six seconds left on the clock when the ball was snapped. I don’t remember there being a second remaining after the kick flew through the uprights. I remember Murray running across the field and being mobbed by his teammates. The internet tells me there was a second remaining, and the Hawks kicked off to the end the game. That might have been my all time favorite game inside of Kinnick.
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Back to Back Blocked Kicks Against UNI – 9/5/2009 – Iowa beats UNI 17-16
The 2009 season was THE SPECIAL SEASON that almost didn’t happen. The opening game of the year came against UNI. Iowa was coming off a win the Outback Bowl, with loads of talent returning. UNI was returning 14 starters from a team that reached the FCS semifinals the year before, but the Hawks were ranked 21st in the nation coming into the season.
UNI came in with confidence and it showed early. They took a 10-3 lead into halftime and built it to 13-3 before Iowa was able to get the offense going. Two Hawkeye touchdowns late in the third and early in the fourth quarters put the Hawks in front 17-13, but another UNI Field Goal with 4 minutes left put the Panthers a Field Goal away from pulling off the upset.
The Panthers got the ball back with two minutes to play at their own 8-yard line. Quarterback Pat Grace went 6 for 7 for 61 yards and put the ball at the Iowa 23-yard line with 7 seconds to play.
Broderick Binns blocked the first 40 yard attempt and Jeremiha Hunter had a chance to fall on it, but teammates were telling him to leave it alone… so he did. Then the Panthers fell on it. After a long discussion the officials ruled that UNI would line up one more time for a 40-yard field goal try. This time it was Hunter that blocked it.
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If Binns and Hunter don’t block the field goals… what happens? I don’t want to think about the bigger picture of what losing a game like that might’ve done to Hawk fans mentally. I know this; there’s no 11-win season that year. There’s no Orange Bowl victory that year and the UNI fans would still be reminding us.
The Fake Punt – 10/23/2010 – Iowa loses to Wisconsin – 31-30
His name is Brad Nortman. That’s the punter who ran for 17 yards in the fourth quarter of a game almost five years ago. Oh, the pain he’s caused.
Iowa was leading 30-24 with under 8 minutes to play. They had just hit a 40-yard Mike Meyer field goal to take that lead and the defense forced a three and out on the Badgers…Or so it seemed.
It can probably be overstated as to how much changed with that one play, but maybe not. If you go back to that moment in Hawkeye history, Iowa was 25-7 in their previous 32 games. Since that play? The team is an even .500 at 29-29. Even worse, the coaching staff seemed to get Punt Return PTSD from the play and we’ve have five years of protecting against the fake and sacrificing the return (among other things).
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The Flyover – 11/20/2010 – Iowa loses to Ohio State 20-17
The 2010 season had suffered it’s big blow. The Hawkeyes were stumbling a bit after losing to Northwestern 21-17 and the fanbase was still screaming “Watch for the fake” on every play including kickoffs. So some fans might not remember the details behind the Ohio State game because the day started with the most exhilarating flyover you could possible imagine.
The game went like this… The Hawks were winning in the fourth quarter (like most every other loss that year) and they had the Buckeyes pinned to a 4th and 10 at the 50. That’s when Terrelle Pryor ran for 14 yards, finished the drive and the comeback and Ohio State got out of Kinnick with a 20-17 win.
But for some reason, if you were there that day, it’s not the fourth down you remember. It’s the flyover. The most memorable non-football event I’ve ever experienced. I don’t like to think about that game, so I just remember the flyover.
Honorable mention for me was the 2009 night game against Michigan. Iowa stayed undefeated with a 30-28 victory. The defense sealed it with an interception and the place was ROCKING!!!
These were not the BEST moments, but in my opinion they were the most important moments.