Schwartz: Ten Sentences – Miracle In Ames Edition

September 15, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

Ten sentences from the Hawkeyes’ marathon win Saturday against Iowa State:

1. My wife and I sat in the eighth row behind the Iowa State bench on Saturday afternoon/night in Ames, no more than 25 feet from where Iowa State’s Datrone Young slammed into teammate and punt returner Deshaunte Jones to cause the fumble that sealed the Hawkeyes’ 18-17 victory, its fifth straight in the series.

2. What stood out the most – well, two things stood out: first was the sound of the collision between Young and Jones, just a massive crack of the pads between two players that shot through the stadium because of how quiet it was in Jack Trice, not because ISU fans had given up – they hadn’t – but because it was just a routine punt and there was no reason to be worked up.

3. The second thing that stood out for the sprinkling of Hawkeye fans in attendance, and I’m guessing for the thousands of Iowa fans tuning in on television, was the collective holding of our breath while we waited for the ref to throw the flag against Iowa and redshirt freshman Terry Roberts for pushing Young into Jones.

4. Not “if” they’d throw the flag against Roberts, but when – even though Roberts clearly did not do anything wrong; if anything, the only player doing any actual shoving was Young, who was trying to block Roberts.

5. It was such an inconceivable play, such an inconceivable moment in the waning moments of an inconceivable game that, as I sit here writing a few hours later, still doesn’t make any sense because nearly every big play that sticks in my head was made by Iowa State, which somehow did not win.

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6. Two lightning delays, two Cyclone passing touchdowns of 50+ yards and more than 300 yards passing overall, plus Iowa’s inexplicable clock management (again) as well as its final non-kneeling offensive play in which it, for reasons no one can seem to articulate, stopped the clock by throwing a pass near the sidelines when what they needed more than anything was to bleed clock to less than a minute, especially since ISU had no timeouts left.

7. But one supposes that if we look deeper, we see that Iowa won by doing what Kirk Ferentz wants Iowa to do: take care of the ball and eat clock.

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8. And in the end, that is what doomed Iowa State, which put together highlights that make SportsCenter but also turned over the ball twice and, somewhat surprisingly, trailed the Hawkeyes in time of possession by nearly 10 full minutes.

9. ISU’s offense might have been more potent, but what good is owning a Corvette when your neighbor won’t let you take it out of the garage?

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10. So the Hawkeyes are 3-0 with a win over Iowa State and a Big Ten victory already in their pocket, and now they’ve got a bye week that couldn’t come at a better time given all of their injuries, followed by a game against Middle Tennessee State that should be lower stress than what they experienced Saturday; they should be positioned well for October and the start of the full Big Ten schedule, which begins at Michigan on Oct. 5.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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