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VIDEO: A Walk Down Iowa-Minnesota Memory Lane

I have to admit, I was kind of hoping for some older footage this week, just to be able to ogle Chuck Long or the ridiculously big pads they wore back in the day or to mock Minnesota's uniforms (seriously, have you seen some of the crap they used to wear?).  Alas, YouTube was not particularly kind to me on that front, so we turn our attention to some highlights of a more recent vintage.  Luckily, these are still pretty damn enjoyable highlights.  So take it away, Hawkeye Historian...

Ah, 2002.  The beginning was sour and the ending was bitter, but everything in-between was succulent, including this game, the regular season finale and a chance for Iowa to claim a share of the Big Ten crown.

  • Hey, it's our old friends Bob Davie and Mark Jones.  I'm pretty sure they called almost as many Iowa games in 2002 as Dolph and Eddie.
  • Brad Banks bootleg, easy pass to a wide open Dallas Clark.  Rinse, repeat.
  • Man, Colin Cole was good.  While the prototype for Iowa defensive tackles in the Ferentz era became guys like Mitch King, Matt Kroul, and Karl Klug, it wasn't always that way: Cole was a big, big boy.  But he could still move and he was a ferocious tackler.  There's a reason he's still in the NFL.  (And Howard Hodges was one of the better Iowa defense ends of the last decade that no one ever talks about.)
  • Kaeding missed a field goal?  That's almost as shocking as seeing Reggie Roby get a punt blocked in that Indiana video last week.  In 2002 and 2003, Kaeding seemed as automatic as they come when it came to field goals.
  • The option play?  Oh, 2002 playbook, how I miss you.  (Also missed?  A healthy Jermelle Lewis.  Good lord was he good in 2002.  Damn you for denying us naught but a glimpse of his true potential.)
  • (3:54) Glen Mason, in a rare non-smiling pose.
  • (5:22)  Hey!  Young Clinton Solomon!  Skinny!  With a different number!
  • (6:17)  JERMELLE LEWIS!  Oh my.
  • "Jermelle Lewis... workin' Minnesota like a part-time job" remains one of my favorite lines of commentary, ever.
  • The big play ability of this Iowa offense was on full display in this game, too: big runs by Russell and Lewis, deep bombs to Mo Brown... it was all clicking here.  (Well, sort of: Banks did only end up with 100 yards passing.)
  • (7:50) That play on special teams?  Yeah, that was quintessential Bob Sanders.
  • An end around on 4th and goal?  KKKKKKKKKEEEENNNNNNNNNYYYYYYYYYYY
  • Good grief, Iowa recovered a lot of fumbles in this game.
  • "First undefeated Big Ten season in school history since 1922."  For my money, that's still the signature achievement of Kirk Ferentz at Iowa.  To do something that neither Fry nor Evashevski could do... that's pretty impressive.  Sure, it's tainted slightly by the fact that they didn't play Ohio State (who also went 8-0), but at the same time, you're always going to miss some teams with a conference schedule -- all you can do is play (and beat) the teams that are on your schedule, which is precisely what Iowa did in 2002.
  • So Holly Rowe was on hand for this game.  She was on hand for the 2004 game against Wisconsin.  Clearly, if Iowa ever wants to clinch another Big Ten championship, we need to get Holly Rowe on the sideline.
  • "We're only going to a bowl if you come with us."  KIRK MADE A FUNNY
Next up, one year later: 2003

  • No, your eyes do not deceive you: that really is a ranking next to Minnesota's name.  The 2003 Gophers were, believe it or not, a genuinely good team and almost certainly the best team Mason fielded during his entire tenure.  They won ten games that year (although the most memorable game they played that yearremains a loss), in fact.
  • So many field goals...
  • (1:30) Yep, that was a vintage Nate Chandler run: slow, a little ungainly, but quite effective all the same.  See also: the 2:00 mark.  The nice thing about Chandler runs near the goalline was that he didn't have to get that close -- he could cover a lot of ground just falling forward.
  • Jermelle Lewis just loved playing Minnesota.  
  • So did Jovon Johnson.
  • (3:02) One of the most incredible plays of Bob Sanders' entire Iowa career.  Just an absolutely unreal forced fumble (and recovery) at the goalline.  It was also one of the biggest plays of the game, since it enabled Iowa to maintain a comfortable lead.  Unlike 2002 Iowa, 2003 Iowa didn't quite have the horses to keep up in an offensive shootout, so big stops like that were essential.
  • 55-yard field goal?  Pfft.  Why don't you ask Kaeding to do something hard, huh?  (Also: MOAR EXCITED KICKER CELEBRATIONS!)
  • DO IT FOR THE PIG, HAWKEYES.  One of the only times I ever agreed with Trev Alberts.
  • Bob Sanders: another forced fumble.  Yeah, he was an okay player.
  • Ramon Ochoa!  Razor Ramon was one of the last good punt returners Iowa had.  Sadly, he hasn't been here for eight years.  The hunt for a decent punt returner continues.  (Oh, and Razor wasn't a half-bad receiver, either, as the highlights ably demonstrate.  God, I loved him.)
  • Kaeding was a busy, busy guy in that game.
  • Big Edgar Cervantes!  With a carry!  And a touchdown!