So here we are on Friday morning of the opening weekend of college football. It’s like Christmas has come five months early with the amount of amazing games this weekend. Each week, I am going to take a look at what happened the last time we played that week’s opponent. Some of the sub-segments you see below will make a lot more sense with teams that we play every year.
With that, we step into the time machine and go back to August 30, 2003. The Hawkeyes were just coming off their 11-2 Orange Bowl season. That team had barely beat Ben Roethlisberger’s RedHawks in Oxford (apparently we used to travel for MAC teams... who knew). This time around, the Hawkeyes’ dominating D kept Big Ben in check and allowed Iowa to walk away victorious 21-3. Roethlisberger was intercepted by the Hawkeyes four times despite a solid completion percentage and 250 yards of passing.
How did Miami’s season go that year? It was the RedHawks’ first and only loss of the season, which saw them finish at #10 in the country and Big Ben get selected #11 in the NFL Draft. It’s also worth mentioning that Miami went on to average 43(!) points per game (46 ppg without the Iowa game) in an age before video game offenses dominated the sport. The late coach Terry Hoeppner stayed on for the 2004 season before going to Indiana (fun fact: his last game at Miami was a bowl victory over a certain team from Ames).
Who played well for the RedHawks? Well despite Roethlisberger’s turnover numbers, he actually had a respectable game, going 27-42 and 250 passing yards. Unfortunately for him, two of his interceptions came after drives of 50 and 86 yards respectively, so he obviously didn’t have much to show for his numbers.
Who played well for the Hawkeyes? Running back Fred Russell ran all over the RedHawks to the tune of 167 yards on 22 attempts and a TD. Mo Brown had 78 yards receiving on 7 receptions and a TD. Jovon Johnson caught two of Big Ben’s four picks.
Who is returning that gave the Hawks trouble last time? Unless somehow the Steelers release Roethelisberger within the next 24 hours, the NCAA changes its rules on paid athletes never becoming amateurs again, and Roethlisberger decides he wants to finish his college degree that he didn’t finish, I think we’re safe on this one.
Highlights: A shout out to the Hawkeye Historian for his awesome videos, which I plan to include with these flashbacks.
Bonus: You can’t talk about this game without bringing up the Kenny Mayne piece on Ben Roethlisberger, which might have set the record for one-liners in a two minute span. After all, the state of Iowa had just gotten cable TV. Those were exciting times.
3 Words: Hawkeye Pride