We released our schedule for the 2020 football season. Or perhaps more accurately, we released the schedule of games from the Kirk Ferentz era we’ll be re-watching this fall in place of the Iowa football season that will not be played. While a potential spring or late fall season are still in discussions, we’re moving forward with a full slate of games guaranteed to bring back memories and leave Hawkeye fans with some semblance of happiness.
But this is just one possible schedule out of 20 years of games. Throughout the Ferentz era, there have been plenty of other great games from each week of the year that would have been great candidates. So each week, we’ll be picking the scraps off the cutting room floor and taking a look back at some other great games from that week of the season.
Week 2 has recently become that time of year when friends become foes, family becomes enemies, and the whole state of Iowa eats itself with the Cy-Hawk game as 8 of the last 10 have come against the Iowa State Cyclones.
Though Big Ten football encroached on the hallowed time period (see above), Iowa’s opponent during the second week will return to ISU from 2021 through 2025 according to FBSschedules.
Iowa’s overall record under Kirk in Iowa’s second game is 16-5 by an average score of 28 to 14. Delightful. Additionally, Iowa has shut out opponents thrice - Rutgers (2019), Florida International (2008), Syracuse (2007) - and held foes to 10 points or less seven other times with ISU accounting for six* of those games.
* Iowa State won a game scoring 9 points, not that we need reminding
Anyways, here are a couple of my favorites outside of the 2017 victory at ISU which was the opposite in almost every way to the 9-6 loss referenced above.
At Miami (OH) RedHawks, 2002
Part of what made the 2003 Big Ben game so enticing was the idea of him flipping the script of the matchup between these two teams the year prior. Yes, Iowa traveled to Oxford.
It was a classic Kirk Ferentz “objects are closer than they may appear” game, as Iowa gained a 29-17 lead early in the fourth quarter after some sensational plays from Maurice Brown and CJ Jones.
Roethlisberger was able to close the gap with a smooth 30-yard TD pass with under five minutes but Iowa was able to ice the game away behind the line-of-all-lines.
Big Ben’s stat line wowed, as Iowa was stout in run defense (17 yards on 14 rushes, though 5 sacks account for -23 yards), to the tune of 343 yards on 33/51 passing and 3 TDs.
Brad Banks did what he had to do for 256 yards on 18/27 passing and a single TD to Jones, who finished with 64 yards on three catches. Brown added 115 yards on five while Fred Russell tallied 150 yards on 32 carries.
At Syracuse Orange, 2006
In what may have been the highlight of the 2006 season, Iowa entered the Carrier Dome ranked 14th against a Syracuse team who lost a Week 1 bout to Wake Forest to build a 10-game losing streak.
Jason Manson was forced into action after Drew Tate had to sit out with an oblique injury. As The Gazette’s Marc Morehouse wrote in summarizing the Week 1 win over Montana years later, “Was it caused by the hay bale toss at Solon Beef Days? That’s part of the lore.”
So anyways, Manson tallied 4 interceptions in a game which saw 20 regulation points. You are not here for the regulation, though, you’re here for The Stand.
Eight plays inside the five yard-line created a truly iconic memory amidst a totally mediocre season marred by injury and general frustration.
Albert Young was performed well with all eyes on him for 102 total yards on 21 touches and a TD with Damian Sims adding 62 on 11. Scott Chandler corralled six of Manson’s 16 completions for 65 yards and a TD of his own.
On the defensive side? Mitch King and Kenny Iwebema combined for 19 tackles, 5.5 for loss, and 3.5 sacks. Pretty good!
Final: 20-13, 2OT
For you masochists
Here are three ISU wins.
2005: The Drew Tate Concussion Game (ISU 23, Iowa 3)
2011: The Jantzening (ISU 44, Iowa 41)
2012: The Game Referenced Above (ISU 9, Iowa 6)
Those are just a few of the week two showdowns that didn’t make the cut for our re-watch schedule. What memorable matchups would have been under consideration for you?