IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- For the second straight week, Iowa found
itself trailing by two touchdowns early in the first quarter. This
time, the Hawkeyes didn't panic.
Iowa (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 Associated Press)capitalized on opportunistic special teams, a
stubborn second-half defense and clutch throws by quarterback
Nathan Chandler to come from behind and win 30-27 against Michigan (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 Associated Press)
The Hawkeyes (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) scored 20 straight points and
then stopped Michigan's last-ditch comeback attempt to beat the
Wolverines (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) for the second straight year.
"We're not a great come-from-behind football team," said Iowa
coach Kirk Ferentz, whose team never recovered after spotting
Michigan State two early touchdowns in a loss last week.
"But I couldn't be more proud of our guys than I am right now.
Michigan has an excellent football team and the way we bounced back
after their first two scores showed how much heart we have on this
It also showed the only statistic that matters is the one on the
Michigan outgained the Hawkeyes 463-295, and Wolverine
quarterback John Navarre threw for a career best 389 yards.
The Wolverines were nearly unstoppable in the first half, as
Navarre threw for 224 yards.
Running back Chris Perry scored the Wolverines' first touchdown
on a 5-yard run eight minutes into the game. On their next
possession, Navarre marched the Wolverines 64 yards in seven plays,
capped by a 14-yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards.
"We just didn't panic," Iowa defensive lineman Jared Clauss
said. "They were doing some very good things ... but we knew we
had to correct some things and clean up our mental errors and get
back out there."
Iowa cut Michigan's lead in half when Chandler scored on a
6-yard bootleg late in the first quarter. Chandler was 17-of-34 for
195 yards and two touchdowns.
Fred Russell ran for 110 yards on 26 carries and Nate Kaeding
kicked three field goals on a day Iowa honored its former legendary
coach, Hayden Fry.
After being picked apart by Navarre in the first half, Iowa's
defense tightened, shutting down the running game and forcing
Navarre into a series of wild throws.
"We needed to execute. We had some plays we didn't get done ...
and they did a good job of taking things away," said Navarre, who
is 0-6 on the road against ranked teams.
Michigan made it exciting at the end as Navarre threw a 41-yard
TD pass to Braylon Edwards with 3:43 remaining, cutting Iowa's lead
The Wolverines then forced an Iowa punt, and Navarre marched
Michigan across midfield with less than two minutes to go. But
three consecutive incomplete passes sealed the victory, Iowa's
second straight over the Wolverines.
Michigan spent the week talking about avenging last year's 34-9
loss to the Hawkeyes, the worst home defeat for the Wolverines in
35 years. But once again, Michigan couldn't stop Iowa when it
Iowa took its first lead on Kaeding's 31-yard field goal with
2:34 left in the third quarter. The Hawkeyes created the scoring
chance when Chris Smith blocked a punt and Iowa took possession at
the Wolverine 14.
Iowa extended its lead late in the fourth quarter when Chandler
capped a time-consuming, 79-yard drive with a 31-yard touchdown
pass to Ramon Ochoa. Ochoa beat two defenders and crossed the goal
line just before being stripped of the ball, giving Iowa a 30-20
Michigan answered quickly with its best series of the second
half. The Wolverines marched 86 yards in seven plays, capped by
Navarre's 41-yard strike to Edwards.
Michigan's Jason Avant had seven catches for 175 yards,
including a 71-yarder in the first half, while Edwards had seven
catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.