12:00 PM ET, September 11, 2004
Kinnick Stadium, IOWA CITY, IA
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa State was threatening again and the challenge for the Iowa defense was simple.
"Don't let them get a first down," linebacker Chad Greenway said.
The Hawkeyes didn't.
Abdul Hodge and Tyler Luebke smothered quarterback Bret Meyer 2 yards short of a first down with 1:09 left, the last of several big defensive stops that enabled Iowa (No. 12 ESPN/USAToday; No. 16 AP) to beat Iowa State 17-10 Saturday.
"Every defense wants it to be on their shoulders," defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux said. "We only had one play left. Just give it your all."
Ed Hinkel provided the offensive spark for the Hawkeyes (2-0) with a diving, fingertip catch for a touchdown and the Iowa defense put the Cyclones (1-1) in a tough position, forcing them to rely on freshman Brian Jansen to attempt four field goals.
Jansen, a walk-on, missed three and Iowa held on for its second consecutive victory over Iowa State after losing five straight in the series.
"I felt confident. I'm not going to make excuses," Jansen said. "I really don't know what it was. I felt like I hit the ball right, but these kind of things just happen sometimes."
The misses were all the more disheartening for the Cyclones because they had gained the momentum when Todd Blythe leaped between two defenders to catch a 40-yard touchdown pass from Austin Flynn, cutting the lead to seven with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.
Iowa State then threw Iowa for 17 yards in losses on three plays and got the ball back at the Hawkeyes' 33. Flynn, the No. 2 quarterback, drove Iowa State to the 16 but gained only 3 yards on a quarterback draw on third-and-7.
That brought in Jansen, whose flat, 31-yard kick hooked wide left with 9:47 remaining. Jansen, playing because regular kicker Tony Yelk has a pulled muscle, missed earlier from 30 and 46 yards and made a 41-yarder.
"When you're grinding and driving and fighting and scratching and digging to get yardage for first downs, you've got to come away with points," Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said. "I was real disappointed we weren't able to do that."
Iowa State still got it together for one more threat, driving to the Iowa 35 with less than two minutes remaining. But on fourth-and-3, Meyer couldn't get around right end and was met by Hodge and Luebke as he turned upfield.
"We've got 11 guys out there," defensive end Matt Roth said. "Each player is going to make one or two big plays. We count on that. And when we get down to the wire, someone always steps up and makes a big play."
Favored by nearly four touchdowns, Iowa managed only 85 yards rushing behind its rebuilt offensive line and had to rely on Drew Tate's passing.
Tate was 16 of 22 for 220 yards, including a 29-yarder to Hinkel for a touchdown. He was intercepted once and sacked four times by an aggressive Iowa State defense that looks much better than the unit that was riddled during a 2-10 season a year ago.
Hinkel made the play of the game with his TD catch. He got behind cornerback LaMarcus Hicks and Tate appeared to overthrow him. But Hinkel leaped at the 2-yard line, stretched out and caught the ball on his fingertips, landing on his stomach 3 yards into the end zone to make it 14-3 with 2:49 left in the first half.
"It felt like it was up there forever floating," Hinkel said. "I just kept running and eventually got under it."
Hicks had come in on that play in place of starter Ellis Hobbs, who left after cramping up. That did not go unnoticed on the Iowa sideline.
"I kind of dawned on us," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "No disrespect to the young man, but when you've got a guy coming off the bench cold, that's a tough situation. We've been in that situation, too."
Until then, Iowa State had kept it close by intercepting a pass and blocking a field goal attempt.
Matt Robertson's interception of a tipped pass late in the first quarter set up Jansen's 41-yard field goal. Iowa then drove to the Iowa State 27 before stalling. Kyle Schlicher never got any elevation on his 44-yard attempt and defensive lineman Nick Leaders blocked it.
Schlicher, who has replaced All-American Nate Kaeding, got off a much better kick in making a 39-yarder early it the third quarter to stretch the lead to 17-3.
Iowa made it look easy at the start, driving 49 yards in six plays for a touchdown on the game's first series. Jermelle Lewis ran 16 yards and caught a 25-yard pass before Albert Young followed a wall of blockers into the end zone for a lead that Iowa never relinquished.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-16||5-15|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||0-0|
|TD||13:05||ALBERT YOUNG 1 YD RUN (KYLE SCHLICHER KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 49 yards.
|FG||1:11||BRIAN JANSEN 41 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 22 yards.
|TD||2:49||ED HINKEL 29 YD PASS FROM DREW TATE (KYLE SCHLICHER KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 34 yards.
|FG||10:44||KYLE SCHLICHER 39 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 37 yards.
|TD||0:36||TODD BLYTHE 40 YD PASS FROM AUSTIN FLYNN (BRIAN JANSEN KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 56 yards.