2 Total Updates since December 28, 2010
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Iowa had waited for a big defensive play all season during heartbreaking last-second losses. It finally got it in the Insight Bowl.
Micah Hyde picked off Blaine Gabbert near the sideline, reversed field and followed a convoy 72 yards for the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter, as Iowa rallied past 14th-ranked Missouri, 27-24.
Iowa (8-5) had been tortured all season by a defense that faded in crunch time. The Hawkeyes lost three straight coming into the bowl game, all by four points or less. The defense had given up a game-winning touchdown in each of its five losses, and also had the bowl distraction of player suspensions, as leading receiver Derrel Johnson-Koulianos and leading rusher Adam Robinson both sat out.
Big players stepped up in their place. True freshman Marcus Coker ran for an Iowa bowl record 219 yards and two touchdowns and Marvin McNutt compiled 63 yards receiving for the Hawkeyes. Coker’s rushing total surpassed Bob Jeter’s 194 yards in the 1959 Rose Bowl victory over California.
“Our seniors — there are 25 great guys in the class — and they leave with 28 wins and three bowl wins in the last three years,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We knew this was going to be tough and it certainly was. Special teams impacted the game positively for us.”
Gabbert threw for 434 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions with 152 of those yards going on 15 completions to T.J. Moe. Jerrel Jackson caught nine passes for 129 yards for Missouri (10-3), which failed in its quest to win four straight games to end a season for the first time since 1965.
Iowa took the opening kickoff 67 yards in eight plays to paydirt. Ricky Stanzi’s 49-yard connection with McNutt was the drive’s big play, and Coker’s fifth straight rush ended with a touchdown from one yard out.
The Tigers took their initial possession 75 yards on 16 plays, converting three third downs, including a 24-yard toss from Gabbert to Jackson on 3rd- and-19 from midfield. The march stalled and Grant Ressel booted through a 23-yard field goal for a four-point game.
A quick dart from its new back gave Iowa a double-digit edge. After a six-yard pass to Allen Reisner, Stanzi turned and handed off to Coker, who did the rest with a 62-yard jaunt for a 14-3 edge.
Missouri reversed field position on its next series, but Iowa used a 38-yard toss from Stanzi to Don Nordmann to set up another score, this time a 34-yard field goal off the foot of Michael Meyer for a 17-3 lead.
The Tigers answered with a heavy dose of the pass — five complete passes in all — before Henry Josey caught the Hawkeyes off guard with a 10-yard TD jaunt for a seven-point margin.
Coker again ran around and through the Missouri defenders on Iowa’s first second-half possession. Coker broke off a 35-yard run highlighted by a head-on collision with a linebacker five yards into the scamper. The drive stalled inside the Tigers five-yard line, and Meyer was true from 21 yards out for a 20-10 lead.
Missouri again called a plethora of passes on its next drive. Gabbert found an open Michael Egnew for 25 yards and again for 13 later on in the march. He finally sprinted up the middle for a seven-yard score and 20-17 deficit late in the third quarter.
After a Stanzi interception, Missouri methodically moved 57 yards in nine plays to take the lead. The Tigers needed to convert just one third down, and Egnew was the recipient of Gabbert’s deft three-yard TD pass for a 24-20 lead.
After Gabbert’s poor decision resulted in Hyde’s 72-yard interception return, the Tigers advanced the football to the Iowa 43-yard line and appeared to connect on a fourth-down throw to the sideline. However, the originally ruled completion was overturned, creating a turnover on downs.
Iowa iced the game with Stanza’s 39-yard completion to Reisner in the closing seconds.
“I just got greedy,” Gabbert said. “The guy (Hyde) made a great play and that’s all I can say about that. I forced it.”
This game marked Missouri’s 28th all-time bowl appearance. Missouri made one other appearance in the Insight Bowl, downing West Virginia, 34-31, in 1998…Iowa played in its 25th bowl game…Missouri still holds a 7-6 edge in the all-time series, and this was the first meeting since 1910…Missouri had 512 total yards to 425 for Iowa…Stanza threw for 200 yards on 11-of-21 passing with two interceptions…Egnew caught seven passes for 64 yards. Coker carried the football 33 times, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Russell Wilson passed for 275 yards and two touchdowns and NC State beat No. 22 West Virginia 23-7 to win the Champs Sports Bowl.
Wilson connected with Mustafa Greene on a 16-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and the Wolfpack (9-4) never trailed against a sloppy West Virginia team that had trouble getting out of its own way.
Geno Smith threw for 196 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Stedman Bailey in the second quarter that accounted for the only Mountaineer points.
West Virginia (9-4) turned the ball over on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter.
Noel Devine fumbled at the end of a 28-yard run and Smith was intercepted by a diving Wolfpack defender at the NC State 10-yard line on a long pass destined for a touchdown.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
A pair of Bowl games are on schedule tonight as the Champs Sports Bowl and Insight Bowl take center stage. The Champs Sports Bowl will feature (22) West Virginia and North Carolina State from Orlando.
The Mountaineers earned a share of the Big East title this season, but lost out on the tie-breaker with UConn. Instead of representing the league in a BCS Bowl game, WVU finds itself in the Champs Sports Bowl for the first time.
"We are thrilled and excited to be a participant and we are very much looking forward to this opportunity," said West Virginia coach Bill Stewart.
WVU, which won its last four games of the regular season, is making its school-record ninth straight bowl appearance. The Mountaineers own a 13-16 all-time mark in bowl games and had won four consecutive before losing to Florida State in the Gator Bowl last season.
As for NC State, it suffered a 38-31 loss to Maryland in its regular-season finale that cost the team the Atlantic Division title and a spot in the ACC Championship game. It was certainly a disappointing and costly defeat, but the Wolfpack are still headed to a bowl game for the second time in four years under head coach Tom O'Brien.
"Our team could not be more excited about the opportunity to play in the Champs Sports Bowl," O'Brien said. "A trip to Orlando is a great reward for their hard work this season and we are happy to have a quality opponent like West Virginia. We hope that our fans will paint the town red."
This is the 25th bowl appearance for NC State, which owns a 12-11-1 mark in such games. The program's last postseason appearance came in 2008, a 29-23 loss to Rutgers.
The Mountaineers and Wolfpack have met nine times previously on the gridiron, including twice in the postseason, and WVU holds a 5-4 edge in the series. The programs met twice in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, with NC State posting a 49-13 win in 1972 and WVU capturing a 13-10 decision in 1975.
Iowa was ranked in the Top 10 this year, but now finds itself unranked heading into the bowl season. The Hawkeyes ended the regular season with three consecutive losses, all by four points or less, costing the program a chance at the Big Ten title.
Still, Iowa did enough to earn a place in a bowl game for a third straight season and 25th time overall. The Hawkeyes own a 13-10-1 all-time record in the postseason, including a 24-14 win over Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl last season.
As far as the all-time series goes, Missouri holds a 7-5 edge over Iowa, but the teams haven't met on the gridiron since 1910.