Indiana Falls To Iowa
Oct. 31, 2009Ben Chappell threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, but the Indiana football team saw its upset bid come up short in a 42-24 loss at No. 4 Iowa.
Indiana was leading by 14 in the third quarter and just two yards away from the Hawkeyes' end zone. Given how poorly quarterback Ricky Stanzi was playing, one more touchdown might have brought their charmed season crashing down.
Tyler Sash instead returned a multiple carom interception 86 yards for a touchdown, and Stanzi bounced back from a career-high five interceptions to rally the No. 7 Hawkeyes to a 42-24 victory, yet another improbable finish in a season full of them.
Iowa is off to the best start in school history, thanks to four wins by three points or less. And after needing two blocked field goals to beat FCS school Northern Iowa in its opener, the Hawks control their own destiny in the Big Ten - with a chance to play for the BCS title.
Stanzi threw four interceptions in the third quarter alone on a windy day in Iowa City, and Indiana (4-5, 1-4) took a 24-14 lead into the fourth. The Hoosiers had five interceptions in a game for the first time since a season-opening victory over Kentucky in 1969. Former walk-on Collin Taylor had the first two picks of his career and added a forced fumble and a career-best seven tackles.
Iowa deferred on the opening kickoff, a rarity under Ferentz, and the Hoosiers marched 69 yards into the wind for a 7-0 lead on Darius Willis's 4-yard run.
Ryan Donahue, one of the most reliable punters in the nation, shanked an 8-yarder into the stands midway through the second quarter, giving the Hoosiers the ball at the Hawkeyes 35. Five plays later, Chappell found Mitchell Evans for a 16-yard TD pass that made it 14-0.
The Hawkeyes answered on Wegher's 4-yard TD run with 2:39 left in the first half, but after holding Indiana, Amari Spievey inexplicably picked up a wobbly punt and fumbled it away deep in his own territory. Chappell found Damarlo Belcher for a 9-yard TD with 9 seconds left.
Stanzi opened the second half throwing interceptions on back-to-back possessions, and the Hoosiers moved to Iowa's 2-yard line already leading 21-7.
That's when Iowa's defense made one more spectacular play.
Chappell was hit from behind as he dropped back to pass, and Sash gathered the loose ball in the air before racing 86 yards for a touchdown that brought Iowa within 21-14 and woke up a stunned crowd at Kinnick Stadium.
Stanzi responded by hitting Marvin McNutt for a 92-yard touchdown pass and, moments later, connecting with Derrell Johnson-Koulianos from 66 yards to put Iowa ahead 28-24 with 11:38 left.
Wegher made it 35-24 on a 6-yard TD run and added a 27-yard score with 1:12 remaining.
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