(Saturday, October 31st)
Final Score: (7) Iowa 42, Indiana 24
Iowa City, IA (Sports Network) - Ricky Stanzi threw two long touchdown passes in a two-minute stretch early in the fourth quarter after tossing four third- quarter interceptions, as seventh-ranked Iowa continued to walk the tightrope in a 42-24 victory over Indiana.
The score did not indicate how close the Hawkeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) were to defeat, but yet again, they responded to continue their best start in school history. Iowa has trailed at some point in eight of its nine wins this season and on Saturday saw its quarterback have a quarter to forget quickly erased by a quarter to remember.
Iowa's 28-point fourth quarter began with Stanzi's 92-yard touchdown pass to Marvin McNutt, who caught a crossing pattern and outraced the defense down the right sideline. The quarterback came back not even two minutes later, threw a deep out to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, who broke several tackles and raced 66 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. The two scores erased a 24-14 deficit and gave the Hawkeyes a 28-24 lead.
"Just a fantastic effort by our football team," said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. "Really, really proud of the ways they fought and battled back. I've never been in a game like this or seen a game like this...(I) just can't say enough about our players. They continue to battle and fight and find a way to be successful."
The stunned Hoosiers (4-5, 1-4) never recovered, giving up a pair of Brandon Wegher touchdown runs in the final seven-plus minutes. Wegher's six-yard jaunt made the score 35-24, and his 27-yard sprint into the clear capped the scoring with 1:12 to play.
Stanzi threw for 337 yards on 13-of-26 passing with two touchdowns and five total interceptions. Wegher ran for 118 yards and three scores, and McNutt caught four passes for 155 yards. Johnson-Koulianos hauled in only three passes, but he made the most of them for 117 yards. Iowa survived six turnovers and an eight-yard punt in the rally.
Ben Chappell finished 23-of-41 for 227 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions for Indiana. Damarlo Belcher caught six passes for 89 yards and a touchdown, while Darius Willis was the Hoosiers' leading rusher with 54 yards and a touchdown.
"I'm really proud of our football team," said Indiana head coach Bill Lynch. "They came in here and battled. The way they prepared all week, and they certainly came to play, I'm just really proud of them. We got into the fourth quarter again, and we couldn't finish it off."
The Hoosiers pushed the Hawkeyes around on the game's opening drive, marching 69 yards on 11 plays to the end zone. Chappell was efficient, tossing a 10- yard strike to Terrance Turner and using his legs for an eight-yard run on a third down later in the possession. Willis capped the scoring march with a five-yard scamper.
Iowa's Daniel Murray missed a 44-yard field goal on the game's next possession, and Stanzi was intercepted the next time the Hawkeyes had the football. The teams then traded punts before the wind made a major impact.
One of the nation's top punters -- Iowa's Ryan Donahue -- booted an eight- yard punt, and Indiana quickly moved 35 yards to another score. Tandon Doss ran for 12 yards to set up Chappell's deft toss into traffic, connecting with Mitchell Evans for a 16-yard score.
Iowa then lit up the scoreboard on Wegher's four-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 game with 2:39 left in the first half.
Indiana bounced back in a momentum-swinging series to end the opening half. The Hoosiers were stopped on third-and-short, and after a booth review, lined up to punt at their 36-yard line before the Hawkeyes jumped offsides. Indiana did punt several plays later, but Amari Spievey was stripped from behind and fumbled. The Hoosiers took over at the Iowa 12-yard line and Chappell found Belcher for a 10-yard score with under 10 seconds on the clock for a 21-7 halftime lead.
The third quarter was one Stanzi would like to forget, as Indiana built on its lead. The stanza's first drive ended in a Stanzi interception into the hands of Austin Thomas.
After a Hoosiers punt, Stanzi was picked off again, this time by Donnell Jones, who navigated 22 yards to the Hawkeyes four-yard line. A great momentum shift, one of several in the second half, occurred several plays later.
Chappell's third-down pass was deflected into the waiting arms of Tyler Sash, who motored 86 yards in the other direction for a touchdown and 21-14 game.
Indiana maintained focus and got a big 45-yard pass play from Chappell to Belcher, moving the football to the Iowa 15-yard line. He then tossed a pass to the left edge of the end zone, as Turner came down with it for a touchdown. However, a booth review reversed the call, and Nick Freeland missed a 28-yard field goal wide right on the next play.
Stanzi was intercepted on the third play of Iowa's next drive and it directly resulted in Freeland's 37-yard boot for a 24-14 edge.
The Iowa quarterback attempted to go deep down the seam on the Hawkeyes' next series, but Collin Taylor cut in front to record the fourth interception of Stanzi in the period.
Iowa outgained the Hoosiers, 480-306...Indiana let a 25-point lead slip away last Saturday to Northwestern...Iowa owns a 40-27-4 all-time lead in the rivalry, winning 16 of the last 24 meetings.
10/31 17:59:24 ET