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The Greatest Hawkeye Football Games of All-Time

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With Iowa’s recent upset over #3 Ohio State, I thought it would be fitting to share three Hawkeye football games that are all among the greatest the program has ever played. There is no particular order in which these games are ranked and I am sure I left off other great games but these are just the 3 that I think of when I think of Iowa’s greatest triumphs.


#1 Iowa vs #2 Michigan 1985

Led by head coach Hayden Fry and Heisman candidate quarterback Chuck Long, this Iowa team came into the year as a top 5 team and didn’t disappoint. Starting the season with a perfect 6-0 record, Iowa was ranked #1 in the country. On Oct. 19 Iowa hosted #2 Michigan and played a game that would become etched into Iowa Football history. Michigan was the first to score after Michigan’s Kick return Tom Wilcher returned a kick for 60 yards. This  set michigan up for a touchdown which put them ahead 7-0. Iowa continued to dominate the game, however Michigan’s defense limited them in the red zone to just 3 field goals by Iowa’s Rob Houghtlin. Iowa, up 9-7 gave up another long kick return that Michigan converted to a field goal. On the last play of the game, Houghtlin kicked a 29 yard field goal to give Iowa the win 12-10

Fun Fact: Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh used a weird rule about excessive crowd noise (which now doesn’t exist) to have the game stopped numerous times.

Iowa vs #3 Ohio State 2017


Iowa football has had their fair share of victories over top teams, however the nail biting fashion that those typically come in is not the type of win Iowa had over Ohio state on November 4th. Ohio state came into this game as national champion contenders but were turned around at Kinnick where they were massacred 55-24. Ohio state found Iowa’s cornerback Joshua Jackson 3 times during the game, one of which Jackson intercepted the ball in O’dell Beckham Junior fashion with a one handed nab. What sets this upset apart from other great Iowa upsets is the fashion it was done in. Putting up 55 points is something that Iowa would normally struggle to do against any team, let alone a top team with a top tier defense. Iowa also ran multiple trick plays which is not normally something a conservative football team like Iowa would do.

Fun Fact: This is the most points any Urban Meyer football team ever given up.



#11 Iowa vs #12 LSU Capital One Bowl 2005

Iowa vs LSU capital one bowl 2005:  This game is responsible for the single greatest moment in Iowa football history. Iowa was trailing 25-24 and needed a field goal to win. With the clock winding down, just seconds left in game, and the clock running it seemed as though Iowa was going to use a timeout. However, quarterback Drew Tate failed to recognize that the clock was running and didn’t call a timeout. With all hope of winning seemingly lost, Drew Tate threw a pass whose target was unclear. Warren Holloway, who was playing in his last game as a 5th year senior at Iowa, caught the ball and ran into the endzone for his only touchdown catch of his career putting Iowa ahead 30-25. That 56 yard pass has since been nicknamed the “Catch” and is a magical moment of Iowa Football History.

Fun Fact: Warren Holloway’s catch was the first in a long line of last play of the games that defeated a Nick Saban football team. Another notorious last second play that shocked Saban is the Chris Davis 109 yard kick return that stunned Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

About the Writer
Henry Mildenstein, Reporter
Henry is a sophmore at City High and is looking forward to his second  year as a Little Hawk reporter.
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The Greatest Hawkeye Football Games of All-Time