Iowa Hawkeye football fans had national title hopes this year. Yet the Iowa Hawkeye football team must settle for the Big Ten title, as the Iowa program took a bit of a backwards step last night. The only game between top 25 teams yesterday had ninth ranked Iowa visit Arizona, in what amounted to a statement game. Both teams fell short of winning their conference last season, and both want to take the next step forward nationally. But it wasn’t time for the Iowa Hawkeye football team to take that step forward, as they were the only “upset” victim of the week.
The Hawkeyes were one of only two top 25 programs to lose yesterday, and the only top 10 team to go down. Technically, it wasn’t an upset, since they were on the road and since Arizona was a ranked team as well. Yet the way they lost was an ugly wakeup call, both at the beginning and the end.
The Iowa Hawkeye football team looked like they would be run out of Arizona at first, as they gave up a 100-yard kickoff, had a punt blocked, and had an interception ran back for a touchdown. At halftime, the Wildcats were up 27-7, and looked set to cruise.
Yet the defining story of Iowa Hawkeye football last year was their ability to come back at the last minute. This year’s club looked like they would top that, as they inched their way back, and then tied it at 27-all with an interception return of their own.
However, last year’s team both came back from deficits, then held on to win. This year’s Iowa Hawkeye football squad couldn’t get that far, as the Wildcats blocked their extra point and kept the score tied, then drove for the winning touchdown.
The 34-27 defeat will knock Iowa from the top 10, as the only major shakeup of the week. Thanks to the loss, any hopes for a dark horse national title run were shattered. Yet their major goal was to win the Big Ten, and they can still salvage that.
Anticipation was high for the Iowa Hawkeye football team because most of their big games were at home. This was the exception, however, leaving the program in need of some home cooking. After hosting Ball State next week, they will get Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State at home later this season – although they must still go to Michigan.
This could still be a special season for the Iowa Hawkeye football program, but it won’t be an unbeaten one. Their performance in the second half did salvage some pride, although the killer, last-minute instinct of last year’s club was out of reach.
Yahoo Sports- “Wildcats survive 34-27 win over Iowa”