Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hawks DOMINATE Jackets in nail-biter Orange Bowl Victory

The 2010 Orange Bowl was vintage Iowa; a schizophrenic offense, a lock-down defense and a temperature slightly higher than Miami's record low from 1919.

I watched the game with Bill Marty and some other friends at the Other Place in Olathe. Watching a game at a sports bar with hundreds of fellow fans is almost as good as being at Kinnick Stadium, the crowd even cheers at the same time a live crowd would cheer.
Iowa jumped out to a quick 14-0 first quarter lead and it seemed the game was going to be a breeze. One fellow fan called out, "It's gonna be a blowout" to which another guy responded, "the Hawks don't blow anyone out." No more than 1 minute after that declaration, Ricky Stanzi threw his 4th pick-6 of the season. Four pick-6's and Iowa won each of those games. I've gotta think the 2009 Hawkeyes set some sort of NCAA record for the proportion of pick-6's thrown compared to the number of wins. While Georgia Tech was only one play away from taking the lead through the better part of the fourth quarter and while the final score was only a 10 point differential, the Hawkeyes were clearly the dominant team (hence the title of this blog post).

The game's primary match up was the unstoppable force of the Georgia Tech triple-option offense vs. the immovable object of the Iowa defense. The nation's leading running team was held to ONE, yes, ONE first down the entire half and only TWO sustained drives (which resulted in only 7 points) the ENTIRE game. I think the Jacket offensive line eventually gave up even pretending to block Adrian Clayborn. Here are some stats from Adam Rittenberg of
  • Georgia Tech had season lows in points (14), total yards (156) and first downs (9)
  • Iowa forced Yellow Jackets punts on their first six possessions after Tech had gone 22 consecutive possessions without a punt
  • The Hawkeyes held Georgia Tech to 32 yards of total offense in the first half, marking Tech's lowest first-half total in at least 20 years
  • Georgia Tech's scoreless second quarter marked just the eighth time in 55 quarters that the Yellow Jackets failed to score
  • Iowa recorded three sacks, five tackles for loss and an interception
This bowl win does two things for next year's Iowa team, which based upon returning starters should be a juggernaut on defense but might struggle on offense; it sets them up for a top ten preseason ranking and shuts up the ESPN commentators who have enjoyed ripping the Big Ten. With the slow Big Ten teams of Iowa, Penn State and Ohio State beating into submission and running circles around speedy ACC, SEC and Pac-Ten teams, the conference has finally re-earned some respect. But these things are cyclical and the Big Ten might suck in bowls again next year, respect or the lack-thereof is based upon faulty perceptions.

As I do with other big wins, I'll watch this game over and over while jogging on the treadmill, which leads to my only complaint about one of the biggest wins in Iowa football history - the game was on FOX. It was FOX's last BCS game with the end of their contract and unfortunately, FOX's college football broadcast is as inept in comparison to ABC/ESPN as the Georgia Tech offense when matched up against the Iowa defense. Oh well, I guess beggars who win a major bowl every 50 years (59 Rose Bowl) can't be choosers.

Overall, it's GREAT to be a HAWKEYE!

ESPN won't allow embedding their videos but for a much better highlight video, click here.
Same with Big Ten network, here.

For all of blackheartgoldpants' hilarious game in pictures, click here.

And for some more fun Hawkeye and College Football videos:

1 comment:

Ben said...

With wins by Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin against big time teams, along with Iowa over G Tech, the Big Ten as a whole exerted itself this bowl season, lets hope it continues next year.