The real season begins Saturday vs. Minnesota, but Iowa will have to lick the wounds associated with the final non-conference game of the season.
Penalties, Weirdness Sidetrack Hawkeyes
The Hawkeyes opened the game 14-10 in the first quarter, but an ugly second quarter led to a Central Michigan taking a halftime lead of 23-14. Iowa has made excellent halftime adjustments on defense all season and the CMU game was not any different. Iowa rallied in the third and fourth quarters to take a 31-23 lead.
But, the closing minutes saw Central Michigan score nine points highlighted by a successful onside kick, then a successful 47 yard field goal with 0:03 remaining to complete the upset over the Iowa Hawkeyes.
It was Central Michigan's biggest non-conference win, since the 29-27 win at Michigan State in 2009. The Chippewas are coming off back to back 3-9 seasons under third-year coach Dan Enos. However, the Chippewas pulled off a solid win last year over MAC champion Northern Illinois.
Kirk Ferentz will need to rally the Iowa team heading into the Big Ten season and the trophy game with Minnesota on Saturday. The Golden Gophers have won back to back games over the Hawkeyes up in Minnesota. This year, Iowa will celebrate Homecoming with a 11 a.m. kickoff vs. Minnesota, with eyes on winning Floyd of Rosedale back.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz expects his team's string of close games to continue the rest of the season, making performance in the fourth quarter of games paramount.
"The thing for us is to do a better job, particularly in the fourth quarter of games and find a way to be victorious," Ferentz said Sunday during an exclusive interview with hawkeyesports.com "We did that in our opening ball game and as we look forward, that is going to be a decisive factor in how the season goes."
The Hawkeyes (2-2) open Big Ten Conference play against undefeated Minnesota (4-0) on Saturday inside Kinnick Stadium. Kickoff is 11 a.m. (CT).
"They are playing very, very well right now," Ferentz said of the Golden Gophers. "They have a staff in its second year and it looks like everyone is playing with a lot of confidence. They have done a great job. It will be good to be back in Kinnick, but that in itself won't win the game for us."
During the four-minute conversation, Ferentz talks about balanced offensive production, kicker Mike Meyer's record-breaking performance on PATs and a huge fourth-quarter field goal, improved production from the wide receivers, and the continued success of the ground game.
"A month ago we weren't sure what our run game was going to be or who our backs were going to be," Ferentz said. "Neither Mark (Weisman) nor Damon (Bullock) are veteran players at this stage, but they have shown they can do some good things out there on the field."