Sunday, September 2, 2012

Recap of Iowa Game and Big Ten for 1 Week

Iowa (1-0) defended MAC champion Northern Illinois (0-1), ending the nation's longest winning streak at nine, with a 18-17 win at Soldier Field in Chicago.  Iowa lead  lead after the first quarter, but trailed 10-6 at halftime.

Iowa kicked off the second half and forced a key fumble off Iowa's first sack of the day, but the Huskies held Iowa to a field goal deep in NIU territory, making it 10-9.  Then, the Huskies pulled off a 73 yard quarterback run for a touchdown to take a 17-9 lead through three quarters. Basically, the only Huskie offense of the second half.  The only other first down of the second half came on an Iowa penalty.

Iowa rallied in the fourth quarter with a 50 yard field goal by Mike Meyer to make it 17-12.  All game, the Huskies pushed back Iowa from the end zone.  Iowa was held to four successful field goals on five attempts.  Iowa was constantly finding the Huskie end of the field.

Forced out of a long field goal situation and down five from the NIU 44, Iowa elected to punt and asked senior John Wienke to perform the duties for the first time all game.  True freshman Conner Kornbrath had punted three times previously.

Iowa's Wienke punted and gunner senior Greg Castillo fell down at the goal line and pushed the ball outward for a downing on the NIU 1.  Iowa's defense almost forced a safety on third down and the Huskies were forced to punt for the sixth time on the day.

Iowa scored with 1:26 left, when sophomore running back ran 23 yards off the left outside and untouched for six points, the only end zone moment for Iowa all afternoon.  Bullock, in his first start as a Hawk, ran 30 times for 150 yards.

Helmet stickers: 1) Meyer for his 12 points - 4/5 field goals, 2) Bullock - 6 points, 3) Senior DE Joe Gaglione's sack and forced fumble - lead to 3 points 4) Wienke and Castillo for punt and coverage, 5) Iowa equipment manager for no helmets coming off under New NCAA rule requiring a player to leave for a play.

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The Big Ten opened the season with a 10-2 record, with #13 Michigan losing to #1 Alabama (SEC) in the marqee game on prime time.  Style points are not important Week 1.  Survival often is the key and many teams were in dogfights.  Big Ten started out 2-0 vs. MWC, then the Big Ten took first hit with Penn State falling at home in the second half to a MAC school, when Ohio U, under former Nebraska head coach Frank Solich rallied to win 24-14.  Big Ten was 3-1 vs. MAC, with one dogfight. Big Ten saw Northwestern beat Syracuse (Big East) in only other BCS match up.  Nebraska beat Southern Miss (C-USA), while three FCS games ended 3-0 with almost two upset alerts.

Good start for the Big Ten in Week 1, but not great, but it could have been a lot worse.

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