Hawkeyes stay perfect with win over Indiana


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The Iowa Hawkeyes’ second-half success has been well-documented throughout the 2009 season.

And in last weekend’s 42-24 victory over Indiana, the second half had fans talking on Halloween as they left Kinnick Stadium.

The third quarter provided plenty of moans, groans, and probably some “WTF” thoughts in the Hawkeye faithful. Iowa junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi had a quarter to forget, throwing four of his five interceptions in the period.

Yet the Hawkeyes managed to outscore Indiana in the third, 7-3, thanks in part to a ridiculous 86-yard interception return by Tyler Sash that saw the ball ricochet off four different players before landing in his hands.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz called it “a huge play” that re-energized both the home crowd and the Hawkeye sidelines.

“Certainly, they’re knocking on the door going in, and next thing you know, we’ve got seven points on the board,” Ferentz said. “We’re having a hard time getting points of any form or fashion at that stage, and we have a hard time moving the ball, just hanging onto the ball. So that was a huge thing.”

Then came one of the most unforgettable fourth quarters ever inside Kinnick Stadium.

On the Hawkeyes’ first play from scrimmage in the period, they sat on their own 8-yard line. Stanzi ran a play-action pass and found sophomore wide receiver Marvin McNutt. The St. Louis native then began to hustle down the sidelines for a 92-yard touchdown that brought the Hawkeyes within three points of the Hoosiers.

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McNutt led the team with four receptions and 155 yards receiving.

“We had a route on where I was running under Tony [Moeaki], and the DBs kind of clamped to Tony,” McNutt said. “I was standing out there with just the safety, and once I caught it, I kind of felt a little breathing room, and I just knew I wasn’t going to get tackled by him. Then after that, I looked up the field not knowing I’d be that open, and I didn’t see anybody, so I just tried to run my fastest.”

After an Indiana punt, Iowa began its second series of the quarter with the ball on its own 34-yard line. Once again, Stanzi ran a play-action pass, this time finding junior wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, who went down the sidelines, then cut back inside to reach the end zone and give the Hawkeyes their first lead of the afternoon.

The 66-yard touchdown reception was the longest of Johnson-Koulianos’ career.

“There was a guy up field who kind of had an angle on me, so you know, I baited him as much as I could and made the cutback, and it worked out,” Johnson-Koulianos said.

In a matter of two plays, the Hawkeyes went from having one of their worst offensive displays of the season to adding to their second-half lore being displayed week after week this fall.

In the matter of one quarter, Iowa went from trailing by 10 at home to winning by 18 points, covering the 17.5-point spread laid on the game prior to kickoff. Stanzi tacked on three more completions for 177 yards passing in the final stanza and had fans talking about his resiliency once again.

And just like that, the Hawkeyes now find themselves 9-0 overall, with Northwestern next in their sights.

“It’s not really so much what’s going on with the statistics of the game. The point is we’re in a position to win it,” Stanzi said. “We don’t worry about what stats we need to get to win it. We just need to get the points on the board, no matter how we need to do it.”

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