Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 25, 2000)
for a six-yard
gain and is tack
led by Iowa's
Mike Dolezal and
LeVar Woods in
the second quar
ter. The Huskers
yards but passed
for all of their
brates his second
to make the
Iowa 21-13 in
favor of the
would have two
the game, and
was the first to
put the Huskers
on the board.
TOP: Nebraska I
Buckhalter is hit
by Iowa freshman
Benny Sapp after
a 16-yard gain to
the Iowa 29-yard
line in the second
had a game-high
114 yards, while
second on the
team in rushing
with 100 yards.
rover Joe Walker
and right rush end
Kyle Vanden Bosch
stop Iowa running
back Ladell Betts
at the line of
Hawkeyes defy their critics in loss
■Iowa stays close to 42-point
favorite Nebraska for three quarters
before succumbing in final period
BY JOHN GASKINS_
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz smiled sarcasti
cally and threw his arms in the air before giving
his post-game remarks. What could he say that
For the 14^ time in his 15-game career at
Iowa, Ferentz had to explain how it felt to lose,
this time to top-ranked Nebraska by 29 points,
in a game his team was supposed to lose badly.
Ferentz looked like someone who had
done this 12 games in a row and was tired of it.
“What can I say?,” Ferentz said. “The loss
hurts... It’s a blow to the stomach.”
A big blow, considering how surprisingly
possible the Hawkeyes’ second victory in their
last 20 games really was.
For all but four seconds of the first half on
Saturday, perennial doormat Iowa went blow
for-blow with the No. 1 team in the nation and
silenced a country and stadium full of skeptics
expecting a slaughtering.
Slated to lose by 42 points, the team whom
nobody gave a prayer had charged to a brisk
76-yard opening-touchdown drive, trailed by a
single point, had ran just one less play and
gained just 20 yards less than the supposedly
unstoppable Big Red Machine.
Iowa’s previously dormant offense shook
up the Blackshirts in the first half. Quarterback
Scott Mullen threw for 153 yards. Reciever
Kevin Kasper caught five passes for 104 yards.
Tailback Ladeil Betts gobbled up 56 yards.
Nobody was laughing at the sad-sack
“We knew it was us against the world,” said
Iowa wide receiver Kevin Kasper, who led all
receivers with 129 yards on eight catches.
"We knew about the point spread and all
that stuff. No one had any faith in us. I think we
shocked some people at the beginning,”
Then came the first half’s last four seconds,
which pretty much decimated the first 29:56 of
With time for one last play, NU quarterback
Eric Crouch launched the ball into the heavens
from the 43-yard line. Touchdown.
NU led 21 -13 at the break instead of 14-13.
One play. One mistake. Momentum and
fairy tales destroyed. It seemed to be the ulti
mate reminder of how this rebuilding Iowa
program can't seem to catch a break in its quest
for a breakout victory.
"It was certainly a big play,” Ferentz said.
“The timing wasn’t the best You’d like to think
you’re coming off the field in a dogfight That
certainly opened things up for them.
“Our nemesis continues to be the big play,”
Does it ever.
As they did in a 42-13 loss that was closer
than the score read, the Hawkeyes performed
respectably in their opening-three losses -
against fourth-ranked Kansas State (27-7),
Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo
(27-21) and rival Iowa State (24-14).
But in those games, Iowa allowed at least
nine plays of 27 yards or more, including
touchdown passes of 78 and 36 yards against
WM and a 58-yard TD run versus the Cyclones.
The Huskers gained at least 22 yards on
eight plays, including a 31-yard Crouch-to
Davison pass to tie the game at seven in the first
quarter and the ego-bruising, last-second, 43
yard TD that put one of the nation’s worst
defenses back in its place.
But many Iowa players and coaches said
the touchdown didn’t shatter any hopes of an
upset. The scene at halftime was reminiscent of
the Hawkeye locker room in last year’s NU con
test, when IU trailed just 7-0 at the midway
point before losing 42-7.
“We came into the locker room pumped
up,” Iowa defensive end Kampman said. “We
went out of the locker room pumped up. We
knew we could play with these guys. I don’t
think anyone really quit believing.”
But on the opening series of the second
half, the Iowa defense went back out and
watched the Huskers trample all over it to an
eight-play, 70-yard scoring drive that included
seven rushes for 60 yards.
Ferentz said that drive hurt Iowa as much, if
not more, than the bomb to end the first half.
“You put those (drives) back-to-back, and
that certainly made it tough," Ferentz said.
“You’d like to play the ball game close and take
it to thefourth quarter and see where you’re at”
Iowa still trailed just 28-13 going into the
fourth, but the Hawkeye offense couldn’t draw
any closer, gaining just 88 of its 299 total yards
in the second half. The Mullen-Kasper duo
managed just three hook-ups for 25 yards and
Betts was slowed to 22 yards.
Still - despite NU's 331 rushing yards and
490 total yards - the scoreboard read 28-13 with
under four minutes left to play.
“I don't know if I’d say we. were surprised at
ourselves, but we were proud,” offensive line
man A.J. Blazek said. “We came in wanting to
be in that situation, and there we were. We
expected to be there. We just lacked confidence
and dropped our heads too much. We lost
Which is why the 0-4 Hawkeyes, who open
Big 10 conference play at Indiana Saturday,
won’t be celebrating their noble attempt to kick
a brutal losing habit nor the opportunity they
had to knock off the nation’s No. 1 team for
almost the entire game.
“Honestly, I think a lot of guys came into
this game expecting to win, not just to have a
good appearance or a moral victory,”
“We’re sick of that”
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