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Overtime: A Look Back at the Hawkeyes 55-24 Win Over Ohio State

Overtime: A Look Back at the Hawkeyes 55-24 Win Over Ohio State

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By Jack Brandsgard (   11/05/17

The Iowa Hawkeyes pulled off one of the most unlikely upsets in recent memory in their 55-24 domination of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Favored by 20.5 points, Ohio State came into Iowa City expected to roll over the Hawkeyes. The action started quickly as Amani Hooker picked off JT Barrett on the first play of the game and took it to the house. 7-0 Iowa. The lead was nice while it lasted, with Ohio State marching 80 yards on six plays to tie the game just over two minutes later.

At that point, the ball was back in Ohio State’s court. The interception was a fluke, Ohio State just went right down the field to score, and Iowa’s offense was going to struggle against the Buckeye defense.

Only that wasn’t the case. Iowa pieced together a 10-play, 63-yard drive the resulted in a Miguel Recinos field goal, which Ohio State answered with a field goal of their own.

Iowa and Ohio State then swapped long touchdown drives, bringing the score to 17-17 just five minutes into the second quarter.

The Hawkeye offense had already matched the 17 points they scored against Minnesota and surpassed the 10 points they mustered in an overtime loss to Northwestern. Even with the quick start, Iowa didn’t have the guns to keep pace in a shootout with Ohio State, right?

Wrong. From that point on, Iowa outscored Ohio State 38-7 in the best performance from a Hawkeye football team I’ve seen in my 22 years of life. All three phases were electric.

The Offense

Nate Stanley, who was the best quarterback on the field, said after the game that the gameplan was to isolate Iowa’s tight ends on Ohio State’s linebackers and safeties and let them take advantage. It worked.

TJ Hockenson had his best day as a Hawkeye, catching five passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow tight end Noah Fant went for 54 yards on four catches, including two touchdowns. To clinch peak Iowa football status, fullback Drake Kulick hauled in a touchdown pass.

Stanley was terrific, connecting on 20 of his 31 passing attempts for five touchdowns. His poise and accuracy have steadily improved throughout the season, and it all came together with this masterful performance.

Stanley benefitted from the play of his offensive line. In my prediction, I wrote about how Iowa’s offensive line would struggle against Ohio State’s defensive line, a unit that Kirk Ferentz described as the best Iowa would see all year. The opposite was true, as the Hawkeye O-line created holes and kept Stanley clean in the pocket throughout the game.

“Butwad” combined for 192 yards on 30 carries and each had explosive plays. It was refreshing to see after an uncharacteristic period of struggle in the run game.

The Defense

Josh Jackson joined Josey Jewell in an exclusive club by being named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week. Jackson’s three picks, including his BJ Lowery-esque, highlight reel one-handed snatch, were pivotal in frustrating JT Barrett. Coming into the game, Ohio State’s signal caller had thrown just one interception. When he left Iowa City, Barrett had thrown five.

As always, the Hawkeyes bent but didn’t break. Minus two blown assignments, Iowa limited Ohio State’s big plays, which is something few teams have done in the past. In their last five games, the Buckeyes averaged 53.4 points. They scored just 24 against Iowa.

Special Teams

Miguel Recinos was 2/2 on his field goals tries and Colten Rastetter was solid when tasked with actually punting. Nate Stanley even booted a pooch kick 47 yards. But the special teams highlight of the game came on the fake field goal where Iowa spread out across the field like some sort of trick play on Madden.

Rastetter was behind long snapper Tyler Kluver in a sort of shotgun look, and lobbed one over an Ohio State rusher and into Kluver’s lap, who stumbled down to the two yard line. I have no idea how Kluver was eligible or why Ohio State didn’t call timeout, but I’m positive that the play was a huge momentum swing for the Hawkeyes.

Final Stats Below