Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Best and worst of 2012: Iowa
By Brian Bennett
Our series examining the best and worst moments of 2012 for each Big Ten team rolls on with today's look at the Iowa Hawkeyes:
Best moment: Upset in Sparta
Two games after the shocking home loss to Central Michigan, things were looking up in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes went into East Lansing on a cold, wet Oct. 13 day and stunned Michigan State with a 19-16 double-overtime upset win. Growing legend Mark Weisman ran for 116 yards and scored the game-tying touchdown with 55 seconds to go, while Greg Castillo sealed the win in the second extra period with an interception off a tipped pass. That improved Iowa's Big Ten record to 2-0, putting it in first place of the Legends Division and 4-2 overall. No one could have guessed at that moment that the Hawkeyes would not win another game the rest of the year.
Worst moment: Housed at home by Penn State
Unfortunately for Iowa fans, the good vibes from that Michigan State win lasted only a week. That's because on Oct. 20, Penn State came to Kinnick Stadium and made itself right at home. The Nittany Lions utterly dominated the Hawkeyes that night, racing out to a 24-0 halftime lead and scoring 38 straight points before the Hawkeyes tacked on two meaningless fourth-quarter touchdowns. A bum ankle kept Weisman out of the starting lineup, and matters went from bad to worse when offensive linemen Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal were lost for the season with leg injuries. Iowa's ineffectual offense heard repeated boos from its own crowd. It was the first of six straight losses for the Hawkeyes, and maybe the ugliest.