The Hawkeyes started fast, jumping out to a 14-0 lead over Indiana, but the Hoosiers came on late to hand the University of Iowa football team a 24-21 defeat Saturday inside Memorial Stadium.
The Hawkeyes fall to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the Big Ten Conference; Indiana, winners of two straight, improves to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in league play.
"There are absolutely no qualms with the way our guys competed with their effort and toughness," said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. "We have to play a little bit smarter and better."
After the UI defense force a three-and-out on the first Indiana possession of the second half, Iowa sustained a drive, covering 57 yards over nine plays. Sophomore running back Damon Bullock rushed for 14, 9 and 11 yards on the first three plays, advancing the ball to the Indiana 35.
A 15-yard completion to sophomore Kevonte Martin-Manley made it first and goal from the 9, but Iowa came up empty when senior quarterback James Vandenberg was intercepted by Antonio Marshall at the goal line when he was trying to sneak in a back shoulder throw to junior Jordan Cotton.
The Hoosiers made the Hawkeyes pay with a seven-play, 80-yard drive to take a 17-14 lead, their first lead of the game. On the third play, IU quarterback Cameron Coffman connected with Kofi Hughes for a 77-yard completion off of a broken play that was initially ruled a touchdown. Indiana took over on the half yard line and four penalties and four plays later, Coffman hooked up with wide receiver Cody Latimer for a 6-yard touchdown with 7:28 left in the third quarter.
"We made a mistake that cost us dearly," said Ferentz of the 77-yarder to Hughes. "The guys fought their tails off when they got down there. We made them work. They came up with the touchdown eventually, but our guys fought and competed. That was representative of the whole day."
Iowa immediately answered, stringing together a 10-play, 88-yard drive to regain the lead. On the second play of the drive, Vandenberg hooked up with Martin-Manley for a 39-yard gain, moving into Indiana territory. On third-and-6 from the 44, Vandenberg found Bullock for a 10-yard gain on a crossing route, and he converted a second third down with a 15-yard pitch-and-catch to senior Keenan Davis to the 12.
Vandenberg followed with an 8-yard completion to Martin-Manley on first down to the 4 and Bullock then took the handoff and bounced outside for the score, giving the Hawkeyes the 21-17 advantage with 12:17 remaining.
The Hoosiers responded with a four-play drive covering 61 yards to take a 24-21 lead. Isaiah Roundtree jump-started the drive with a 39-yard kickoff return before Stephen Houston gained 14 yards on first down to move the ball to midfield. Three plays later, Coffman connected with Latimer for a 30-yard scoring strike. It was the wide receiver's third touchdown of the game.
With the Hoosiers going in for a game-clinching score, the Hawkeye defense forced its second turnover. Coffman had three completions on the series, including two for 24 and 25 yards, to move Indiana to the Iowa 19. On third-and-1, Houston never gained control of a handoff, and junior Christian Kirksey jumped on the fumble, giving the Hawkeyes possession with 6:03 remaining.
Iowa, however, couldn't use the momentum to its advantage, as it went three-and-out before punting away the ball, and giving the Hoosiers the ball with 4:43 left. Indiana converted two first downs while running out the clock before giving Iowa the ball with just 18 seconds left.
The Hoosiers outgained the Hawkeyes, 473-345, for the game, which included 406 yards through the air and had a 24-17 advantage in first downs. Iowa had 249 yards passing and 96 on the ground.
Vandenberg completed 21-of-34 attempts for 249 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Bullock finished with 83 yards on 25 attempts with one score, and Martin-Manley had seven receptions for 131 yards with a touchdown.
Junior Anthony Hitchens led the UI defense with 14 tackles, including eight solo stops. Kirksey had eight tackles to go along with an interception and fumble recovery.
Coffman threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns, converting 21-of-33 attempts to lead the Hoosiers. Two Indiana players -- Latimer and Hughes -- both went over the 100-yard mark receiving. Latimer had seven catches for 113 yards and three scores, while Hughes had six catches for 110 yards. Bolser approached 100 yards, finishing with six grabs for 82 yards. Houston led the IU rushing attack, piling up 52 yards on 18 carries.
Iowa got on the board first, using a six-play, 71-yard drive on its second possession to take a 7-0 lead. After a false start penalty on first down, Vandenberg connected with junior tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz for a 10-yard gain before following with a 21-yard play action completion to Davis to move into Indiana territory.
The Hawkeyes converted their first third down on the series when Marshall was called for defensive holding, moving Iowa to the IU 31. Following a 7-yard run by Bullock on first down, Vandenberg connected with Martin-Manley for a 24-yard touchdown. It was Vandenberg's fourth touchdown pass of the season.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Iowa got a big play from its defense to add to its advantage. Freshman quarterback Nate Sudfeld looked left before coming back to his right in the direction of Shane Wynn, but Kirksey stepped in front of the pass for the interception and returned it 18 yards for the pick six, giving the Hawkeyes the 14-0 lead.
Sudfeld shook off the miscue by leading the Hoosiers on a 10-play, 50-yard scoring drive. Sudfeld completed a 16-yard pass to Bolser to push Indiana into Iowa territory and three plays later connected with his tight end for a 21-yard completion, moving Indiana to the 27. The Hoosier drive stalled, forcing Indiana to settle for Mitch Ewald's 45-yard field goal, making the score 14-3.
On its first drive of the second quarter, Indiana took over at midfield following a 20-yard punt by Iowa freshman Connor Kornbrath. The Hoosiers drove 38 yards over nine plays to the Iowa 8, before attempting to convert a fourth-and-1. Houston rushed to the left, but junior Dominic Alvis's penetration blew up the play, allowing senior Micah Hyde's 4-yard tackle for loss to force an Indiana turnover on downs.
Following an Iowa three-and-out and taking over in Hawkeye territory, Indiana covered 19 yards over six plays before the drive stalled. The Hoosiers came away with zero points when Ewald missed a 38-yard field goal attempt, his first miss in nine chances.
Indiana used its two-minute offense to put seven points on the board prior to the break. The Hoosiers used an efficient six-play, 87-yard drive over 1:26 to make the score 14-10. Coffman opened the drive with completions of 16, 22, 21 and 9 yards to move the ball to the Iowa 19. Two plays later, he connected with Latimer in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard score. Latimer was initially ruled out of bounds before instant replay reversed the call and gave the Hoosiers their first touchdown of the game.
The Hawkeyes (4-5) return to action Saturday, hosting Purdue at 11 a.m. (CT) inside Kinnick Stadium.
Courtesy: Iowa Media Relations
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