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Hawkeyes hold off Wolverines to go 2-0 in Big Ten

Posted on 17. Oct, 2010 by in Iowa Football

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Members of the No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes walk off the field in jubilation after defeating the Michigan Wolverines 38-28 on Saturday at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — What looked to be complete domination turned into a shootout in “The Big House” before the No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes were able to cling to a 38-28 victory over the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday.

The victory moves Iowa to 5-1 overall, and more importantly, the Hawkeyes are now 2-0 in Big Ten play. Michigan fell to 5-2 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten with the loss.

Iowa did not get off to an impressive start. After starting the game with a 3-and-out offensively, the defense allowed Denard Robinson and the Wolverine offense to march 75 yards and take a 7-0 lead when Robinson found running back Vincent Smith in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown pass.

Following a Wolverine 3-and-out, the Hawkeyes were able to tie the game when quarterback Ricky Stanzi found wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for the first of his three touchdown receptions on the afternoon. The third touchdown catch by Johnson-Koulianos in the fourth quarter moved him ahead of Iowa legend Tim Dwight as the school’s all-time leader in career receiving yards, as he now has 2,275 yards receiving.

Johnson-Koulianos is also now just five receptions away from tying former Iowa wideout Kevin Kasper’s career mark of 157 catches.

“He played well,” said junior wide receiver Marvin McNutt, who also had four catches on the afternoon. “He told me he was speechless. He had a lot of humility. Today, when his number was called, he didn’t disappoint each time.”

Then came the second quarter, where the story was Iowa managing to capitalize on Wolverine wrongdoings.

First, junior safety Tyler Sash recorded his first interception of the season, picking off an ill-advised throw from Robinson that came right to the Oskaloosa native. What followed was the second touchdown catch by Johnson-Koulianos, which gave the Hawkeyes a 14-7 cushion.

Michigan drove down to the Iowa 21-yard line, but a 38-yard field goal attempt by Seth Broekhuizen was blocked by senior defensive end Adrian Clayborn. Because the football had not gone past the line of scrimmage after it was blocked, Sash proceeded to pick the ball up and return it into Michigan territory.

“I just put my hands up and blocked it,” Clayborn said.

Iowa then went ahead 21-7 when sophomore running back Adam Robinson scored from four yards out for the first of his two rushing touchdowns. Robinson finished with 143 yards rushing on 31 carries for the Hawkeyes.

Early in the second half, it was the other Robinson that wound up getting injured while running for a first down. Denard left the game with 105 yards rushing and 96 yards passing.

In to replace him was sophomore Tate Forcier, who accounted for three Wolverine touchdowns in the fourth quarter that brought the margin to 35-28 with seven minutes to play. Forcier finished the contest 17-of-26 with 239 yards passing, a rushing touchdown, a touchdown pass, and two interceptions.

“We didn’t know if they were going to run the same plays, or if he was going to try and throw the ball a little bit more,” Sash said while describing the difficulty in adjusting from Denard being in, to Forcier. “He did throw it a little more and he did a good job of making some plays.”

The Hawkeyes were able to seal the victory when freshman kicker Michael Meyer connected from 30 yards away, and then senior linebacker Troy Johnson — who started in place of fellow senior Jeff Tarpinian — sealed the double-digit victory with an interception of Forcier after finishing tied with senior linebacker Jeremiha Hunter with 13 tackles.

“Luckily, I was in the right place, and I was able to hold onto the ball,” Johnson said about his pick.

Iowa returns home for two straight games, with its next contest coming on Oct. 23 against Wisconsin, who is coming off a 31-18 victory over No. 1 Ohio State on Saturday in Madison, Wis. Kickoff from Kinnick Stadium is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Central.

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