Pitt @ Iowa – Postgame Thoughts

After a heavy aerial assault by both teams, this game was won by a 57 yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining. Iowa led most of the game, and Pitt’s offense wasn’t what made this game as close as it was. Iowa made costly mistakes and the game was much closer than it should have been.

 

Iowa started the game with a 3 and out. Very reminiscent of the game last week. They finally got it going, though, on the second drive when they made a 40-some yard field goal and scored 3 points. Iowa scored a touchdown to put them up 10-0,  but any seasoned hawk fan should know that this game is far from over. Halfway through the second, Pitt scores a touchdown to make it a 3-point ball game. Iowa puts it in the end zone one more time before the end of the half to enter the locker room with a 10 point lead.

 

The score starts 17-7 at the start of the second half, but a 48 yard field goal puts Pitt within a score. That’s when things start to get bad. 5 minutes later, Iowa’s punt gets blocked and returned for a touchdown. The game is now tied at 17s. Iowa storms down the field halfway through the 4th quarter and puts 7 more on the board, but Pitt answers late with two fourth down conversions and evens the game up with 50 seconds left.

 

Old Kirk would have played the game to go into overtime, but New Kirk came to win in regulation. Desmond King has a long return to the 35 yard line, then a trio of (unplanned) quarterback draws by Beathard got the hawks up to their own 42 yard line, with only 2 seconds left on the clock. Koehn lines up for the kick. Him and 63,000 fans in kinnick knew that Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi would ice the kicker, and he did. Koehn’s kick after the timeout was called bounced in the end zone, something that left Iowa fans nervous about the real kick that was soon to happen. Now I have a theory that he left that kick short on purpose, but no one but him really knows, do they. Koehn’s second kick was for real, and he put plenty of leg on it. As soon as it was kicked, Kinnick roared with applause. We all knew it was going in.

 

Koehn ran all over the field celebrating, and so did the rest of the Hawkeyes. I don’t think I have ever seen a celebration like that at Kinnick. The crowd was explosive and no one was in a rush to leave, even though it was 11 at night. Pittsburgh fans were severely disappointed. the team slowly sauntered off the field. They we’re defeated in the worst way possible.
I predicted that Iowa would score a lot on big plays, and big plays certainly helped them out tremendously this game. In case you missed it in the last two paragraphs, the biggest play was definitely the 57 yard field goal, but Iowa also had long passes to Vandeberg and Smith to help jumpstart their game. My other prediction was shot down shortly before game time when it was announced that Daniels and Ott were cleared to play, but I was by no means disappointed that I was wrong about it. Unfortunately, Ott didn’t see the field much except for 3rd downs and Daniels didn’t have too many carries. I wrongly predicted 24-10. To be fair, Pitt’s offense really only scored 10 points so Iowa wouldn’t have had the long kick and they should have won by that score, but nothing ever happens how it should in college football.

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