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IOWA Magazine | December 2018
Ferentz's Finest
The top 10 moments from the past two decades of Hawkeye football
Josh Jackson Photo: Brian Ray/ui athletics Cornerback Josh Jackson's astounding one-handed interception remains an enduring image from Iowa's 2017 shellacking of the Buckeyes. Fans rank the upset victory as the fifth-best Hawkeye moment of the past 20 years.

Warren Holloway's Capital Catch. Marvin McNutt's slant for six. Marshall Koehn's kick for the ages. The Kirk Ferentz era has produced countless leap-from-your-seats moments that will forever be part of Hawkeye lore.

This past season, Iowa fans tackled a task almost as daunting as the 2003 Hawkeyes' two-touchdown deficit against Michigan: selecting their favorite games from Ferentz's 20 seasons as head coach. In a partnership with Coca-Cola, UI athletics unveiled the voting results each week and delivered video highlights via a new augmented reality feature on the Hawkeye Sports App, which can be downloaded on the Apple App and Google Play stores.

Here are the top 10 Fight for Iowa Football Moments, Presented by Coca-Cola. There's no augmented reality, but if you close your eyes, you might just hear the roar of Kinnick Stadium.


  1. Jan. 5, 2010, Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech
    Late defensive coordinator Norm Parker devised a masterful game plan to counter the Yellow Jackets' potent triple-option offense, and the Hawkeyes executed it to perfection. Led by defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn (10BA), who was named the game's MVP, Iowa held Georgia Tech to just nine first downs. The Hawkeyes' 24-14 triumph was the program's most significant postseason victory since the 1959 Rose Bowl.
  2. Jan. 1, 2005, Capital One Bowl vs. LSU
    Things looked bleak when LSU took a one-point lead with 46 seconds to play, but Iowa had one last trick up its sleeve. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, quarterback Drew Tate (08BA) heaved a prayer to Holloway (04BA), who caught a 56-yard touchdown to give Iowa the improbable 30-25 win. For Holloway, a fifth-year senior, it was his first and only collegiate touchdown.
  3. Nov. 16, 2002, at Minnesota
    Iowa crushed Minnesota, 45-21, to finish 8-0 in Big Ten play and earn a piece of its first conference championship since 1990. Three years earlier, the Hawkeyes had gone 0-8. Some of the estimated 25,000 Iowa fans in attendance celebrated by tearing down a goalpost before trying to carry it out of the Metrodome.
  4. Nov. 20, 2004, vs. Wisconsin
    Iowa's 2004 football team finished next-to-last nationally in rushing yards yet defied conventional wisdom by winning its last eight games, a Big Ten title, and the Capital One Bowl. The Hawkeyes hoisted a Big Ten championship trophy after dismantling No. 9 Wisconsin, 30-7, in the regular-season finale.
  5. Nov. 4, 2017, vs. Ohio State
    Most of Kinnick Stadium was well into celebration mode when last season's game against No. 3 Ohio State rolled into the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes' 55-24 triumph was their most lopsided victory ever over Ohio State, gave head coach Urban Meyer his worst defeat, and threw the college football playoffs into a tizzy.
  6. Oct. 24, 2009, at Michigan State
    Ricky Stanzi (10BA)'s 7-yard touchdown pass to McNutt (11BA) on the final play of the game gave No. 7 Iowa a 15-13 victory. It ended a wild fourth quarter that didn't resemble the first three, gave Iowa an 8-0 record for the first time in school history, and was the latest in a series of comeback victories on the road.
  7. Sept. 19, 2015, vs. Pittsburgh
    Former Iowa defensive back Brett Greenwood (10BBA), fighting his way back from a 2011 brain injury, was honorary captain and led the team onto the Kinnick Stadium field with the aid of a walker. The crowd gave Greenwood a standing ovation. The night ended in spectacular fashion when Koehn (15BA) tied a Kinnick Stadium record with a 57-yard field goal on the game's final play for a 27-24 victory.
  8. Jan. 1, 2004, Outback Bowl vs. Florida
    Plenty of outstanding performances in Iowa's 37-17 victory over Florida played a factor in the 12th-ranked Hawkeyes earning their first January bowl triumph in 45 years. But when UI Coach Ferentz flashes back to that game, he thinks of the blocked punt by Matt Melloy (05BBA). Ferentz says: "When that happened it was like, game over."
  9. Nov. 27, 2015, at Nebraska
    The UI's third-ranked football team had already wrapped up the West Division title and a spot in the Big Ten Championship game when it arrived at Memorial Stadium. With a 28-20 victory, the Hawkeyes capped an undefeated regular season, the first 12-win season in program history, and the fifth perfect season in school history.
  10. Oct. 4, 2003, vs. Michigan
    The Wolverines took the air out of Kinnick Stadium, where Iowa had won 17 of its previous 18 games, by jumping out to a 14-0 lead 12 minutes into the game. But Nathan Chandler (03BBA) led the Hawkeyes to a 30-27 comeback victory over No. 9 Michigan.
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