Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
The Iowa Hawkeyes scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away from the Indiana Hoosiers (4-5, 0-5) and move to 9-0 on the season with a 35-27 victory in Memorial Stadium. Jordan Howard ran for 174 yards and a pair of touchdowns to pace the Hoosiers but it wasn't enough and for the third time this season, IU played a very competitive game against a Top 10 opponent but came away with a defeat.
The Hawkeyes opened the game with a bang as Akrum Wadley scored on a 65-yard run on the second play of the game to put Iowa ahead 7-0. Indiana answered with a 33-yard field goal from Griffin Oakes to make it 7-3. LeShun Daniels scored at the beginning of the second quarter to make it 14-3 and it appeared the Hawkeyes were on their way to a comfortable victory. However, Jordan Howard scampered in from 37 yards out to chop the deficit to 14-10. IU's defense stiffened and the Hoosiers took the lead with another rushing touchdown from Howard, this one from 29 yards out. C.J. Beathard, playing with an injured groin, dove over a pile to score from seven yards out near the end of the first half to put the Hawkeyes ahead 21-17 at halftime.
Neither team scored in the third quarter but Iowa controlled the bulk of possession and the Hoosiers were unable to take advantage of a few stops from the defense. Griffin Oakes connected on a field goal to make it 20-21. But Iowa refused to panic as they connected on multiple third downs and marched down the field for a LeShun Daniels touchdown. The Hawkeyes added a passing touchdown to make the score 35-20 before Nate Sudfeld connected with Michael Cooper to cut the deficit to 8, 27-35. IU had a chance to recover the onside kick but they couldn't reel it in and the Hawkeyes ran out the clock.
Iowa outgained the Hoosiers 467-407 but Indiana had blown opportunities that could have drastically changed the course of the game. In total, IU had seven drops that cost them numerous big plays. In a game that is very evenly matched, every play counts. Iowa's receivers and tight ends caught the ball consistently while IU's did not. The Hoosiers host the Michigan Wolverines next Saturday and still need two wins from their final three games to reach bowl eligibility.