Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)
A Throwback Thursday that is actually on a Thursday! Welcome to our review of the Hoosiers battle against the Iowa Hawkeyes that could let Indiana control its own destiny to the Big Ten Championship Game. Despite a weather delay of over an hour and temperatures that never got out of the 30s the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes provided a great game in a rare late afternoon start at The Rock.
Opponent: Iowa Hawkeyes
Location: Saturday November 3rd /3:30pm/ Memorial Stadium/ (Bloomington, Indiana)
Why They Played: The Hoosiers and Hawkeyes met as part of a divisional crossover matchup. Indiana has had some recent success against the Hawkeyes scoring wins in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007 while also coming a dropped touchdown pass away from another victory in 2010. Iowa leads the all-time series 27-42-4.
What The Game Meant:
Indiana came into the game off their first Big Ten win in almost two years, while Iowa limped into Bloomington on a two game losing streak. In any other year this would be a next to meaningless game between teams that had a combined three conference wins, but 2012 was not any other year. Due to the sanctions to both Ohio State and Penn State combined with the early struggles from Wisconsin, the Hoosiers found themselves in control of their own destiny for a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game with a win against the Hawkeyes. Yes folks, Indiana can control their own destiny in November for a Championship.
Top Offensive Performers:
Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana- The sophomore wide receiver gave the Hawkeyes flashbacks to the days when James Hardy used to torch the Iowa secondary, as he caught seven balls for 113 yards and three touchdowns.
Cam Coffman, QB, Indiana- The Hoosier signal caller was pulled again in the first quarter, but responded with fire in his eyes as he threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns.
Kevonte Martin-Manely, WR, Iowa- Iowa’s lone bright spot on an otherwise dismal offensive performance, the sophomore receiver lived up to his name, racking up 131 yards and a score in the loss.
Top Defensive Performers
Adam Replogle, DT, Indiana- The big guy up front put on a show for the Hoosier defense totally seven tackles, two for a loss, and recovering a fumble for good measure. The defensive lineman led a team effort that bogged down the Iowa offense allowing only 3.2 yards a carry.
Christian Kirksey, LB, Iowa- The Iowa linebacker made what looked like, at the time, a back breaking play as he took the first pass Nate Sudfeld threw back for six points to give Iowa what should have been a commanding 14-0 lead.
Special Team Performance:
The Hoosiers special teams unit was as ugly as the weather was on this dreary November Saturday. Kicker Mitch Ewald proved inconsistent again as he went 1-2 on field goal attempts, but hit all three of his extra points. Punter Erich Toth was miserable kicking the ball averaging a paltry 36.4 yards on five punts, while the return game averaged a mediocre 19.3 yards on four kick returns.
96 Rushing Yards
This is the number of yards that Iowa rushed for against a Hoosier team that does not defend the rush well. Iowa known for their bruising running attack was held to just 3.2 yards a carry, making the Hawkeyes rely on the inconsistent arm of James Vandenberg.
This contest had all the markings of a game that you could file under “One that got away”, when the Hoosiers let the Hawkeyes retake the lead 21-17 with 12 minutes left in the game. However the Hoosiers battled back and finally retook the lead less than two minutes later when Coffman lofted a beautiful 30-yard touchdown pass to Cody Lattimer.
I Knew it was over when…
When Iowa’s desperation last second play was fumbled and ruled down as time expired.
Player of the Game
Cam Coffman, Indiana, Quarterback- While it may be easy to name Cody Latimer as the game’s most outstanding player, Coffman had the more impressive day. After being pulled in the first quarter for the second straight week Coffman responded in a way that showed Hoosier Nation why he should be starting under center. Coffman threw three touchdowns and took care of the ball over the last three quarters.
What I took away from the game
After a weather delay of just over an hour, that probably affected the size of the crowd at Memorial Stadium, the Hoosiers started off the game in daze finding themselves down 14-0 at the halfway mark of the first quarter. Hoosier fans have heard this story before. Just when you think the team has taken a step forward they take two giant steps back. However, unlike Hoosier teams of the past the Kevin Wilson lead squad battled back and eventually took the lead only to let it slip away again. Finally, with just under 11 minutes left Cody Latimer snatched his third touchdown and gave the Hoosiers the lead for good. While, Iowa was in the midst of an extremely disappointing season it was still a fantastic sign to see Indiana build upon the victory the week before against Illinois. The win set up a match up with Wisconsin the following week in what should be the biggest Hoosier football game since 2007. A battle with the Badgers for control of the Leaders Division.