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Des Moines, Iowa
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So we beat the Hawks last weekend

Geoff Wood

As I type this I'm finishing up watching the ISU-UI game on TiVo. I've been aching to watch it again since we got back to Indy on Sunday night but wasn't able to until now because of that darn Vikings game(1) and all the accounting exam whatnot. Respectively, I haven't really had the chance to blog my thoughts on it - until now.

I did not walk into Jack Trice on Saturday thinking that we would win. I had thought that this summer, though our lackluster permorance against Kent State and horrid performance against UNI(2) (combined with Iowa's destruction of Syracuse and Northern Illinois)(3) convinced me that we didn't have a chance. I was positive that Coach Chizik's first campaign would be a big fat zero win season.

But, hey, I was wrong, we won. Excellent.

I'm obviously very thrilled we won the game but I'm probably most excited for Bret Culbertson. Bret's our senior kicker, who walked on the team four years ago when our scholarship kickers couldn't get the job done and we were within days of having open try outs. Bret came in, won the job, and has had it for almost four seasons. It's often brought up that he's the most accurate kicker in our history, statistically. However, that breaks down when you realize that he's missed several game winners. The first was over Missouri his freshman year. Had we won that game we'd have won the our first out right division title ever in the Big 12 and played in the Championship game for the first time. Unfortunately, we lost and tied CU for the division win. They had the tie breaker(4) and recieved the honor of being destroyed by the South. We moved to Indianapolis from Ankeny that next week and while picking up our 28' truck at the Budget Rental counter met Bret's father(5). I asked how he was doing and he said something to the effect of "Great, looking to redeem himself next year". Next year was good, again statistically, but ended in a loss to KU on Thanksgiving weekend - again, Bret had an opportunity to tie and missed.

This game was Bret's tabula rasa. He will forever have his place in Cyclone lore as scorer of all 15 points in a supreme upset of our biggest rival that just-so-happened to also be Coach Chizik's first win. Good for him. Like most of Cyclone fandom, due to Bret's history I questioned Chiz' playcall to setup the FG attempt with 5 seconds left for the win - and I was wrong. By all accounts Bret is a great kid and really deserves everything he's getting this week (like Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week).

Other thoughts:

  • Loved the throw back uniforms, if we're not going to keep the all-red ones from last year (that we've already gone away from) then use the '77 ones. Gold is better than yellow.
  • The major reception by true frosh QB Philip Bates of Omaha to make the last field goal possible was awesome - he's going to be fun to watch the next few years.
  • I'm glad that Micheal Bibbs was able to take down the Hawk returner on that last play, though it would have been very funny if Iowa had returned it for the score only to have it called back by the 3 or 4 flags on the field.
  • The Daily Iowan, a semi-student newspaper in Iowa City, published a nice little rivalry cartoon making fun of Ames and by extension every negative stereotype associated with the State of Iowa(6) on GameDay eve. I get it, ISU is a "cow college" and Iowa City is the hippest place west of Greenwich Village. The cartoon is a bit amusing and probably aimed at the Chicago-born majority on that campus. It reconciles well with the Hawkeyes reintroducing the "ANF" or "America Needs Farmers" stickers on their helmets (like the ones they boasted in the last '80s and early '90s). They're smaller now and on the back of the helmet rather than the top but the irony is classic. Clown shoes.
To quote Coach Chiz is in his closing statemetn to onfield sideline reporter: "This is for the people of the State of Iowa - Go Cyclones!"

(1)Which apparently no one wanted to win (2) Great game to see in person! Sheesh. (3)Apparently due to those schools being that bad, not Iowa being that good (4)Beat us head-to-head (5)Cyclone attire gave us away (6)Other than the lack of discipline in Ferentz' teams