Iowa is Own Worst Enemy, Loses to Ohio State

<p>The 2003 Iowa Hawkeyes can beat any team that is on its schedule. But they can not overcome their opponent and their own mistakes. The Hawkeyes committed too many errors on Saturday and dropped an ugly contest in Columbus, 19-10 in a game where all of the points were scored by special teams.

Were you told prior to the game that special teams would score all of the points, you would have felt that Iowa had a great shot to win this game.

However, it was the Buckeyes who took the game to Iowa, returning a punt for a touchdown and blocking an Iowa punt for another score.

Iowa's lone score came on a fake field goal attempt were David Bradley, the place holder, took the snap and pitched it back to Kaeding who then ran to his right for a six-yard score.

I can't remember the last time that Iowa tried a fake field goal and I am not sure if it has happened in the Kirk Ferentz era.

Iowa's offense managed just 214 yards on the day, as true freshman Mike Jones started at left guard and Eric Rothwell made his first career start at center for Iowa. It appeared that David Walker missed his fourth straight game.

Here are some of the key moments of the game as I saw them, in addition to the obvious.

  • 2nd QA Nathan Chandler completion near midfield that was good for first down yardage was called back on a hold by Tony Jackson
  • Iowa was called for a block in the back on a punt return, pinning them at their 10 yard line.
  • 3rd Q: Iowa fumbled on their first possession on a Chandler/Rothwell exchange, and OSU took over at their own 38.
  • After being held by the Iowa defense, they punt the ball down to the Iowa 12-yard line. That was a huge change of field position.
  • Fred Russell losing 15-yards on 1st and goal at the OSU five late in the 3rd quarter
  • 2nd & 13 on Iowa's first full drive of the second half, Calvin Davis drops a slant that would have been close to first down yardage. Chandler was sacked on the next play.
  • Ramon Ochoa's fair catch with 4:18 to go, starting Iowa at their own nine yard line.
  • Late false start by Sam Aiello
  • The snap over Chandler's head for a safety.

Iowa's defense was out of this world on Saturday, but the effort goes by the boards.

Jermelle Lewis did see some action, and Ed Hinkel returned to the Iowa lineup.

When the season began, I had the Hawkeyes at 5-2 after seven games and 8-4 for the season, going 4-4 in the Big Ten.

It appears that might be where this team is headed.

It bears repeating that Iowa is good enough to win every game on their schedule.

But they can not afford to beat themselves. That is to take nothing away from Ohio State's defense, which is stellar.

But Iowa shot itself in the foot far too often on Saturday.


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