Who Let the Hawks Out! Iowa beats MSU 38-16

Who let the Hawks out? The Iowa Hawkeye offense, much maligned for much of the 2004 season before today's game, busted out of its shell to the tune of 456 yards, much of it coming via the arm of Iowa sophomore quarterback Drew Tate. Unofficially, Tate was 25 of 36 for 340 yards and one touchdown. It was the most passing yards by an Iowa quarterback since Jon Beutjer threw for 380 yards at Indiana early in the 2000 season. Iowa lost that football game, but the Hawks beat Michigan State 38-16.


The score was 38-9 midway through the fourth quarter when Iowa took it's starting defense out of the game and Michigan State would score on them as well as recover the onside kick. MSU ended with 440 yards, but 80 of those yards came on the drive when Iowa's starters were on the bench and the game was in hand.

Eight different Iowa receivers caught passes from Tate. His favorite target was Ed Hinkel, who caught seven passes for 97 yards and one touchdown. Clinton Solomon made several big plays and caught four passes for 104 yards.

Junior Marques Simmons had 13 rushes for 43 yards as he expected to see playing time today. But he was forced into action after Jermelle Lewis went down with a knee injury in the second quarter. Lewis set the table for the Hawkeyes on their first drive as he busted a running play to the outside and scored from 47 yards out.

The severity of Lewis' injury is not yet known, but he was holding his right knee and Kirk Ferentz said in his post game show on the Learfield Radio Network that "it looks to be pretty serious."

One would think that true freshman Damien Sims might crack the depth chart next week, and he could be seen in the second half on the sidelines standing next to running backs coach Carl Jackson with his helmet on.


Miguel Merrick and Marcus Paschal did a very solid job at strong and free safety on the day. It was Merrick's first start and Paschal's first start at free.

MSU killed itself with numerous dropped passes on plays that might have been scores…They also had two near missed TD's when their receivers were ruled to have caught passes out of the back of the endzone. One of the plays was reviewed by instant replay.

Drew Tate just looks more and more confident with each start. Iowa came out of the gate today looking to give its running game a boost by establishing a ball control passing attack. They did just that, as the Hawkeyes scored touchdowns on two of its first three possessions. Both drives were 80 yards in length. 18 of Iowa's first 21 plays were called pass plays.

Brian Ferentz returned to action on Saturday and played most of the game at right guard. The Hawkeye offensive linemen gave Tate plenty of time to pass the ball all day long and yielded just one sack on the day.

Iowa had just one turnover in this game, and that was an interception on a long pass just after Lewis' injury. It was intercepted at the MSU two yard line.

MSU had three drives of 14 plays or more that accounted for nearly half of their total yards on the day, yet they scored just nine points on those three drives, converting a field goal on each.

Simmons looked solid on the day and is clearly a north-south runner, something Iowa may need this year as their offensive line continues to gel. He scored the first two touchdowns of his Iowa career. Tom Busch also scored for the first time in an Iowa uniform on the day, carrying several MSU defenders into the endzone after being stacked up at the line of scrimmage.

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