The Ottumwa Courier

Iowa Sports

October 14, 2008

Hawkeyes flying high after win

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa enters this week’s preparation for Wisconsin with a well-deserved spring in its step. After three weeks of close calls, near misses and agonizing defeats, the Hawkeyes finally broke through against Indiana.

And they did so in signature Iowa fashion.

The Hawkeyes (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, wearing down the Hoosiers in a 45-9 road win. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz hopes it’s a sign of things to come as Iowa hosts reeling Wisconsin (3-3, 0-3) on Saturday.

“It was a positive step for us. It was great to win. We needed a win,” Ferentz said.

Iowa’s offensive line provided consistent holes for running backs Shonn Greene and Jewel Hampton, who each rushed for over 100 yards. That success allowed quarterback Ricky Stanzi to stretch Indiana’s defense with deep throws, and second-half touchdown passes to Andy Brodell and Brandon Myers put the game out of reach.

The Hawkeyes’ vaunted defensive line kept Indiana from establishing any rhythm, and a Hoosiers team that had hung 69 points on Iowa in two previous meetings could only muster a touchdown and a field goal.

Iowa’s total team effort reinforced the notion the Hawkeyes held through losses to No. 23 Pittsburgh, Northwestern and No. 20 Michigan State — that their plan would work as long as they cut down on turnovers and made plays when they presented themselves.

“I think our players, and probably our coaches, have been more realistic than people outside the program ... we see the film every week, we watch our guys practice,” Ferentz said. “Like I said a week ago, I wasn’t discouraged at all with our football team. I was disappointed, but all of us were.”

Iowa’s starting offensive linemen haven’t changed all that much from a year ago, but the results have. After giving up a mind-boggling 46 sacks in 12 games in 2007, the Hawkeyes have given up just 14 through seven games this season. Though that ranks just 70th nationally, it shows how the unit has improved with experience.

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