Sometimes, my job is worth the give-and-take that goes along with the moods of winning and losing.
Saturday afternoon was one of those days.
I usually hunker down in the press box, sticking closely to the notebook and voracious note taking. But there was a pause with about four minutes left and I decided to hop on the elevator and go down to the field.
Field-level, four-down, goal-line stand, Mr. Morehouse? Why, yes, thank you!
Here's why your coach is worth the dough: During the emotional hurricane of those final moments, Kirk Ferentz was an overriding presence in the defensive huddle. He didn't say a word. He let the coaches do the coaching. His only words were to get defensive backs coach Phil Parker away from staring down officials after that long TD run that wasn't.
First-and-goal on the 3, his expression didn't change. No flinching. It said, do your job and they did.
I believe teams feed off their coaches' energy, both positively and negatively. I believe professionalism is more sustainable than emotionalism.
Of course, I do not expect total agreement on this topic. And you have your ammunition (the "losing to double-digit underdogs" thing is maddening).
Now, fun videos from those moments:
This is the call after Vincent Smith's TD run was overturned and ruled down by contact. Check the Kinnick noise level, especially after the replay was shown on the stadium jumbotron (of course, they're not jumbotron's anymore, but I am a child of the '70s, so let me have this one).
Here's the closeup video of referee Dan Capron after the incompletion on Junior Hemingway's near catch was upheld after video review. (It looked like the ball hit the ground.)
Kinnick to the max.
Here's the boxscore:
Here's Iowa's season stats:
Closer look at the numbers
Closing the deal (Red zone TDs/possessions)
Difference in the game. I've been writing for the last few weeks, Iowa's defense can defend small spaces, thus the respectable red zone defensive number (71 percent no points inside Iowa's 20). Big space, it's troublesome, but if teams can't close the deal, they can't win.
Setting the tone (defensive three-and-outs)
Iowa 2 (Michigan's final drive was 14 plays, 79 yards and 3 yards short.)
Michigan 2 (Iowa's last three-and-out almost came back to bite them in the buttpad.)
After adjustments (second-half yards and avg. yards per play)
Iowa 111-4.23 (lowest in a long time for Iowa, I would attribute to Greg Mattison being a very good coach)
Still, not a complete game for Iowa's offense. Week 10 and still in search of a complete performance.
Game-changers (offensive plays of 20-plus yards)
Iowa 4 (WR Marvin McNutt had a pair. He most certainly leads the Hawkeyes. Another one of these from RB Marcus Coker this week, a 27-yarder that set up TE Brad Herman's 1-yard TD catch. Please, try to make an intelligent argument for a No. 2 running back to get carries right now. And, no, "just in case" isn't an argument. This team is beyond "just in case" and is totally locked into "fighting for championship life.")
Minnesota 5 (Two for Denard, whose longest play was 22 yards.)
Two-minute magic (points, final two minutes of half)
Iowa 0 (Iowa was close, with Mike Meyer's 42-yard field goal coming 2:11 before half. And, yes, horrible squib kick by Trent Mossbrucker on the ensuing kick. Iowa is having troubles with kickoff.)
Michigan 0 (By 3 yards.)