IOWA CITY — For the third straight season, an onside kick turned the tide against the Hawkeyes.
In 2010, Minnesota converted after a TD and took a 10-0 before Iowa touched the ball in a 27-24 win over the Hawkeyes. Last season, the Gophers owned the fourth quarter after stealing a possession on an onside en route to a second straight victory over Iowa.
You saw Central Michigan’s successful onside in the Chippewas’ 32-31 upset at Kinnick Stadium.
After their first onside attempt was blown dead for a delay of game penalty, CMU kicker Dan Harmon bounced the ball in front of redshirt freshman tight end Henry Krieger-Coble, who pulled up on a ball that would’ve been tough to field, and wide receiver Jesse Kroll recovered, giving CMU the ball and life.
Harman finished the job a few minutes later with a 47-yard field goal with three seconds left in the game.
“David Harman is an unbelievable young man,” CMU coach Dan Enos said. “When I got the job two years ago, in spring practice he was the third or fourth kicker. I didn’t even know who he was for a week or two.”
Iowa had its hands team on the field. In the whirl of the delay of game — which took a few minutes for the mixed officiating crew of Big Ten, Mid-American and Missouri Valley to figure out — the whole unit seemed to be caught flat footed.
“We just looked very confused out there,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “That’s not a good thing. We were indecisive.”
The wind blew the ball off the tee, and so the Chippewas had to spend a body on a holder. CMU messed around and got the delay of game, which tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz recovered. The plan seemed to be open a lane for Fiedorowicz to recover the second attempt, with Krieger-Coble and tight end Zach Derby clearing the way.
“There are guys assigned to blocking and there are guys assigned to receiving,” Ferentz said. “We didn’t do a very good job at either one.”
Fiedorowicz lined up on the 50, 20 yards off the kick, which has to go 10 yards for CMU to legally recover. Kroll went untouched when jumped on it at the CMU 42.
“I have no idea what happened on it, I just know that the guy who recovered it came up free,” said cornerback Micah Hyde, who was in deep safety on the play. “To be honest, I have no idea if people let the ball go. I don’t know what happened on it.”
Fiedorowicz was one of three players lined up on the second level, along with wide receivers Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley. The idea is for the frontline, seven players, to clear the path for them, with Hyde back for safety.
“We were lined up correctly and everything, we just have to go get the ball,” Davis said. “They can’t hit us before 10 [yards], so you might as well go get the ball. Or, if it comes in screaming, let it go and we have two of the guys on the team with the best hands to go get it. It just didn’t work out.”
Davis ended the play with his palms up, wondering what happened.