Maybe we should have known this was coming. After all, the seeds were planted last week with the fake field goal play that featured a 16-yard completion to A.J. Epenesa. Based on the action today, though, that play merely opened the floodgates for trickeration from Kirk Ferentz.
First was an onside kick in the first quarter:
This was a savvy call -- Ferentz & Co. identified a flaw in Illinois' coverage during the week (namely, that they leave a portion of the field wholly uncovered) and they decided to exploit it, which they did. Unfortunately, the subsequent drive ended in no points after Illinois stopped Iowa on a fourth down play.
Later in the half -- shortly before halftime, in fact -- Ferentz went back to the trick play well for a beautiful fake punt:
Iowa snapped the ball to the up-back, Amani Hooker, and he jetted off for an easy 18-yard gain through a monstrous hole. Hooker was a quarterback in high school, so he certainly knows how to handle the ball. This drive, happily, did end in points, thanks to a Stanley-to-Wadley touchdown connection right before halftime.
But yeah: an onside kick and a fake punt in the SAME HALF by Kirk Ferentz. In fact, given that the fake field goal happened in the second half last week, that means we've had three trick plays in the last 60 minutes of Iowa football. You could go several entire seasons without seeing that much trickery from Kirk Ferentz & Co. What a time to be alive.