VIDEO VAULT: Iowa vs Indiana 2001

By RossWB on October 12, 2018 at 10:55 am
go end zone awesome
gohawkeyes529 (YouTube)

Welcome to Video Vault, where we take a look back at past games between Iowa and this week's opponent. Iowa has played everyone on this year's schedule previously (and played them multiple times, in most cases), so there are video-assisted memories to look back on for everyone on the slate. 

Kirk Ferentz is going for his 10th win over Indiana on Saturday, so let's flash back to the time he got his first win, way back in 2001. 

  • Those Indiana uniforms? Trash. Just absolute trash. They've had a lot of different uniforms over the years, but these were unquestionably some of their worst. Just a big ol' woof from head to toe. Iowa's look is basically unchanged from their classic look over the last 40 years, although we were a Reebok school back in 2001. That was the last year of that deal, though -- Iowa moved to Nike in 2002, with whom they've remained ever since. 
  • It's remarkable how different the aesthetics at Kinnick Stadium change in 17 years, too. This was obviously long before the renovations to the north end zone; it was also a few years before the renovations to the south end zone. It's also before the renovations to the press box -- just look at how tiny it used to be. This is pre-Stead Children's Hospital and (of course) pre-painted water tower, too. Even the field looks quite different -- it's grass, for one thing, and it doesn't have a midfield tigerhawk. The end zones are also very different-looking. I have to say: I kinda miss the end zone helmet design (see up top).
  • 2001 was the first breakthrough for Iowa football under Ferentz (though the big breakthrough came a year later, of course), but Iowa entered this game at 3-2. They had smashed their first two opponents, beating Miami (OH) and Kent State by a combined score of 95-19, and then edged past Penn State, 24-18 in their third game. But Iowa had hit a snag after that, losing back-to-back road games to Purdue and Michigan State to fall to 3-2. They needed a win in this game to end that skid and get the season back on track. 
  • Things got off to a hot start for Iowa with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Kyle McCann to Kahlil Hill. Hill was one of the best receivers of the early part of Ferentz's Iowa tenure and a key reason the offense was able to find its footing in those early years. He had 58 catches for 619 yards and five touchdowns in 2000 and was even better in 2001: 59 receptions, 841 yards, and eight touchdowns. His talent -- and big play ability, in particular -- was on full display on that early touchdown catch. 
  • When discussing Iowa's starters on offense, the play-by-play announcer (Wayne Larrivee) describes Alonzo Cunningham as "Iowa's most talented lineman." Which... really? I have to confess that I don't particularly remember Mr. Cunningham's career, so all due respect to him, but that statement is pretty wild when you consider that line also had Robert Gallery, Eric Steinbach, and Bruce Nelson on it. Gallery wasn't yet the destroyer of worlds he'd become at left tackle in 2002 and (especially) 2003, but he was still pretty damn good! And obviously Steinbach and Nelson were just a year away from being two of the centerpieces on Iowa's incredible 2002 offensive line (and second rounds picks in the 2003 NFL Draft). 
  • Aaron Greving scored Iowa's second touchdown of the game and added a second one in the second quarter. As Larrivee noted, Greving's first three carries in 2001 went for touchdowns -- dude had a nose for the end zone. He ended up with seven touchdowns on 60 carries that season. 
  • The true star of the Iowa running game was Ladell Betts, though, whose impressive skills were on full display throughout this video. He ended the game with 172 yards and a touchdown, but it's just a joy to watch him run and remember how good he was. His ability to read blocks and hit the hole was excellent, as was his body control and ability to accelerate in the open field. Granted, Indiana's defense isn't exactly the stoutest front, but Betts also did this same thing to a lot of different teams over his Iowa career. It still really sucks that his four years here coincided with some of the worst Iowa teams of the last 40 years and that he never got to enjoy a really good season (or even a bowl game). 
  • It's also fun to get little glimpses of players who would have much bigger roles in the years to come. There's Fred Russell returning kicks! And there's Ed Hinkel, serving as the... scout team quarterback and pretending to be Antwaan Randle El? Alright.
  • Speaking of... IU-era Randle El was an absolute force of nature. And he always always seemed to kill the Hawkeyes. Especially on the ground -- he had 187 yards rushing and two touchdowns in their win over Iowa in 2000 and he had 127 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in this game. I remember watching Randle El and holding my breath every time he had the ball -- especially when he pulled the ball down and took off to run. He was absolutely electric. He also had some of the most unique stat lines I've ever seen. Look at his final '01 numbers: 

    118/231, 1664 passing yards, 9 TD, 5 INT; 188 carries, 964 rushing yards, 8 TD; 4 receptions, 30 yards; 16 punt returns, 149 return yards; 8 punts, 240 yards

    He passed, he ran, he caught passes... and he punted and returned punts? He truly did it all for IU. The fact that their star quarterback returned punts will never not seem insane to me. 
  • There was a real punch-counterpunch feel to this game. Iowa scored first and never trailed, but Indiana was able to keep punching back to keep the game close. Iowa went up 7-0; Indiana answered back with a 98-yard drive to make it 7-7. Iowa went up 21-7; Indiana responded to make it 21-14. They cut the Iowa lead to 28-21 before half and to 35-28 early in the fourth quarter. Iowa's offense always had a response, though, which is what enabled them to come away with the win. We may need to see a similar gameplan on Saturday, given the question marks in Iowa's defensive back seven. Luckily, the Iowa offense has shown some signs of being able to provide that sort of production over their last few games. 


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