Ten years ago today, we were blessed, friends. Blessed with a Hawkeye win. Blessed with a transcendent Hawkeye performance. Blessed with a transcendent Hawkeye performance in a blowout Hawkeye win over a hated rival. Truly, that is being blessed.
On September 12, 2009, Iowa headed to Ames seeking Cy-Hawk glory. They had crashed out of the Top 25 that week after their wildly improbable, double-blocked field goal win over UNI a week earlier. Iowa State, meanwhile, had won comfortably over
North Dakota State? Yes, really. Strange days. But we digress. The 2009 Cy-Hawk game was in Ames, where Iowa hadn't won since 2003 and where Kirk Ferentz had won only once in five tries prior to 2009. Despite that, Iowa entered the game as a 6.5 point favorite. Iowa State struck first with a first quarter field goal to go up 3-0. What happened next was, simply, glorious. To the video!
That video was made by our old friend Hayden Fry's Mustache Ride and it captures that game so well, both the clownish buffoonery of the Cyclones and the opportunistic brilliance of the Hawkeyes. Iowa's defense was outstanding in 2009 and this game offers a wonderful example of why that was, between Adrian Clayborn and Christian Ballard teaming up to terrorize the quarterback, to Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood teaming up to pluck errant Cyclone passes (four by Austen Arnaud, one by Jerome Tiller) out of the air not once, not twice, not thrice, not, er, fource, but five times. Sash alone had three interceptions, which tied the Iowa record for most picks in a single game. This game was the birth of the "Tyler
motherfucking jimmer-jammin' Sash" meme that gave us so much joy in 2009 and 2010. (R.I.P., Tyler.) Oh, and in-between those two lines of the defense you also had a linebacker corps of Pat Angerer, A.J. Edds, and Jeremiha Hunter ready, willing, and able to take care of anything else that needed taking care of on that side of the ball. Iowa has made many very good defenses over the last 20+ years, but that '09 unit was truly special.
The Iowa offense's job in this game was two-fold: 1) stay out of the defense's way and don't make stupid mistakes and 2) take advantage of the opportunities that the defense gives you. They succeeded tremendously in both departments. Stanzi dropping a note-perfect pass into DJK's grasp was a definite highlight and seeing him complete easy touchdown pitch-and-catches with Brett Morse and Allen Reisner was great (especially the latter, since it features two Cyclone defenders embracing their inner Keystone Kops and careening into one another), but the real offensive star of the show is Brandon Wegher. His dive over the pile to score a touchdown on the goal line was one of of the signature highlights of the 2009 season, but I'm not even sure it was his best play of the game -- that one-handed catch he makes is absolutely astonishing. But it was games like this -- and the Orange Bowl -- that made the abrupt and weird ending of his Iowa career so sad. At least we'll always have Iowa State 2009...
If you want even more highlights from this game, our old friend The Hawkeye Historian has you covered:
So sit back and relish the time Iowa went to Ames and mauled the Cyclones for the better part of three hours. Iowa's headed back to Ames on Saturday; we certainly wouldn't say "no" to a performance then that echoed this one