OSU's greatest football wins: Iowa

Devin Barclay

BuckeyeSports.com counts down the days to the Big Ten football media days by recounting Ohio State's greatest wins against their Big Ten foes. Today we look at the Iowa series, one that has produced classics in multiple decades.

Ohio State holds a lopsided edge in the overall series (46-14-3), but there has been no shortage of classic games between the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes since they first met in 1922.

Plenty of school records have been set in the series, too.

Archie Griffin set records (both since broken) with 246 yards rushing and 285 total yards against the Hawkeyes in 1973 Tony Curcillo was responsible for six touchdowns (including four passing) against Iowa in 1951, breaking a record Vic Janowicz set against the Hawkeyes one season earlier.

Judah Herman set a record with five tackles for loss against Iowa in 1991, a mark later tied by Jayson Gwinn and Andy Katzenmoyer. Lately the series has produced some close games but Ohio State has unquestionably gotten the better of the action, winning 12 of the last 13 meetings between the schools.

No. 6 Ohio State 83
Iowa 21

In one of the greatest one-man shows in college football history, Ohio State's Heisman Trophy-winning halfback Vic Janowicz accounted for 46 points as the Buckeyes crushed Iowa, 83-21. Janowicz recovered a fumble on Iowa's first play from scrimmage, then scored on an 11-yard trap five plays later. After the Hawkeyes went three-and-out on the next series, Janowicz ran the ensuing punt back 61 yards for a touchdown. In the first quarter, Iowa fumbled four times (two recovered by Janowicz) and gained one first down while the Buckeyes scored five touchdowns. Before 23 minutes had passed in the game, Ohio State led 55-0.

Janowicz, a junior from Elyria who like many other starters was benched long before the game's completion, connected on 5 of 6 passes for 133 yards and four touchdowns, kicked a Big Ten record 10 extra points, kicked multiple touchbacks and punted twice for a total of 84 yards.

The Buckeyes set a school record for points, touchdowns (12) and extra points (11) in a Big Ten game.

No. 8 Ohio State 22
No. 1 Iowa 13

Playing without the injured Keith Byars, the eighth-ranked Buckeyes knocked off the nation's top-ranked team, 22-13.

The Ohio State defense intercepted Iowa quarterback Chuck Long four times, two by Chris Spielman, helping lead to 17 points. They also got two points on special teams thanks to Sonny Gordon, who blocked an Iowa punt that through the end zone for a safety. That play, two field goals and a 57-yard run by fullback John Wooldridge stakes the Buckeyes to a 15-0 lead and they held on from there in front of a delirious and rain-soaked crowd at Ohio Stadium.

Ten of the Buckeyes' points came off turnovers by Long, the nation's leading passer entering the game. Linebackers Spielman and Pepper Johnson both made 19 tackles, including a third-quarter stop by Spielman of the Hawkeye halfback Ronnie Harmon on fourth-and-1 at the Ohio State 10-yard line following an interception tossed by Ohio State quarterback Jim Karsatos.

Karsatos threw for 157 yards and fullback George Cooper ran for 102 yards to help offset the loss of Byars, who was hobbled much of the season by a foot injury.

Ohio State 27
No. 6 Iowa 26

Ohio State quarterback Greg Frey connected with Bobby Olive in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown with 0:01 remaining in the game to clinch a 27-26 upset in Iowa City.

The pass capped a drive that saw Ohio State take possession at the Iowa 48-yard line with 00:59 on the clock and no timeouts. The unranked Buckeyes trailed by 12 points with 11:00 remaining in the game, but Frey threw three touchdown passes during the span, including two to Olive, who eluded Iowa defensive back Merton Hanks on the game-winning catch. Hanks was also victimized for a touchdown at the end of the first half when a potential interception bounced off him and was snagged by Ohio State receiver Jeff Graham, who raced into the end zone to cut Iowa's lead to 17-14 at intermission.

Linebacker Steve Tovar led the Buckeye defense with 14 tackles. The upset victory put Ohio State back in contention for a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl berth after they opened the conference season 0-1-1.

No. 7 Ohio State 23
No. 11 Iowa 7

The Hawkeyes came in riding the hot play of tailback Tavian Banks, the nation's leading rusher, but were quickly brought back to Earth by Andy Katzenmoyer and the Ohio State "Silver Bullet" defense. Katzenmoyer stopped Banks, who entered the game averaging over 11 yards per carry, on each of his first three carries, for no gain, a loss of two and no gain, respectively and the day rarely got better for the Hawkeye. Banks was held to 82 yards rushing, well below his 209-yard season average.

A pair of Ohio State tailbacks outrushed Banks, with senior Pepe Pearson running for 109 yards and sophomore Michael Wiley picking up 85 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Katzenmoyer was credited with 11 tackles and made a diving interception as the Buckeyes held Iowa 48 points below its season average. The sophomore linebacker filled out his day by throwing a crushing block from the fullback position on one of Wiley's touchdowns.

No. 8 Ohio State 31
No. 21 Iowa 6

The Buckeyes used a time-honored method to salve a year-old wound.

After stumbling inconsistently through the first part of the season with a new spread offense, Ohio State came out against Iowa in an I-formation and simply bowled over the youthful Hawkeye front. Antonio Pittman followed a lead block from fullback Dionte Johnson on the game's first play, gaining 12 yards, and Ohio State had seen all it needed to see about how to attack the Hawkeyes this day. By the time the Scarlet and Gray were finished running over, around and through them, the deficit was 31-6 in points and 530-137 in total yards.

Pittman finished with a career-high 171 yards on 28 carries, while quarterback Troy Smith got in on the act with 127 yards rushing on 18 carries. Smith and Pittman were the first quarterback-running back duo to both eclipse the 100-yard mark for Ohio State in nearly 30 years, and the Buckeyes outrushed the Hawkeyes 314 to minus-9.

Linebacker A.J. Hawk had 11 tackles to lead an Ohio State defense that tormented Iowa quarterback Drew Tate into a 22-for-39 passing day one year after he had constructed a personal highlight reel at the Buckeyes' expense in Iowa City.

No. 10 Ohio State 27
No. 15 Iowa 24

The Buckeyes blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead and turned what looked like it might be a routine Senior Day victory into a classic Rose Bowl-clinching triumph at Ohio Stadium.

Brandon Saine appeared to ice the game with a 49-yard sprint down the west sideline for a touchdown that made it 24-10 with 11:11 to go, but Ohio State's lead was not safe.

Ohio native Derrell Johnson-Koulianos returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and James Vandeberg, a freshman filling in at quarterback for the injured Ricky Stanzi, drove the Hawkeyes for a game-tying touchdown with under three minutes left to send the game to overtime.

There the Buckeye defense rose up as Austin Spitler and Doug Worthington made tackles in the backfield to push the Hawkeyes out of field goal range and Anderson Russell intercepted a desperation pass on fourth down.

Ohio State could not get any traction on its offensive possession, leaving it up to walk-on kicker Devin Barclay, who knocked a 39-yard field goal through the uprights to win the game and send the Buckeyes to Pasadena with their fifth consecutive Big Ten title. Saine had 103 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns while Dan Herron added 97 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries.

No. 8 Ohio State 20
No. 21 Iowa 17

This time it was the Buckeyes who did the rallying, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to a gritty fourth-quarter performance by quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor's second interception of the game set up Marcus Coker's 1-yard run that put Iowa on top 17-10 with 11:53 to go, but the junior quarterback responded by moving Ohio State into position for a 48-yard Barclay field goal and a 1-yard Herron touchdown run. Pryor set up Herron's go-ahead score by reversing field on a scramble to pick up 14 yards on a fourth-and-10. That came shortly after what could have been a go-ahead touchdown pass from Pryor went through the hands of DeVier Posey in the end zone. The Ohio State defense slammed the door when Ross Homan and Jermale Hines stopped Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt two yards short of the line to gain on a fourth-and-21.

Pryor completed 18 of 33 passes for 195 yards with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Reid Fragel, and the quarterback was the Buckeyes' leading rusher with 78 yards on 15 carries.

With the win, Ohio State gave itself a chance to clinch at least a tie for a sixth-consecutive Big Ten championship with a victory one week later at home against Michigan.

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