Football Flashback: Greatest Iowa vs Michigan Game of All Time
The upcoming Iowa-Michigan football game got me recalling some of the past great games between these two Big Ten teams. Of course, there have been some incredible games, but perhaps none as memorable as the one played in 1985.
On Saturday, October 19, 1985, Kinnick Stadium became the center of the college football universe. The Iowa vs. Michigan game ranks high on the greatest Hawkeye victories.
The game had all of the ingredients to be one for the ages. Hayden Fry was at his coaching zenith in his 7th year at Iowa, and star quarterback Chuck Long was a leading Heisman Trophy candidate.
Additionally, Fry's coaching staff was perhaps one of the best in college football history. It includes several assistants who would become accomplished Division I head coaches.
- Bill Snyder – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- Kirk Ferentz – Offensive line
- Del Miller – Offensive assistant
- Dan McCarney – Defensive line
- Barry Alvarez – Linebackers
- Don Patterson – Defensive Backs
- Bob Stoops – Volunteer Assistant
The team was among the best in Iowa football history, with several All-Americans. Including running back Ronnie Harmon, linebacker Larry Station, tight-end Marv Cook, defensive lineman Dave Haight, and several others who would play in the NFL.
Iowa entered the season ranked #7 in the nation. However, the Hawks handily dispensed with Drake, Northern Illinois, and Iowa State to land at #1 in the rankings. Iowa held that position for five weeks that season until a 9-point loss in front of 90,000 Ohio State fans.
Similarly, Michigan entered the game ranked #2 in the nation with legendary 17th-year head coach Bo Schembechler at the helm. The Wolverines finished the season with a 10–1–1 record. They outscored all opponents by a combined total of 342 to 98. In addition, Michigan defeated five ranked opponents and finished the season ranked #2.
Future pro bowler and NFL coach of the year, quarterback Jim Harbaugh and sixteen members of the 1985 Michigan team went on to play professionally.
So it's safe to say this was college football at its best.
In front of a national television audience, Iowa could not score a touchdown the entire game. Yet kicker Rob Houghtlin kept Iowa in the game with his field goals.
Down by 1 with the score 10 - 9, the Hawkeyes took possession on its own 22-yard line and 5:22 remaining. With Long leading the charge, the hawks marched down the field to Michigan's 12-yard line.
With two seconds remaining, Rob Houghtlin kicked the game-winning 29-yard field goal as time expired, and the entire state of Iowa was doing the Hokey Pokey!
Here's hoping the Hawkeyes can pull off a similar victory this Saturday. Let's Go, Hawks!
WATCH THE GAME-WINNING FIELD GOAL.
WATCH FOR THE FULL STORY OF IOWA'S 1985 WIN OVER MICHIGAN.
Iowa vs. Michigan Kickoff at 11 am. Listen to the game on Q107.5 FM