Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Of No. 1 vs. No. 2 Iowa-Michigan Game 20 Years Ago, Ferentz Says 2005 Hawkeyes May Not Remember What Happened 3 Weeks Ago

This was 20 years ago.

An Iowa football team that then was ranked No. 1 nationally played No. 2-ranked Michigan at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

Coach Hayden Fry's Hawkeyes pushed their records to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten with a 12-10 victory on that Oct. 19 late-afternoon and early-evening over a Michigan team coached by Bo Schembechler [pictured on the left] in the dramatic game.

Kirk Ferentz [pictured with Fry on the upper right] then was a young Iowa offensive line coach, and has vivid memories of the 1985 game.

But, evidently, his present players aren't pestering anyone to see the 20-year-old game film as they await Saturday's 11 a.m. Iowa-Michigan game in Iowa City.

"I'm not sure they even remember what happened three weeks ago," Ferentz said today when asked if his Hawkeyes are cognizant of the 1985 game. "I think times have changed a little bit on that front.

"Our players are aware of it, but it's not first and foremost on their minds."

Of course, some of Iowa's players weren't even born when Iowa's Rob Houghtlin kicked the 29-yard field goal that won the '85 game as time expired. Other present Hawkeyes were in diapers then.

"I had never been involved in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game--especially at midseason," Ferentz said. "The anticipation was great, the atmosphere and the environment was outstanding.

"The ballgame was fitting of the build-up. Both teams fought extremely hard. Both played a tremendous game. It was a great game and went right down to the wire."

When I was researching my book, "Tales from the Iowa Sidelines," a few years ago, Chuck Long [Iowa's quarterback in 1985] told me the Hawkeye-Michigan game "had a Hollywood ending."

Said Dan McCarney, who in 1985 was an Iowa assistant coach and now is Iowa State's head coach: "The electricity running through the stadium during that game was unbelievable."

After spending part of the week in Iowa City as tension mounted for the game, I wrote the game story. It was as dramatic a game and finish as I've ever witnessed.

Iowa didn't lose that season until falling at Ohio State, 22-13. The Hawkeyes took a 10-1 record into the Rose Bowl game, but were flattened by UCLA, 45-28.


Someone woke up Lloyd Carr late this morning.

Asked if a key to beating Iowa is shutting down the run, the Michigan coach said, "Anytime you play Iowa, it begins with being able to try to stop the run.

"I think a year ago they had a significant number of injuries that impacted their game. I don't think you can ever shut 'em down because they take great pride in that and they have the kind of personnel that allows them to run the ball."


Questioned about the atmosphere in Kinnick Stadium, where Iowa has won a school-record 22 consecutive games, Carr said, "They're great football fans, and they [provide] a great home-field advantage for Iowa.

"I don't think I've ever been there when the crowd hasn't been enthusiastic. They support the Hawkeyes as well as any fan base in the country."


Hawkeye officials plan a "paint it black" Saturday for the Michigan game.

Iowa's "Black Out Saturday" will follow the same model as Penn State's recent "White Out" game and other such events staged across the country. Iowa fans are encouraged to wear shirts, sweaters or sweatshirts that have black as their primary color.

Iowa has also commissioned the creation of souvenir T-shirts to commemorate the first "Black Out Saturday." Short-sleeve and long-sleeve versions will be available at the Iowa Hawk Shop and a variety of other retail outlets across the state.


A guy sent me this e-mail today, accompanied with the comment, "There has to be a lot more to this story than that:"

"From: Essex, Randy
"Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2005 9:16 AM
"Subject: staff announcement

"Reporter Frank Santiago has retired from the Register, effective today."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I agree that there's likely a lot more involved than what the memo said--and it's probably not pretty. That's not exactly a warm, fuzzy going-away announcement, is it? I wonder if it was the classic old "let's-make-it-tough-on-the-old-guy-so-he-quits" bullshit? Santiago was a veteran reporter who probably was being paid a nice salary at the local paper. Spurred by the parent Gannett Co., those types of newsroom employees have been targeted by management in recent years. I'm sure Santiago got fed up with incompetent, ass-kissing bosses and the general cost-cutting atmosphere in the newsroom. Good luck in the future, Frank. You'll be a much happier man now that you're out of that funny farm].


Don't say I didn't tell you:

Iowa 28, Michigan 21
Iowa State 35, Oklahoma State 17


Vol. 4, No. 396
Oct. 18, 2005