IOWA CITY, Ia. —
Iowa tight end Jake Duzey, right, had an 85-yard touchdown grab as part of his six-catch day against the Buckeyes last weekend. “I grew up as a Michigan fan, so I was always rooting against Ohio State anyway,” Duzey said. “It was pretty cool to go in there and do that.” (Associated Press)
So what’s it like to silence 105,000 fans? “It was pretty awesome,” Iowa tight end Jake Duzey said. The sophomore from Troy, Mich., caught a Jake Rudock pass and took it 85 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter of last week’s 34-24 loss at No. 4 Ohio State. “I grew up as a Michigan fan, so I was always rooting against Ohio State anyway,” Duzey said. “It was pretty cool to go in there and do that.” Duzey’s touchdown tied the game at 24-all. Duzey finished with six catches for 138 yards. It was the most receiving yards ever for a tight end in the 15 seasons Kirk Ferentz has been Iowa’s coach. “Jake runs well, and he did a good job of finishing that play,” Ferentz said. “And it came at a real opportune time. We had a penalty called the play before. That put us in a tough spot. Field position wasn’t great. We haven’t
had an enormous amount of really big plays like that, so it was good to see.” Duzey outran the Ohio State secondary for the last 50 yards, showing surprising speed for a (backup) tight end. “I figured if I looked back, I’d slow down,” Duzey said. His big day at Ohio Stadium brought a lot of hometown fanfare. “A lot of my buddies from back home texted me and asked how it felt,” Duzey said. “It was cool to hear from them. They were all excited. Support from back home has been good.” Duzey’s success came in Iowa’s three-tight-end set, something Ohio State had trouble slowing down. Iowa’s tight ends had 11 catches in the game, including a touchdown pass from Rudock to C.J. Fiedorowicz on the Hawkeyes’ first drive of the game. Duzey knows that his receiving skills are ahead of his blocking skills, and he’ll have to improve on the latter to increase his playing time.
“I’ve still got to work on my blocking,” Duzey said.