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Iowa’s 24th-best football victory in the last 50 years

[ 0 ] August 6, 2014 |

Iowa celebrates its 125th season of football this fall. And there has never been a comeback like the one the Hawkeyes pulled off on Sept. 17, 2011.

Trailing Pittsburgh by 21 points late in the third quarter, Iowa stormed back for a 31-27 victory.

“They had the momentum, and we didn’t have any answers for it,” Panthers coach Todd Graham said.

James Vandenberg threw for 399 yards against Pittsburgh. (File photo)

James Vandenberg threw for 399 yards against Pittsburgh. (File photo)

The 21-point comeback erased the previous school record, which occurred in a 34-31 victory over Oregon on Oct. 29, 1949. Iowa trailed the Ducks 24-6 with 2 minutes 30 seconds left in the third quarter of that contest in Iowa City.

Iowa was down against Pittsburgh 24-3 until quarterback James Vandenberg scored on a 1-yard sneak with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter.

IOWA’S 25TH-BEST VICTORY IN 50 YEARS

Pittsburgh countered with a field goal to make it 27-10. Momentum changed uniforms for good after Keenan Davis had one of his 10 receptions — a 14-yard scoring toss from Vandenberg. The deficit was cut to 27-24 on a 25-yard Vandenberg-to-Kevonte Martin-Manley hookup.

Vandenberg again found Martin-Manley for a 22-yard scoring pass with 2:51 remaining for a 31-27 lead.

HOW RICK BROWN SELECTED THE 25 BEST WINS

Pittsburgh had one last shot, but Iowa’s Micah Hyde locked up the biggest comeback ever with an interception.

Vandenberg completed 31-of-48 passes for 399 yards — the most passing yards for an Iowa quarterback in a game since Scott Mullen threw for 426 against Indiana in 1999.

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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