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Iowa’s 19th-best football win of the past 50 years

[ 0 ] August 11, 2014 |
Jeff Skillett had an extra point blocked but made a second-half field goal in 1991 against Ohio State. (Register file photo)

Jeff Skillett had an extra point blocked but made a second-half field goal in 1991 against Ohio State. (Register file photo)

The headline in the Big Peach on Nov. 3, 1991, put the moment in perspective:

Iowa’s grief tempered by victory

A day after six people died in a horrific shooting on the University of Iowa campus, the eighth-ranked Hawkeyes walked into Ohio Stadium and beat Ohio State 16-9. Iowa had lost on 21 of its previous 24 trips to Columbus. And the victory came even though Iowa’s starting quarterback, Matt Rodgers, sprained a knee in the third quarter and couldn’t return to the game.

To honor those who lost their lives back in Iowa City, Iowa stripped its black helmets of the Tiger Hawk decal and gold stripe.

“If anything, it made us more focused,” Iowa defensive end Leroy Smith said of the tragedy back home. “It made us realize you have to perform to the best of your ability every time. God doesn’t promise us anything.”

Iowa took a 13-9 lead at halftime that should have been 14-7. But Jeff Skillett’s point-after kick following the second touchdown was blocked and returned for two points by the Buckeyes’ Jason Simmons.

Skillett provided the only scoring of the second half with a third-quarter field goal. Then it was up to the Iowa defense and Jim Hartlieb, Rodgers’ backup, to finish the emotional victory. The Hawkeyes limited the Ohio State offense to a season-low 221 yards. Iowa’s offense doubled that.

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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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