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Iowa’s 12th-best football victory of the past 50 years

[ 0 ] August 18, 2014 |

Iowa won its school-record eighth straight game to start a season on Oct. 24, 2009, at Michigan State. The streak remained alive because of the most famous slant pattern in school history.

Marvin McNutt grabs  the game-winning pass from Ricky Stanzi at Michigan State in 2009. (REGISTER FILE PHOTO)

Marvin McNutt grabs the game-winning pass from Ricky Stanzi at Michigan State in 2009. (REGISTER FILE PHOTO)

It was run by sophomore wide receiver Marvin McNutt, and it came on the final play. Michigan State had taken a 13-9 lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to Blair White with 1 minute, 37 seconds remaining in the game. But quarterback Ricky Stanzi led the Hawkeyes down the field, against a shrinking clock and long odds.

The perfect record looked to be gone when Michigan State intercepted a Stanzi pass inside the 10-yard line. But the Spartans were called for defensive holding. That put the ball on the Michigan State 7. After three straight incompletions, it came down to one last chance. Offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe sent in the slant play.

“I told myself just to run perfect technique and do what you’ve been taught,” McNutt said. “It worked.”

McNutt got inside cornerback Chris Rucker and made the catch for the winning touchdown. A bench-clearing celebration ensued.

“I just remember freaking out and everyone jumping around,” Stanzi said after Iowa’s first victory in East Lansing since 1995.

McNutt was buried by teammates in the end zone after his catch.

“I couldn’t breathe,” McNutt said.

View the entire series at DesMoinesRegister.com/Hawkeyes25in50.

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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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