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Iowa’s eighth-best football victory of the last 50 years

[ 0 ] August 22, 2014 |
John Derby is congratulated by fans after the victory.

John Derby is congratulated by fans after the victory.

Michigan was leading the nation in total offense coming into this Oct. 20, 1990 game with Iowa. The Hawkeye defense didn’t allow a first down until the third quarter, and gave up just 11 for the game. And Iowa stunned the Wolverines in Michigan Stadium 24-23.

Michigan had been ranked No. 1 in the nation two weeks earlier, and was No. 10 when the Hawkeyes came to town as a 13-point underdog. Iowa left the Big House 5-1 and 3-0 in the Big Ten.

“Coach (Hayden) Fry is like a little kid in a candy store,” Iowa quarterback Matt Rodgers said. “He smells the Rose Bowl now, and it carries over to the rest of us.”

Rodgers had a stellar day, completing 27-of-37 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for a second score. But Rodgers was never better than he was on Iowa’s winning drive. He completed five of six passes on a march that ended when Paul Kujawa scored from a yard out with 1 minute 9 seconds to play. Jeff Skillett added the point-after kick.

Michigan had one more chance, but Iowa linebacker John Derby picked off Elvis Grbac’s pass on the second play of the series and the celebration was on.

Iowa did make it to the Rose Bowl that season with a 6-2 Big Ten record, its third trip under Fry and fifth overall. Iowa finished the season 8-4 overall after a 46-34 loss to Washington in Pasadena.

View the entire series at DesMoinesRegister.com/Hawkeyes25in50.

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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