Arizona Beats Iowa in Weekends Only Match-Up of Top 25 Teams

Saturday’s only game matching two of the nation’s top 25 football teams capped a day that had been filled with a dramatic finishes with one its own.  At halftime the Iowa and Arizona game looked to be over, with Arizona taking a 27-7 lead into halftime, however the game came right down to the wire, before Arizona pulled out a 34-27 victory.

The day did not start out well for the number nine ranked Hawkeyes.  The Arizona defense shut down the first Iowa drive after three plays and then blocked Ryan Donahue’s punt.  Arizona recovered the blocked punt on Iowa’s 8-yard line and three plays later Arizona quarterback Nick Foles found David Douglas with a 5-yard pass to make it 7-0 Arizona.

On its second drive Iowa’s offense seemed a bit more poised as they marched the ball down the field, then a Ricky Stanzi pass slipped through the hands of Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt and into the arms of Arizona defender Trevin Wade who raced 85-yards to return the interception for a touchdown and put the Wildcats up 14-0. 

Down by two touchdowns, Iowa once again marched down the field and eventually Stanzi found Jewel Hampton in the end zone with a 4-yard touchdown pass to get the game to 14-7.

Any Hawkeye celebration was short lived as Travis Cobb returned the ensuing kickoff 100-yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 Arizona lead.  The Wildcats would tack on two field goals to make the game 27-7 at the half.

The second half saw a much stingier Iowa defense, allowing Arizona to gain only 58 yards of offense in the third quarter.  As the Iowa defense seemed to find its way, the Hawkeye offense continued to plug away with Stanzi finding Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for a 37-yard touchdown and pulling Iowa back to within 13.

After recovering a muffed punt at the Arizona 18-yard line, Stanzi found McNutt once again as the wide receiver barely kept his foot inbounds for a touchdown reception, bringing the Hawkeyes to within six.

With a 27-21 lead, Arizona quarterback Foles dropped back to pass, felt the pressure of the Iowa defense and unleashed a low throw towards the flats.  The ball hit Iowa defensive lineman Broderick Binns in the hands and he held on while taking the ball into the end zone to tie the game at 27.  The Hawkeye extra point was no good and Arizona went back to work.

Foles quickly lead the Wildcats down the field with precise pass after precise pass.  The junior quarterback completed 4 of 5 passes on the drive and found William Wright on a slant route in the end zone to put Arizona up for good.

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