Okay, I’m going to jump on the ongoing message board debates between NU and Iowa fans over at Wildcat Report with today’s post. In this post I’m looking back at recent contests between NU and Iowa in both football and basketball in effort to come up with a top five. NU has had enough success in football and basketball versus the Hawkeyes since 1995 that a number of choices exist. I think I’ve picked the best, but feel free to disagree.
5. 1996 football Northwestern, 40 Iowa, 13
The Wildcats and the Hawkeyes were a national TV contest on ABC with Keith Jackson on the call and most expecting a tight low scoring Big Ten contest. NU altered the script by burying the Hawkeyes thanks to typical great mid-1990s defense, a key trick play, and loads of yards from Darnell Autry. NU could have scored more, but instead of run up the score like Hayden Fry had on him, Gary Barnett made his point in the opposite manner by calling runs up the middle at the end of the game even though NU had the ball in the red zone.
4. 2004 basketball Northwestern, 51 Iowa, 49
With 0.7 seconds left Vedran Vukusic sunk a jumper from the top of the key to give the Wildcats a series sweep of the Hawkeyes for the first time since 1959. It was the first of three years in a row in which the Wildcats would beat the Hawkeyes in the games final moments.
3. 2009 football Northwestern, 17 Iowa, 10
Dan Persa takes over for an injured Mike Kafka and leads the ‘Cats to a game deciding TD to help top the #4 ranked Hawkeyes on the road. Corey Wotton made the game’s biggest play by sacking Hawkeye QB Ricky Stanzi in the endzone and causing a fumble which Marshall Thomas recovered for the ‘Cats first TD.
2. 2005 football Northwestern, 28 Iowa, 27
14 points in the last 3:28 from a Tyrell Sutton TD, an outside kick recovery, and a Ross Lane TD catch allowed the Wildcats to pull the stunner of all stunners on a Hawkeye squad which was already celebrating a victory.
1. 2005 basketball Northwestern, 75 Iowa, 74
Michael Jenkins in the corner drills a game winning three pointer at the buzzer which hits every part of the rim before dropping in. Even more amazing, though, was NU’s 12 point comeback in the final three minutes of regulation to send the game to OT. Some people might think one of the football wins ranks higher, but I challenge anyone who was at this game to disagree. Just think how you felt when Jenkins’s ball finally decided to go in.
So I might have left you favorite game off this list. It was tough a list to make. Several other games like the 2008 football win or Craig Moore’s final home game at Welsh-Ryan Arena almost made the list. Feel free to disagree and tell me what I missed.