Andy Graham’s commentary on Iowa at Indiana football

PREGAME

It’ll be career coaching win No. 100 for either Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz or Indiana’s Bill Lynch today, with Ferentz’s No. 15-ranked Hawkeyes clearly favored coming into the game.

Another sparse showing in the stands so far, but it’s too early and too cold for most of the students. This could be one of those games where the stands fill up reasonably well as the afternoon proceeds, especially if the home team stays competitive. And it might. The Hoosiers and Hawkeyes have split the last 10 meetings evenly, including 2-2 over the last four, and last season’s game at Iowa City was one of IU’s better performances  before things fell apart for the Hoosiers in the fourth quarter.

As always, I’ll have some analysis, observations and updates for you to peruse on the other side of the jump.

FIRST QUARTER, Indiana 3, Iowa 3.

Tandon Doss at tailback. That was one of the interesting wrinkles on Indiana’s opening drive, which mirrored Iowa’s first possession, both of which ended in field goals. Doss, at his customary wideout spot, made a catch for 6 yards on IU’s first play, then took a handoff on a sprint sweep for 15, and then lined up at tailback in the Pistol to gain four yards on a rush up the middle.

Duelling interceptions ensued. IU’s Greg Heban looked like the baseball outfielder he is with a diving snap of an errant Ricky Stanzi pass at the IU 47, but Ben Chappell had a tipped pass picked by Brett Greenwood eight snaps later.

HALFTIME: Indiana 6, Iowa 6.

Indiana coach Bill Lynch repeatedly raised both his arms in the traditional football signal for touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half, in a half when there were in fact no touchdowns for either team. He was celebrating a holding call on Iowa, which helped negate the Hawkeyes’ final possession of the period, after having evinced clear displeasure with previous officiating calls. It was a revealing, and entertaining, show of emotion.

And Lynchs club had done a good job of hanging with the nation’s No. 15-ranked team. And who would have guessed that robably the dominant factor in the first half was Indiana’s red-zone defense. Iowa moved the ball pretty smoothly throughout the half, but the Hoosiers were very solid around the goalline.

Indiana’s offense came very close to getting the lead about midway through the second quarter when a potential TD pass went just off Damarlo Belcher’s fingertips. IU got Mitch Ewald’s second field goal, instead, to create the 6-6 score with 8:20 left in the half. Iowa’s Mike Meyers missed a 22-yard attempt at the 2:19 mark. Indiana gets the ball to start the second half.

Iowa had a 222-130 bulge in total offense in the first half. Both quarterbacks were 10-of-17 through the air with an interception. Iowa’s Marcus Coker, filling in for injured tailback starter Adam Robinson, already has 104 yards in 16 carries for a 6.4 average.