1990: Iowa @ Illinois

NevadaHawk

HR Legend
Jul 2, 2001
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I recorded this game on the BTN Iowa Classic. Wow, talk about a game where just about everything went right for Iowa. Illinois was ranked 5th in the country and their fans had Rose Bowl expectations. However, this day would belong to the dominant Hawkeyes. Iowa kicked off and Illinois proceeded to fumble the return which the Hawks recovered. Nick Bell took a hand-off from QB Matt Rogers and ran the ball down to just inside the ten-yard line. A few plays later Rodgers hit Mike Saunders for a TD in the back of the end zone. That was just the start of the offensive fireworks. This game showcased a couple of Hayden Frys' "exotics". Tony Stewart took a pitch out from Rogers and threw a TD pass to a wide-open Danon Hughes. On an FG attempt, Hayden called a fake, and holder Jim Hartlieb hit TE Matt Whitaker for a TD. Bell and Stewart ran for over 300 yards and Rodgers had a fine day throwing the ball. This was one of the most amazing and entertaining games I've ever seen the Hawks play. Some other notable Hawkeye players that day were; Merton Hanks, Melvin Foster, Jon Derby, Matt Ruland, LeRoy Smith, Scott Plate, and Mike Devlin to name a few.

Note: Current BTN analyst Howard Griffth played RB for Illinois.
 

Xerxes_

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Sep 28, 2020
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That game was definitely the peak of the 1990 season. Too bad how the last 1/3 of that season went.
 

VodkaSam

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Sep 28, 2013
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I was at that game in Champaign. Illinois fans were really pissed after the game. I got a lot of “F*** Iowa!“ on the way to my car after the game. Adding to their anger was the recent Illinois recruiting basketball investigation that resulted from Bruce Pearl turning them in, I think.

It was a great day!
 

Hwkfn1

Team MVP
Oct 24, 2009
191
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Living in Illinois as a huge Iowa fan made that game even sweeter. My dad and I went to the game. I think Iowa could've beaten any team in the country that day. Unfortunately injuries derailed the end of the season.
 

dekhawk

HR Heisman
Nov 14, 2001
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Went to that game, best part was after the game an Illini fan said to us “ I really hate you guys”!!
 

grayhair81

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Sep 3, 2006
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I still believe Miami was the key to that season. That game built confidence and prepared them for the conference schedule. The OSU game is still the biggest kick in the nuts for me as an Iowa fan. I guess it was karma's revenge for the 87 game.
 

DEMGR

Scout Team
Jul 17, 2020
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I still believe Miami was the key to that season. That game built confidence and prepared them for the conference schedule. The OSU game is still the biggest kick in the nuts for me as an Iowa fan. I guess it was karma's revenge for the 87 game.
Definitely correct about the Miami game!
 
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NevadaHawk

HR Legend
Jul 2, 2001
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Colorado USA
I recorded this game on the BTN Iowa Classic. Wow, talk about a game where just about everything went right for Iowa. Illinois was ranked 5th in the country and their fans had Rose Bowl expectations. However, this day would belong to the dominant Hawkeyes. Iowa kicked off and Illinois proceeded to fumble the return which the Hawks recovered. Nick Bell took a hand-off from QB Matt Rogers and ran the ball down to just inside the ten-yard line. A few plays later Rodgers hit Mike Saunders for a TD in the back of the end zone. That was just the start of the offensive fireworks. This game showcased a couple of Hayden Frys' "exotics". Tony Stewart took a pitch out from Rogers and threw a TD pass to a wide-open Danon Hughes. On an FG attempt, Hayden called a fake, and holder Jim Hartlieb hit TE Matt Whitaker for a TD. Bell and Stewart ran for over 300 yards and Rodgers had a fine day throwing the ball. This was one of the most amazing and entertaining games I've ever seen the Hawks play. Some other notable Hawkeye players that day were; Merton Hanks, Melvin Foster, Jon Derby, Matt Ruland, LeRoy Smith, Scott Plate, and Mike Devlin to name a few.

Note: Current BTN analyst Howard Griffth played RB for Illinois.
BTW, the Hawks won 54-28. We were the underdog that day.
 

pistachio1999

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Nov 29, 2021
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Unrelated, but a replay of the Jan 10, 1982 NFC championship game was on yesterday. Forgot Danny White was the QB and the punter for the Cowboys back then. Had a decent punting average also.
 

wneff

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Jan 14, 2003
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That was at the height of the Deon Thomas controversy. My highlight was seeing Lou Henson coming out of some tailgating tent before the game. Would have been even better to see him after the game, but guessing he left early.
 

WinOneThisCentury II

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Sep 19, 2021
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Well...when you watch that game...what really stood out on defense was the way the defensive backs were allowed to hit. Man, there would have been 15 targeting calls (maybe more) in that game. I have to admit...this was a rule change that was way overdue. Listen...I loved the big hit as much as the next guy...but when a receiver is defenseless going over the middle...allowing a 235lb linebacker to head hunt him...probably isn't good for the game.

If you watch that game again...pay attention to all the big hits in the secondary.
 

uihawk82

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Nov 17, 2021
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I still believe Miami was the key to that season. That game built confidence and prepared them for the conference schedule. The OSU game is still the biggest kick in the nuts for me as an Iowa fan. I guess it was karma's revenge for the 87 game.
Yeah that loss to OSU that year was so unlucky. I was in Kinnick and the hawks outplayed them except for two lucky long passes and the winner was a tipped ball to a receiver flying in the other direction of the hawk defenders. IIRC the first long pass came with 1 second left in the first half and the other was basically a hail mary right at the end of the game.

But that is the beauty and interesting aspect of a lot of sports as a couple of crazy or really great plays can turn a loss into a win. In Bball it is a few great plays in a close game toward the end which usually turns the tide, we all know about crazy in football, and someone dunks in an off the fist flare in baseball to start a big rally or the total layout catch stops a big rally.
 
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EpenesaEpenesa

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Mar 5, 2013
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Well...when you watch that game...what really stood out on defense was the way the defensive backs were allowed to hit. Man, there would have been 15 targeting calls (maybe more) in that game. I have to admit...this was a rule change that was way overdue. Listen...I loved the big hit as much as the next guy...but when a receiver is defenseless going over the middle...allowing a 235lb linebacker to head hunt him...probably isn't good for the game.

If you watch that game again...pay attention to all the big hits in the secondary.

Marvin Lampkin took one of the biggest hits Ive ever seen that game on the goal line. Idk how Marvin or the Illinois kid walked away from that collision
 
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rchawk

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 27, 2001
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Chicago, Illinois
Nick Bell trampled Illini defenders in that game. From the stands you could see Illinois defensive backs cringe as they tried to tackle him.

Approaching the stadium I was stuffing a small flask of vodka down my jeans when a friend told me, "You just walked past Dick Butkus!"

For years I had the plastic cup about 100 years of Illinois football, needed something to mix with the booze. Unfortunately it has since been lost.
 
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Ree4

HR MVP
Oct 13, 2009
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I remember watching this a ton on VHS as a kid, always one of my favorites. To clarify though they didnt fumble the return, it was either the 2nd play from scrimmage where the running back dropped the ball and it fell forward about 8 years and we fell on it. Follow that up with Nick Bell trucking people - was a great game to watch!
 

EpenesaEpenesa

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I remember watching this a ton on VHS as a kid, always one of my favorites. To clarify though they didnt fumble the return, it was either the 2nd play from scrimmage where the running back dropped the ball and it fell forward about 8 years and we fell on it. Follow that up with Nick Bell trucking people - was a great game to watch!

2nd play from scrimmage. First play was a completion to Shawn wax. Wagner Lester fumbled on 2nd down. I also watched the VHS after school daily for a long time😂
 
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Ree4

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2nd play from scrimmage. First play was a completion to Shawn wax. Wagner Lester fumbled on 2nd down. I also watched the VHS after school daily for a long time😂
Ah yes, I knew his name was Shawn and it was a 9 yard out on the far sideline, couldnt remember his last name. I remember the announcer's exact comment though - "Illinois will nickel and dime you, they will take what you give them" :) Well they followed up by giving us a lot hahah
 

gojojo

HR Heisman
Jul 24, 2001
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For those too young, 85 and 90 first halves vs illinois were the exact opposite of the Stanford first half.

Sadly we ended the 90 season on the other end of a first half like this to Washington; we haven't done well in Pasadena in the modern area.
 
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desihawk

HR Heisman
Oct 1, 2002
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to those who saw both: 1990 illinois or 2017 osu? both appear to have been similar in some ways but perhaps 1990 was the bigger game since that team went to the rose?
 

gojojo

HR Heisman
Jul 24, 2001
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to those who saw both: 1990 illinois or 2017 osu? both appear to have been similar in some ways but perhaps 1990 was the bigger game since that team went to the rose?
Good question. While how we won the 90 game vs illinois was quite surprising, it wasn't a shock that we won; no one thought we'd win vs Ohio State, let alone the way we did.

The Ohio State game was about as perfect an Iowa performance as I've seen.
 

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