July 16, 2024

Home is where championship wins taste much better, and Hawkeyes have that opportunity.

Iowa football 'focused on winning the next game,' but Big Ten championship  game clearly within its sights | The Gazette

 

If the Hawkeyes defeat Illinois on Saturday at Kinnick, they will be able to sell and wear Big Ten West championship gear. There’s also a significant trophy.

The ball caps and T-shirts will be available, and somewhere within Kinnick Stadium, a trophy honouring the event is probably going to be waiting.

Long after dusk falls on the old brickyard on Saturday, Iowa will declare itself the Big Ten West victor. That is, assuming the Hawkeyes defeat Illinois.

History indicates that if Iowa wins, there won’t be a ceremony on the pitch. The Hawkeyes have only won the West title at home once, against Purdue in 2015 en route to a 12-0 victory.

 

The trophy and the customised shirts and caps ordered for the event were stored in the Iowa locker room.

The other division title for Iowa came in 2021, and it was an odd one. The Hawkeyes defeated Nebraska to guarantee a tie for the top spot in the West, but Iowa had to defeat Wisconsin in Minneapolis the following day by seven points as a 7-point underdog to win the championship outright. Nobody appeared unduly hopeful.

In a post-match interview, Iowa running back Tyler Goodson exclaimed, “Go Gophers.” After defeating the Huskers 28-21, he and his teammates donned “2021 West Division champions: Iowa” t-shirts, having overcome a 21-6 deficit.

Coach Kirk Ferentz of Iowa stated he was hoping for “the right result,” but he refrained from calling himself a newfound Minnesota fan.

Hawkeyes Starting QB Will Have Extra Motivation This Saturday

Prior to that Saturday, Wisconsin had a 14-game winning streak over Minnesota; however, the Gophers turned

the Hawkeyes’ close companions for a few hours while they triumphed 23–13 over the Badgers.

Iowa left for Indianapolis, where Michigan crushed it 42–3. The rose had lost its bloom, but any flower is preferable to none at all. That was the case the previous year when the Hawkeyes hosted Nebraska to end the regular season.

Iowa, a 10-point favourite, would have returned to Indianapolis after defeating the Boilermakers in the regular season and shared the West throne with Purdue.

 

Rather, Purdue travelled to Lucas Oil Stadium to watch Purdue lose to Michigan, and the 3-8 Huskers won 24-17 to improve to 4-8. Cooper DeJean, an All-Big Ten cornerback, sustained an injury in the first quarter of the game against Nebraska and was sidelined for the remainder of it. That was a big blow to the Hawkeyes.

Iowa plays without DeJean again on Saturday against a team that passed for 507 yards against Indiana’s defensive line last week.

 

The Illini, led by Bret Bielema, are attempting to write an extremely unusual Big Ten West fairy tale. Deceased with a score of 1-4Two weeks ago, the Illini defeated Minnesota 27–26 by going 85 yards in the last two minutes, setting a league record.

 

In the previous week’s game against Indiana, John Paddock completed 507 passes for 662 yards, and Illinois overcame a 27-12 deficit to take the lead. However, a 26-yard touchdown pass by the Hoosiers with 28 seconds remaining tied the score.

 

Not to worry. After Isaiah Williams caught a 21-yard scoring pass from Paddock, Illinois prevailed 48–45 in overtime.

There is a mathematical way Illinois can win the Western Conference.

However, the majority of Saturday’s attendees are not there to witness that. They desire a game-winning victory, the ninth victory of a crazy season. They desire it within their home.

 

There’s no moving trophy to cause confusion. This isn’t for a stray cat, bull, or pig. For the opportunity to play

on December 2nd against an undefeated powerhouse and genuinely astound the country. the section that, well, comes after college football.

 

I really want fans to storm the pitch in the event that Iowa wins. Naturally, this is subject to the requirement that they only interact with one another in the form of mutually agreed-upon handshakes and hugs.

I should forget I brought it up if that doesn’t provide me with legal cover.

 

It’s likely that many of you recall the day in 2004 at Kinnick when the Hawkeyes defeated Wisconsin 30–7 to secure a share of the Big Ten title with Michigan. There was postgame ceremonies, a makeshift stage, a trophy, a crowd storm, and general revelry.

If Saturday goes awry, Iowa still has a chance to play Nebraska on Friday of next week. But obviously, it wouldn’t be the same.

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