By now, Iowa’s reputation as a dangerous place for top-10 teams to play is well-established. The latest evidence: No. 6 Ohio State just lost, 55-24, in front a rowdy blackout crowd in Iowa City. Do not adjust your sets. That is in fact the final.
Iowa got four J.T. Barrett interceptions, a week after he’d been nearly perfect against Penn State, while Nathan Stanley threw five TDs, two of them to tight end Noah Fant.
Iowa jumped out to an early lead, leading many to recall the Buckeyes had come back against Penn State the week prior. But that was at home, though. Not at a ranked-team graveyard. The Buckeyes marched into Iowa City and would not be leaving in one piece. Previously, the Hawkeyes took Penn State to the limit in 2017, and before that:
Iowa 4-3, 3-1 at home vs Top 5 teams in non-bowl games since 2008. Focus on avg score...Sat needs to be in that range for Iowa to win, IMO pic.twitter.com/GhppEdvkWB— Jon Miller (@hawkeyenation) September 18, 2017
For Urban Meyer, this is embarrassing. His team has never worn one like this.
Iowa has been playing Ohio State since 1922. Headed into today, the Hawkeyes had scored more than 30 points against the Buckeyes just twice (33 in 2004, 35 in 1960). They had never scored 40 points. Today was easily the most points Iowa had ever scored against the Buckeyes.
Not only that, but this was pretty easily the biggest margin of victory in the series for the Hawkeyes, surpassing the 26 point margin of victory in 2004 (33-7).
This was the most points Urban Meyer has ever given up in his head coaching career, period. Meyer gave up 47 points in a loss to New Mexico at Utah.
OHIO STATE WAS A DOUBLE DIGIT FAVORITE LEADING UP TO THIS GAME.
Heading into the game, Iowa’s offense was ranked 99th in offensive S&P+.
Worst loss to a conference opponent by an Urban Meyer coached team is 28 pts. Lost 31-3 to Alabama in 2005 while at Florida.— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) November 4, 2017
It’d also been 13 years since Iowa beat Ohio State.
The Hawkeyes didn’t just rumble down the field and sit on the ball, as Kirk Ferentz teams are known to do. They styled all over the Buckeyes. At one point, they busted out this trick play to set up a score on the next play:
And for the uber flex, faked a punt inside its own 20-yard line with the game’s result firmly in hand. They also scored a very late TD to get over the 50-point hump. And this happened for Barrett’s fourth INT:
This was a comprehensive beatdown.
At the end of the day, this was about as close to as perfect of a performance you could have wished for from Iowa against the No. 6 team in the nation. You saw the potential this team has, which also makes some of the losses earlier in the year tougher to swallow.
For now, Iowa City and Hawkeye Nation can celebrate arguably the biggest upset of the 2017 college football season, not to mention putting a nail in the coffin of Ohio State’s College Football Playoff hopes.
Oh, and by the way, this win makes the Hawkeyes bowl-eligible.
Iowa is now 6-3. Up next: a trip to Madison to face the Badgers.
Ohio State finds themselves in an unfamiliar position. It’s early November and they’re out of the national title chase completely. Baring a stretch of upsets that would rival what we saw in 2007, they’re out of the playoff race. A team that entered the season with sky high expectations must now rapidly readjust.
And that makes what happens next so critical. Because it’s possible this game could go down as “one of those nights” that almost everybody has, no matter what talent level, when nothing goes your way and you get smacked around. Or Ohio State could let Iowa beat them multiple times, and let this year completely get away from them.
This shakes up Big Ten East and put Michigan State right in the thick of it. OSU still holds the tiebreaker over Penn State, but MSU travels to Columbus one week from now for the outright division lead.