2009 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team
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2009 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team
2009 Iowa Hawkeyes football
Iowa Athletics wordmark.svg
Orange Bowl champion
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
CoachesNo. 7
APNo. 7
2009 record11-2 (6-2 Big Ten)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorKen O'Keefe (11th season)
Defensive coordinatorNorm Parker (11th season)
Home stadiumKinnick Stadium
(cap. 70,585, artificial turf)
← 2008
2010 →
2009 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 5 Ohio State $   7 1         11 2  
No. 7 Iowa %   6 2         11 2  
No. 9 Penn State   6 2         11 2  
No. 16 Wisconsin   5 3         10 3  
Northwestern   5 3         8 5  
Michigan State   4 4         6 7  
Purdue   4 4         5 7  
Minnesota   3 5         6 7  
Illinois   2 6         3 9  
Michigan   1 7         5 7  
Indiana   1 7         4 8  
  • $ – BCS representative as conference champion
  • % – BCS at-large representative
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2009 Iowa Hawkeyes football team represented the University of Iowa and the Iowa Hawkeyes athletic program during the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team played its home games at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. 2009 marked Kirk Ferentz's 11th year as head coach of Iowa. The Hawkeyes finished the season as the 2010 Orange Bowl Champions.

The Hawkeyes came off a 9-4 season in 2008, including a win over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl and a 24-23 upset of Big Ten champion of Penn State.



The Hawkeyes played 13 opponents in the 2009 season, finishing 11–2 (6–2 in conference play) and defeated Georgia Tech in the 2010 Orange Bowl.


September 511:00 amNorthern Iowa*No. 22BTNW 17-1670,585
September 1211:00 amat Iowa State*FSN[2]W 35-352,089
September 192:30 pmArizona*
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, Iowa
ABC/ESPN2W 27-1770,585
September 267:00 pmat No. 5 Penn StateABCW 21-10109,316
October 311:00 amArkansas State*No. 13
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, Iowa
ESPN2W 24-2167,989
October 107:00 pmMichigandaggerNo. 12
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, Iowa
ABCW 30-2870,585
October 1711:00 amat WisconsinNo. 11ESPNW 20-1081,043
October 246:00 pmat Michigan StateNo. 6BTNW 15-1374,411
October 3111:00 amIndianaNo. 4
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, Iowa
ESPNW 42-2470,585
November 711:00 amNorthwesternNo. 4
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, Iowa
ESPNL 10-1770,585
November 142:30 pmat No. 11 Ohio StateNo. 10ABC/ESPNL 24-27 OT105,455
November 2111:00 amMinnesotaNo. 13
ESPNW 12-070,585
January 57:00 pmvs. No. 9 Georgia Tech*No. 10FOXW 24-1466,131


Ranking Movement
Legend: Increase in ranking. Decrease in ranking. Not ranked the previous week.
Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Wk 13 Wk 14 Final
AP 22 - - - 13 12 11 7 7 8 15 15 13 9 10 7
Coaches 21 - - - 17 14 12 8 8 6 13 15 13 10 11 7
Harris Not released 14 11 11 7 8 7 12 14 13 10 11 N/A
BCS Not released 6 4 4 10 13 11 9 10 N/A


Game summaries

Northern Iowa

Northern Iowa at #22 Iowa
1 234Total
Panthers 3 733 16
#22/21 Hawkeyes 3 077 17

The Hawkeyes struggled early, gaining just 104 yards of total offense in the first half. After trading field goals, UNI took a 10-3 lead after quarterback Pat Grace threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Mahaffey. The Hawkeyes woke up in the second half, going 70 yards in six plays and getting an 11-yard touchdown run from Adam Robinson with under 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Iowa would regain the lead early in the fourth quarter when Tony Moeaki caught a touchdown pass from Ricky Stanzi.

After a Billy Hallgren field goal, the Panthers threatened late in the game, with Grace leading them down the field in the final minutes to set up a potential game-winning kick and an upset. Hallgren's first attempt was blocked, but the officials ruled the ball went behind the line of scrimmage and UNI recovered with one second left. Jeremiha Hunter blocked the second kick, sealing the victory for the Hawkeyes.[5] This was the first time in FBS history that a team had blocked two field goals on consecutive plays.

Despite the win, Iowa's struggle against a Football Championship Subdivision opponent knocked them out of both the Associated Press and USA Today Top 25 polls until their upset of #5 Penn State at the end of the month.[6]

Iowa State

Iowa at Iowa State
1 234Total
Hawkeyes 7 7147 35
Cyclones 3 000 3

The Cyclones scored first with a 46-yard field goal from Grant Mahoney in the first quarter. But Iowa was able to capitalize on good field position resulting from an onside kick attempt by Iowa State and took the lead for good on a one-yard pass from Ricky Stanzi to Brett Morse. The Hawkeyes benefitted from six turnovers, scoring four more touchdowns off Cyclone mistakes. Tyler Sash had three of Iowa's five interceptions, tying a school record.[9][10]


Arizona at Iowa
1 234Total
Wildcats 7 307 17
Hawkeyes 7 7310 27

The Hawkeyes scored on the opening drive, with a 2-yard touchdown run by Adam Robinson. But Arizona tied the score at 7 after Trevin Wade returned a Ricky Stanzi interception 38 yards into the end zone. Iowa's defense would again prove to be the difference-maker in this game, not allowing a touchdown until 1:53 was remaining in the game, with the Hawkeyes well ahead. Tyler Sash also netted his seventh interception in five games (dating back to last year).[13][14]

Penn State

Iowa at #5 Penn State
1 234Total
Hawkeyes 0 5016 21
#5/4 Nittany Lions 10 000 10
Iowa's offense lines up against the Penn State defense

ESPN's College GameDay was in State College for the Saturday night Big Ten opener. The Hawkeyes fell behind early, 10-0, after a 79-yard pass from Daryll Clark to Chaz Powell on Penn State's first play from scrimmage and then a 20-play drive by the Nittany Lions that led to a Collin Wagner field goal. But Iowa would score 21 unanswered points after that to stun Penn State for the second consecutive year. The defense shut down the Nittany Lions in the final three quarters, forcing four turnovers, and the turning point in the game came when Penn State punted, clinging to a 10-5 lead in the fourth quarter, Adrian Clayborn blocked a punt and ran it back 53 yards for a touchdown to give the Hawkeyes the lead. With the momentum changed, they were more easily able to move the ball on their final two drives. For many Penn State fans, the way the game played out reminded them of the games from their dismal 3-9 (1-7) season with many close losses in 2003, but for many Iowa fans, the way the game played out also brought back memories of 2003, reminding them of their 2003 season where they finished #8 in the nation and beat Penn State 26-14 at home, during a span of three years (2002, 2003, 2004) where they were #8 for three consecutive years and won a share of the conference championship in two of those years (2002 and 2004).

The win at Penn State on prime-time network television catapulted Iowa to a number 13 ranking in the AP Poll and a number 17 ranking in the Coaches' Poll.[15] At year's end, it would also prove to be a selling point for choosing the Hawkeyes over the Nittany Lions for an at-large bid in the Bowl Championship Series.


Arkansas State

Arkansas State at #13 Iowa
1 234Total
Red Wolves 0 7014 21
#13/17 Hawkeyes 14 073 24

Iowa jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind two touchdown passes by Ricky Stanzi. Unlike Stanzi, the offense would stall, however, which allowed the Red Wolves back into the game before the first half ended, with quarterback Corey Leonard connecting with Brandon Thompkins for a score. The Hawks would answer back in the second half, as Tyler Sash's fifth interception on the year set up a 43-yard TD pass from Stanzi to Marvin McNutt.

Stanzi was then picked off twice, the second interception going 75 yards for a touchdown (Stanzi's 2nd pick-six this year). Daniel Murray extended the lead to 10 with a 20-yard field goal, but Arkansas State wouldn't go away. They took the ball 68 yards in a 17 plays and nearly 8 minutes to close the gap within 3. The Hawkeyes would hold on though to improve their record to 5-0, with Michigan coming to town in a prime-time national telecast next.[18][19]


Michigan at #12 Iowa
1 234Total
Wolverines 14 077 28
#12/14 Hawkeyes 10 1037 30

The scoring began with Stanzi's third pick-six of the year, with cornerback Donovan Warren taking the intercepted pass 40 yards to give Michigan an early 7-0 lead. Iowa would respond, however, with Stanzi finding tight end Tony Moeaki for a touchdown to cap a nine-play, 57-yard drive. The Wolverines committed five turnovers to the Hawkeyes' one, the most crucial being an interception by Brett Greenwood with 46 seconds remaining in the game to seal Iowa's 10th consecutive victory, the second-longest winning streak in the nation behind Florida.[20][21]


#11 Iowa at Wisconsin
1 234Total
#11 Hawkeyes 0 3710 20
Badgers 0 1000 10

After a scoreless first quarter, the Badgers jumped to a 10-0 lead after freshman running back Montee Ball scored from 10 yards out. Then, in a scene reminiscent of Iowa's effort at Penn State three weeks earlier, the Hawks rattled off 20 unanswered points, while the defense intercepted Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien three times.[22][23] Also similar to the win over Penn State, Tolzien was picked off two times on Wisconsin's final drives that threatened to put Wisconsin in the game again. Unlike that night, Iowa was not trailing in the 4th quarter, they took a 17-10 lead early in the 4th and nearly scored once more up 20-10 in the red zone, but couldn't convert a 4th down. Despite this, the 10-point lead was more than enough for the Hawkeyes to win.

The win, paired with Ohio State's loss at Purdue, gave Iowa sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.[24]

Michigan State

#6 Iowa at Michigan State
1 234Total
#6 Hawkeyes 0 3012 15
Spartans 3 037 13

It was a defensive battle for 58 minutes, with both teams getting very close to the goal line, only to come away with field goals. Down 9-6 in the fourth quarter, the Spartans scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Blair White with 1:37 left in the game. But the Hawkeyes would respond by taking the ball down the field. Finally, on 4th and goal at the 7-yard line with 2 seconds remaining, Ricky Stanzi connected with Marvin McNutt for the game-winning touchdown.

The win gave the Hawkeyes its best start in school history at 8-0.[25][26]


Indiana at #4 Iowa
1 234Total
Indiana 7 1430 24
#4 Iowa 0 7728 42

The Hawkeyes' perfect season and hopes at a national championship were in serious jeopardy for three quarters, as Indiana went into the locker room ahead 21-7 at the half thanks to an opening-drive score and special teams miscues by the Hawkeyes (a 9-yard punt and a fumble on a punt return deep in Iowa territory). The Hoosiers looked to extend the lead to three scores when Tyler Sash somehow managed to intercept a Ben Chappell pass and take it 86 yards the other way for a touchdown.

Ricky Stanzi had perhaps his worst game as Iowa's quarterback, throwing five interceptions, four in the third quarter as the Hawkeye offense played into a strong wind from the north. He and his team were able to recover in the fourth quarter, however, as Stanzi found Marvin McNutt for a 92-yard touchdown pass then on the next offensive play, connected with Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for a score from 66 yards out that would put Iowa up for good.

In all, the Hawkeyes scored 28 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes after trailing 24-14 to improve their record to 9-0.[28]

[29] [30] [31]


Northwestern at #4 Iowa
1 234Total
Wildcats 0 1403 17
#4 Hawkeyes 10 000 10

In the first quarter, Ricky Stanzi quickly rattled off 10 points for the Iowa offense, putting them in the lead early. However, those would be the only points the Hawkeyes would score all day, and, as the second quarter drew to a close, the Hawkeyes would find themselves without their starting quarterback, as Stanzi went down with a high ankle sprain, effectively ending his season, and forcing untested backup, freshman James Vandenberg into the spotlight.

The spotlight would prove to be too much for Vandenberg, as he could never mount an effective enough drive to overcome the suddenly mounting score. Iowa would eventually lose the game and their number 4 ranking in the BCS poll.[32]

Ohio State

#10 Iowa at #11 Ohio State
1 234OTTotal
#10 Hawkeyes 3 07140 24
#11 Buckeyes 0 100143 27

Devin Barclay kicked a 39-yard field goal in overtime to defeat the injured but spirited Iowa Hawkeyes 27-24. James Vandenberg would make his first start in place of injured Ricky Stanzi in this battle for the Big Ten championship and the conference's automatic bid, which would put the winner in the Rose Bowl. Vandenberg showed remarkable poise playing such a big game in a tough environment in Columbus, completing 20 of his 33 passes for two touchdowns, including the game-tying score to Marvin McNutt with 2:42 left in regulation. Derrell Johnson-Koulianos also helped in the Hawks' comeback with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown after Ohio State extended its lead to 24-10 on a 49-yard Brandon Saine run following a Vandenberg interception. Iowa would not score in its overtime possession however.[33][34]


Minnesota at #13 Iowa
Floyd of Rosedale
1 234Total
Golden Gophers 0 000 0
#13 Hawkeyes 3 630 12

It was a battle of defenses on Senior Day in Iowa City, as both the Hawkeyes and Gophers combined for 372 total yards and 17 punts, more than the total number of points. The game's lone touchdown came on a 1-yard run by Brandon Wegher with 52 seconds left in the first half. The Hawkeye defense also turned the Gophers away after having four chances to make it a game with the ball on Iowa's 2-yard line.[35][36]

With the win, Iowa finished the regular season at 10-2 and a final BCS ranking of number 10. On December 6, 2009, they were selected to play the Atlantic Coast Conference champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the 2010 Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida on January 5, marking the Hawkeyes' second postseason visit to South Florida in seven years.

Orange Bowl

#10 Iowa vs. #9 Georgia Tech
1 234Total
#10 Hawkeyes 14 037 24
#9 Yellow Jackets 7 007 14

The Hawkeyes came into the 76th Orange Bowl as underdogs to Georgia Tech, but were able to set the tempo at the very beginning. The Hawkeyes brought a piece of Iowa with them to South Florida, the temperature was 49 degrees at kickoff, making it the coldest Orange Bowl on record. After a Marvin McNutt fumble on the game's opening drive led to good field position for the Yellow Jackets' dangerous triple-option attack, the Iowa defense was able to force a 3-and-out.

On the next two offensive drives, quarterback Ricky Stanzi, who had surgery to repair a muscle tear that was a result of his injury against Northwestern, led the Hawkeyes into the end zone, throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to Marvin McNutt and a 21-yard pass to Colin Sandeman to give Iowa the early 14-0 advantage. But as he had done three times already in 2009, Stanzi also threw an interception that resulted in six points for the other team, with Jerrard Tarrant scoring from 40 yards on the return.

After getting manhandled in the first half, Georgia Tech's offense would wake up, getting into scoring position on their first drive but unable to put points on the board, then getting a one-yard score from Anthony Allen to cap an 11-play, 71-yard drive and bring the Jackets to within a field goal.

Norm Parker's defense, however, was once again able to stop Tech after that, and a 32-yard touchdown by Brandon Wegher with 1:56 remaining would seal Iowa's first major bowl victory since the 1959 Rose Bowl.

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who announced he would return to the Hawkeyes next season, was named the Orange Bowl's Most Valuable Player. He had 9 tackles and 2 sacks. The Iowa defense limited Georgia Tech to 143 yards rushing, less than half of their average for the season.[37][38][39][40]

Players in the 2010 NFL Draft

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club Ref
Bryan Bulaga Tackle 1 23 Green Bay Packers [41]
Pat Angerer Linebacker 2 63 Indianapolis Colts [41]
Amari Spievey Cornerback 3 66 Detroit Lions [41]
Tony Moeaki Tight End 3 93 Kansas City Chiefs [41]
A. J. Edds Linebacker 4 119 Miami Dolphins [41]
Kyle Calloway Tackle 7 216 Buffalo Bills [41]


  1. ^ "2009 Iowa Football Schedule". hawkeyesports.com. University of Iowa Department of Athletics. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Iowa-Iowa State Football Game Time Set
  3. ^ a b c d [1] Iowa/UNI Box Score. Retrieved on September 5, 2009.
  4. ^ [2] Iowa/UNI Game Notes. Retrieved on September 5, 2009.
  5. ^ "Iowa blocks Northern Iowa's FG twice in closing seconds to avoid upset". ESPN. September 5, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ [3] ESPN.com. Retrieved on September 8, 2009.
  7. ^ a b c [4] Archived 2009-11-30 at the Wayback Machine Iowa/ISU Game Notes. Retrieved on September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ a b "Iowa/ISU Box Score" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved 2009.
  9. ^ [5] Iowa State Athletic Department, "Cyclones Fall to Iowa, 35-3." September 12, 2009. Retrieved on September 13, 2009.
  10. ^ "Iowa picks off Iowa State for first time on road in six years". ESPN. September 12, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ a b Sroe. "Iowa/Arizona Game Notes" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved 2009.
  12. ^ a b c "Iowa/UA Box Score". Archived from the original on September 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  13. ^ [6] Iowa/UA Recap. Retrieved on September 20, 2009.
  14. ^ "Iowa frosh Robinson runs for 101 yards, 2 TDs". ESPN. September 19, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ [7] 2009 College Football Polls and Rankings for Week 5 - ESPN. Retrieved on September 27, 2009.
  16. ^ "Iowa rides defense, special teams to second straight upset of Penn State". ESPN. September 26, 2009. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ "Hawkeyes hand Nittany Lions first blemish -- again". CBSSports.com. September 26, 2009. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ [8] Iowa Athletic Department, "Close Call, But Iowa Wins Ninth Game in a Row." Retrieved on October 4, 2009.
  19. ^ "Stanzi's 3 TDs help Iowa hold off Arkansas State". ESPN. October 3, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ [9] Iowa Athletic Department, "Iowa Victory Streak Reaches 10 Games." Retrieved on October 11, 2009.
  21. ^ "Stanzi, No. 12 Iowa dump Michigan for best start since 1985". ESPN. October 10, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ [10][permanent dead link] Iowa/Wisconsin Box Score. Retrieved on October 18, 2009.
  23. ^ [11][permanent dead link] Wisconsin Athletic Department, "Homecoming effort falls short in 20-10 loss to Iowa". Retrieved on October 18, 2009.
  24. ^ "Iowa avoids Wisconsin's upset bid to remain unbeaten". ESPN. October 17, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ [12] Michigan State Athletic Department. "Michigan State Falls to No. 7 Iowa." Retrieved on October 25, 2009.
  26. ^ "Stanzi's TD pass as time expires keeps No. 6 Iowa unbeaten". ESPN. October 24, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ [13] Iowa/Indiana Game Notes. Retrieved on October 31, 2009.
  28. ^ [14] Iowa Athletic Department, "A Halloween Scare Turns to Iowa High-Fives." Retrieved on October 31, 2009.
  29. ^ "Stanzi rallies Iowa by Indiana in 4th quarter despite career-high 5 picks". ESPN. October 31, 2009. Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ "Unbeaten Hawkeyes rally past Hoosiers with furious fourth". CBSSports.com. October 31, 2009. Retrieved 2014.
  31. ^ Chen, Albert (November 9, 2009). "Good And Lucky". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ "Northwestern shocks No. 4 Hawkeyes in Iowa City; Stanzi injures ankle". ESPN. November 8, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ [15] Iowa Athletic Department, "Championship Effort by Buckeyes Falls Short", November 14, 2009. Retrieved on December 6, 2009.
  34. ^ "Barclay's FG in overtime secures Ohio State's first Rose Bowl berth since '97". ESPN. November 15, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  35. ^ [16] Iowa Athletic Department, "A Day for Defense", November 21, 2009. Retrieved on December 6, 2009.
  36. ^ "Freshmen Vandenberg, Wegher help Iowa keep BCS bowl hopes alive". ESPN. November 21, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  37. ^ [17] Orange Bowl Box Score. Retrieved on January 6, 2010.
  38. ^ [18] Georgia Tech Athletic Department, Georgia Tech cumulative statistics. Retrieved on January 6, 2010.
  39. ^ "Defense, Stanzi's return hand Hawkeyes first BCS bowl victory". ESPN. January 6, 2010. Retrieved 2017.
  40. ^ "Iowa Earns First BCS Win". OrangeBowl.org. January 5, 2010. Retrieved 2017.
  41. ^ a b c d e f "2010 NFL Draft". pro-football-reference.com.

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