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College Football | BIG TEN

Iowa Clinches Share of Title, Now Must Wait

November 17, 2002|From Associated Press

After time expired in Iowa's win over Minnesota, Hawkeye fans tipped over one of the goal posts in a rowdy celebration at the Metrodome.

Nobody really cared that it wasn't their stadium. After all, Iowa had clinched at least a share of its first Big Ten Conference title since 1990 and reached 11 victories for the first time ever.

Brad Banks threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, and Fred Russell ran for 194 yards as the No. 6 Hawkeyes forced six turnovers and beat the Golden Gophers, 45-21, at Minneapolis.

Jermelle Lewis had 101 yards rushing for the Hawkeyes (11-1, 8-0), who improved to 11-1 overall and 8-0 in the conference to finish undefeated for the first time since 1922.

"It was really a special win," said Kirk Ferentz, who was 11-24 in three seasons as Iowa's coach before this year. "A great day for our team, staff and coaches and for the entire state of Iowa."

The Hawkeyes win the conference title outright and qualify for the Rose Bowl if No. 2 Ohio State (12-0, 7-0) loses to Michigan at home next week.

The Hawkeyes, whose only loss was to Iowa State of the Big 12 on Sept. 14, won't play again for 6 1/2 weeks and their bowl-game fate may not be decided until the final bowl championship series standings are released Dec. 8.

"We'll take anything right now," Banks said.

Asad Abdul-Khaliq completed 18 of 30 passed for 205 yards, two interceptions and had two short touchdown runs for the Golden Gophers (7-4, 3-4), who have been bowl-eligible for a month but lost their third in a row.

Minnesota finishes at Wisconsin next week in what likely will be a battle for a berth in the Sun Bowl.

Banks completed nine of 17 passes for 100 yards, and Russell needed only 17 carries for his yards. Their efforts, plus a dominant effort from the Hawkeyes' towering offensive line, helped Iowa win the Floyd of Rosedale bronze pig trophy for the second straight year.

As it usually is when the battle for Floyd is held at the Metrodome, the overflow crowd of 65,184 was at least half-filled with Hawkeyes fans, and the chants of "Let's go Hawks!" began well before the opening kickoff.

After it was over, Iowa fans streamed out of the stands and mobbed the team on the sideline. Ferentz was carried off the field.

"What a special group ... " Ferentz said. "I want them just to enjoy this and appreciate it."

*

No. 12 Michigan 21, Wisconsin 14 -- Chris Perry rushed for a career-high 175 yards and a touchdown as the Wolverines (9-2, 6-1) held on to defeat the Badgers (6-6, 1-6) at Ann Arbor, Mich.

Michigan's Markus Curry broke up a potential touchdown pass to Jonathan Orr in the end zone with 1:29 left. Perry ran through a hole for a 43-yard run on the final possession to seal the win for the Michigan, which looks to spoil Ohio State's national championship hopes next week.

Wisconsin started the season 5-0 but needs to beat Minnesota at home to earn a bowl berth.

The Badgers' Anthony Davis ran for 154 yards and a touchdown. He missed last week's game after being stabbed in the thigh during a domestic dispute, in which he faces a battery charge.

*

Purdue 45, Michigan State 42 -- Kyle Orton threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to John Standeford with three minutes left to rally the Boilermakers (5-6, 3-4) to a victory over the Spartans (4-7, 2-5) at East Lansing, Mich.

Orton, who came off the bench to lead the Purdue to a 24-14 victory over Michigan State a year ago at West Lafayette, Ind., replaced starter Brandon Kirsch on fourth and eight and threw the winning touchdown pass. score. Kirsch was knocked out on a hard hit by Mike Labinjo.

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