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SPOTLIGHT WEEK 5

It's Hog Heaven in Iowa

September 29, 2002|Mike Bresnahan

Looks as if the Clay County Fair won't be the most exciting thing to happen in Iowa this year.

For the first time in forever, there's reason to care about college football in Ames, Iowa, after Iowa State's 36-14 victory over Nebraska.

Add Iowa's 42-35 overtime victory at Penn State, and suddenly the fabled Tri-State Rodeo looks more like a dog-and-pony show to delirious Iowans.

In particular, the folks in Ames, accustomed to turning their back on football every year in early October, have reason to watch the Cyclones' next game, Oct. 12 against Texas Tech.

Thousands of red-clad Cyclone fans stormed the field after Saturday's game and several headed for the goalposts. One reveler accidentally popped Coach Dan McCarney.

"I got a fat lip out of that," McCarney said. "That can get a little dangerous, but I'll try to fight my way out of that danger any time."

Nebraska did not run a play in Iowa State territory until less than 10 minutes remained, and McCarney, in his eighth season at Iowa State, improved to 1-24 against ranked teams.

"This was time to shock the world," Iowa State running back Michael Wagner said.

Of course, some Iowans will say they knew it all along, that Iowa State should have won by 45 points.

After all, Iowa State beat Iowa by five, Iowa beat Penn State by seven and Penn State crushed Nebraska by 33.

The saddest person in Jack Trice Stadium might have been Nebraska center John Garrison, who predicted victory during the week.

"I made that comment because of the confidence I had in this team," he said. "It's not the performance I pictured."

Only slightly less exciting for the Hawkeye State was Iowa's victory over Penn State.

Iowa, which last won the Rose Bowl in 1959, blew a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter but battled back in overtime and became the third team to beat a Joe Paterno-coached team three years in a row.

"We kept hearing about how ... tough it is to come up here and play," Iowa defensive lineman Jared Clauss said. "They are loud, but we weren't intimidated by that. We weren't intimidated by the stadium, by the crowd or any of this."

Iowa players, some still wearing shoulder pads and helmets, dived into the crowd to celebrate with Hawkeye fans.

The game shouldn't have been close. Iowa committed two turnovers in the last 7 1/2 minutes to aid Penn State's 22-point rally.

"If we protect the ball a little better in the second half, it's probably not as exciting," Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. "We're 1-0 [in the Big Ten Conference] and that's the extent of it."

Paging Lt. Frank Drebin...

Penn State better increase its crowd-control personnel--again.

Extra security was recently added at Beaver Stadium because of a rise in rowdy behavior in the student section, where 35 people were ejected for throwing water bottles during last week's 49-17 victory over Louisiana Tech. Several Nebraska fans also reported being harassed after Penn State beat the Cornhuskers on Sept. 14.

But who let that LaVar Arrington guy into the stadium? The Washington Redskin linebacker was kicked out of Beaver Stadium because he kept yelling at officials from the sideline of his alma mater, Penn State.

The former All-American was the second pick in the 2000 NFL draft. The Redskins have a bye this week.

Not Quite a Nutt House

In anticipation of an overflow student section at Razorback Stadium, Arkansas officials installed an additional 1,400 seats to ease any overcrowding issues for the Alabama game.

The most devoted students were in "The Nutt House," a section in the north end zone named after Arkansas Coach Houston Nutt. The first 1,000 students in the section received free T-shirts from the school.

The free gear might have been the highlight of their day: Arkansas lost, 30-12.

Krohn's All Alone

A Pacific 10 quarterback transfers and struggles at his new school. For once, it's not J.P. Losman.

Jeff Krohn left Arizona State for Massachusetts during the off-season when it became apparent Coach Dirk Koetter had lost confidence in him.

Krohn, immediately eligible to play because the Minutemen compete in Division I-AA, completed 13 of 36 passes Saturday for 194 yards with three interceptions and a touchdown in a 56-24 loss at North Carolina State.

N.C. State's defense harassed Krohn early, intercepting his passes on the Minutemen's first two possessions to set up scoring drives and remind Arizona State fans what they're not missing.

Krohn's replacement at Arizona State, sophomore Andrew Walter, passed for 414 yards and five touchdowns and led the Sun Devils past Stanford, 65-24.

Walter led Arizona State to its highest score in a Pac-10 game and posted one of the top 10 passing games in school history. The five scoring throws tied Krohn for third.

"Andrew was just firing, and we just rode it," Koetter said.

Former UCLA hopeful Losman, by the way, had 121 yards passing and two interceptions in Tulane's 49-0 loss to Texas.

How About Ice Cream?

Hopefully, nobody gets hungry during Georgia games.

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