Rewind: Northern Illinois vs. Iowa 2012

If you were at Soldier Field last year watching the game between the Hawkeyes and the Northern Illinois Huskies, you likely remember three things without much reminder:

  1. You did just as much radar and cloud watching as you did game watching, as Chicagoland was being severely threatened by the waterlogged remnants of Hurricane Isaac but you managed to stay dry as the rain stayed just 5 miles south of the stadium.
  2. You remember the Hawkeyes being behind most of the game and growing more and more frustrated as the game wore on because of missed opportunities, until about 4 minutes left in the game and,
  3. The Hawk D pinned Jordan Lynch’s Huskies deep in their own territory, forced a short punt retuned adequately by Micah Hyde setting up the great Damon Bullock 23-yard run off the left end as he  went untouched to the house.

There were other storylines that day, including:

  1. Damon Bullock’s 150 yard day capped by that late touchdown run
  2. James Vandenberg being sacked 5 or 6 times
  3. Mike Meyer going 3 of 4 on field goals, missing a 40-yarder.
  4. NIU QB Jordan Lynch becoming a household name, where in this game he did more with his legs (119 yards) than his arm (6 of 16 for less than 60 yards) and scoring a 73 yard TD run of his own.
  5. The Hawkeyes controlled the clock for 38 minutes of offensive plays, but missed several scoring opportunities, which became the script of the Hawkeye offense the rest of the season.

Here are some shots I took from the game last year highlighting some of the players who will return for the season opener for both schools – a game the Hawks simply must win.

The Husky DL pressured QB Vandenberg all day sacking him 6 times.  2 of these 3 linemen return in 2013 for NIU.

The Husky DL pressured QB Vandenberg all day sacking him 6 times. 2 of these 3 linemen return in 2013 for NIU.

Carl Davis on the bottom of the pile revocering a fumble setting up excellent field position for the Hawkeyes

Carl Davis on the bottom of the pile revocering a fumble setting up excellent field position for the Hawkeyes

Kirksey fights off his blocker and goes for the tackle

Kirksey fights off his blocker and goes for the tackle

Tanner Miller tackles Jordan Lynch in the open field

Tanner Miller tackles Jordan Lynch in the open field

Mike Meyer kicked this 34-yard field goal early in the 1st quarter to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead

Mike Meyer kicked this 34-yard field goal early in the 1st quarter to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead

Hawkeyes Soldier Field Swarm

Hawkeyes Soldier Field Swarm

This fan was calling for a safety late in the 4th quarter.  Many wondered why NIU did not take a safety to avoid having to punt from deep in their end zone.

This fan was calling for a safety late in the 4th quarter. Many wondered why NIU did not take a safety to avoid having to punt from deep in their end zone.

Damon Bullock with the go ahead touchdown for the Hawkeyes as it proved to be the game winner.

Damon Bullock with the go ahead touchdown for the Hawkeyes as it proved to be the game winner.

Davis celebrates his fumble recovery off Joe Gaglione's forced fumble of Lynch

Davis celebrates his fumble recovery off Joe Gaglione’s forced fumble of Lynch

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