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:
- 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.
- 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,
- 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:
- Damon Bullock’s 150 yard day capped by that late touchdown run
- James Vandenberg being sacked 5 or 6 times
- Mike Meyer going 3 of 4 on field goals, missing a 40-yarder.
- 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.
- 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.