Iowa's 17th-best football win of past 50 years

Rick Brown
Demond Sanders and Iowa sacked Zac Kustok seven times in a 2000 win.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz had one idea on how to stop Northwestern's powerful offense. His defensive coordinator, Norm Parker, had another.

"We were 180 degrees apart," Ferentz said. "And I'm glad we went with his choice."

Instead of trying to slow down Northwestern's potent passing game, Iowa concentrated on stopping the run. That strategy resulted in a 27-17 victory over the 12th-ranked Wildcats on Nov. 11, 2000.

Northwestern came into Kinnick Stadium averaging 38.4 points and 486.3 yards of total offense. The Hawkeyes allowed just 17 points and 377 yards. This was a Wildcat team that rolled up 654 yards of total offense against Michigan in a 54-51 victory two weeks before.

Northwestern's Damien Anderson finished with 132 yards on 31 carries. That was 46 yards under his average.

"It was as good a job as we've had done against our offense," Wildcats coach Randy Walker said.

Iowa's defense sacked Zac Kustok seven times and limited Northwestern to 129 yards on the ground. It was Iowa's first victory over a rated opponent since a 35-17 triumph over Purdue in 1997. Nate Kaeding kicked field goals of of 42 and 46 yards, and quarterback Kyle McCann threw two touchdown passes and ran for another.

"Are we where we want to be?" Ferentz, in his second year as the Hawkeyes' head coach, asked afterwards. "No, but I'm excited about the future."

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