Iowa's best football victory of the last 50 years

Rick Brown

Rob Houghtlin kicked four field goals. The last one might be the most famous boot in Iowa football history.

Houghtlin's 29-yard field goal as time expired gave No. 1 Iowa a 12-10 victory over No. 2 Michigan on Oct. 19, 1985 at Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeyes dominated the game statistically, but they trailed on the scoreboard until Houghtlin added the crucial kick to his previous field goals of 35, 27 and 35 yards.

"I knew when I hit the ball that it was good," Houghtlin said.

Michigan coach Bo Schembechler's team had not allowed a point in the fourth quarter all season until Houghtlin's two final-period field goals.

"There is no doubt this was my biggest win at Iowa," Iowa coach Hayden Fry said.

Iowa had 422 yards of total offense to 182 for Michigan. The Hawkeyes had the ball on offense for 38 minutes 5 seconds to 21:55 for the Wolverines. Iowa ran 84 plays to Michigan's 41.

Had Scott Helverson's touchdown catch on Iowa's first possession of the second quarter not been wiped out — replays showed it should have been allowed — who knows what would have happened? But Iowa had to settle for Houghtlin's first field goal of the game.

With the Hawkeyes trailing 10-9 Houghtlin was short on a 44-yarder with 7:38 remaining. But when Houghtlin got another chance, he booted himself into Iowa football history.