Rapid reaction: Koehn's 57-yard field goal wins it for Iowa
Final: Iowa 27, Pittsburgh 24
Telling stat: Pitt held to 2 yards per carry
Iowa was going to be without their top defensive playmaker, Drew Ott, at full strength. That wasn’t going to be an excuse. No, Pittsburgh didn’t have preseason All-American James Conner at its disposal, but that Hawkeye line came up big against the Panthers. Iowa only surrendered one carry for more than 10 yards on the day. The Hawkeyes weren’t missing tackles, and as a result, they prevented Pitt from taking over on the ground.
Key play: Marshall Koehn drills 57-yard field goal FOR THE WIN
What an unbelievable way to end that one. After the Iowa kicker was WELL short on his first attempt, Koehn drilled the kick of his life to win it for Iowa. Amazingly, that play doesn’t happen unless C.J. Beathard gets down on a scramble to leave time on the clock with a timeout left. The real question is, how did Koehn get so much more adrenaline going for that second kick? He doesn’t have to answer that. All that matters is that it went through the uprights.
-Desmond King was huge early
The matchup to watch coming into this one was the Iowa cornerbacks on Pitt’s preseason All-American receiver. Boyd still had 131 yards and a touchdown, but King dominated this matchup early. He had two interceptions against Nathan Peterman and kept the Hawkeye offense in it after a slow start. Bottling up Boyd all night was nearly an impossible task, but Iowa’s top corner turned the momentum early in this one.
-LeShun Daniels was not himself
The Iowa starting running back was questionable coming into this one, and it was clear his ankle wasn’t at 100 percent. Jordan Canzeri only had two more carries, but he made good use of his work. He scored the big fourth-quarter touchdown that forced Pitt to make a game-saving drive in the final minutes. On Saturday, the Hawkeyes got by without its typical power running game. This team needs both Daniels and Canzeri to be effective.
What it means: Iowa is still finding new ways to win
I said during the week that Iowa has the feel of a team that is just going to find ways to win this year. Maybe it’s the Beathard factor. Honestly, the Hawkeye signal-caller wasn’t at his best on Saturday. But just like last week, he made the big plays down the stretch. This is a 3-0 team with two wins against Power Five teams. There aren’t many groups in America that can make that claim. Kirk Ferentz’s team is gaining confidence, one fourth-quarter rally at a time.