Iowa Rallies, Stuns Pittsburgh
(AP) James Vandenberg threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and Iowa rallied from a 17-point deficit to stun Pittsburgh 31-27 on Saturday. Vandenberg threw for 399 yards, completing the Hawkeyes’ rally with a 22-yard TD pass to Kevonte Martin-Manley with 2:51 left. Iowa (2-1) trailed 27-10 early in the fourth quarter. But Vandenberg threw TD passes of 14 yards to Keenan Davis and 25 yards to Martin-Manley to bring the Hawkeyes within three points, then found a diving Martin-Manley for the go-ahead score. Iowa’s Micah Hyde sealed the win with an interception. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score and see our Big Ten scoreboard.
Check out our quarter-by-quarter recap, powered by Narrative Science:
FINAL: James Vandenberg threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns, leading Iowa to a 31-27 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. Things looked grim for Iowa (2-1), but the Hawkeyes stormed back to clinch the victory. Iowa climbed back from a 21-point deficit to pull off the comeback. The Hawkeyes’ passing game looked flawless, despite the efforts of Pittsburgh’s (2-1) secondary. Iowa’s air attack couldn’t be contained, as it torched the Panthers for 399 yards and three touchdowns. Vandenberg completed 31 of 48 passes for the Hawkeyes. Iowa’s offense dominated, ripping off huge chunks of yardage. Pittsburgh’s defense gave up eight plays of at least 20 yards. With 13:56 to go in the second quarter, Vandenberg found Marvin McNutt open for a 43-yard pass, the Hawkeyes’ biggest gain of the game. Later in the drive, Mike Meyer made a 21-yard field goal, which cut the Panthers’ lead to 10-3. Iowa’s offense finished the game having gained 476 yards. In addition to Vandenberg’s efforts through the air, the Hawkeyes could only muster 77 yards rushing on 33 attempts. Pittsburgh’s Tino Sunseri passed for 255 yards, completing 23 of 33 throws. He tossed two touchdowns and two interceptions. Sunseri was also a threat on the ground, as he rushed for 29 yards on 11 attempts. Devin Street was the player Sunseri targeted most often. He caught seven passes for 138 yards and one touchdown. The Panthers’ offense finished the game having gained 426 yards, including 285 passing yards on 24 completions. Pittsburgh’s ground game balanced its offense, bringing 141 yards on 37 attempts.
FOURTH QUARTER: At one point Iowa trailed by 21 points, but the Hawkeyes came back to take a 31-27 lead at the end of the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes went on a 21-point run to end the game. Pittsburgh expanded its lead to 27-10 thanks to 10-play, 61-yard drive that ended when Kevin Harper kicked a 24-yard field goal. The Panthers squandered an opportunity to score a touchdown, missing a chance to score from Iowa’s three-yard line before settling for the field goal. The Hawkeyes capped off a 73-yard drive when James Vandenberg threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Davis to make the score 27-17. Iowa only looked to the running game for one carry. A 64-yard drive that ended when Vandenberg tossed a 25-yard touchdown to Kevonte Martin-Manley helped the Hawkeyes narrow the deficit to 27-24. Iowa relied on a run play just one time. Vandenberg’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Martin-Manley put the Hawkeyes up 31-27 and in the driver’s seat after a seven-play, 64-yard drive. Iowa ran just two times. The Hawkeyes’ Davis hauled in four catches for 44 yards in the quarter to put him over 100 yards receiving for the game. Davis finished with 129 yards on the day.
THIRD QUARTER: Pittsburgh sniffed out Iowa’s rushing attack in the third quarter, holding the Hawkeyes to nine rush yards and the Panthers now lead 24-10. Pittsburgh aired it out in the quarter, finishing with 101 passing yards. The Panthers opened up a lead, 17-3, after Ronald Jones tossed a 30-yard touchdown to Cameron Saddler to end a five-play, 68-yard drive. Pittsburgh added to its advantage when Tino Sunseri found Drew Carswell open for a four-yard touchdown pass, capping off a five-play, 39-yard drive to give the Panthers the lead, 24-3. Pittsburgh got the ball at the Hawkeyes’ 39-yard line to start the drive. Iowa capped off a 60-yard drive when James Vandenberg pounded in a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 24-10. The Panthers’ Devin Street reached the 100-yard receiving mark for the game thanks to three catches for 54 yards in the quarter, and currently sits with 127 yards in all. Pittsburgh has the ball on the Hawkeyes’ 41-yard line to begin the fourth quarter.
SECOND QUARTER: Ray Graham did his best to lead Pittsburgh in the quarter. He ran for nine yards and caught one pass for five yards and the Panthers are now up just 10-3. Iowa closed the gap to 10-3 when Joe Forgy made a 21-yard field goal to cap an 86-yard drive. Despite driving to Pittsburgh’s four-yard line, the Hawkeyes had to settle for a field goal. The Panthers will start the second half with the ball.
FIRST QUARTER: Pittsburgh got things going through the air in the first quarter, passing for 104 yards and the Panthers lead 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. Pittsburgh struck first, marching down the field with a two-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in a 7-0 lead, after Tino Sunseri threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Devin Street. Pittsburgh opened up a lead, 10-0, after Kevin Harper drilled a 37-yard field goal to end a nine-play, 62-yard drive. The Panthers kept the ball on the ground during the drive, throwing only two passes. Iowa has possession on its 27-yard line to start the second quarter.