Insight Bowl: No. 19 Oklahoma defeats Iowa, 31-14

2011-12-31T01:30:00Z 2011-12-31T17:20:05Z Insight Bowl: No. 19 Oklahoma defeats Iowa, 31-14By STEVE BATTERSON, Courier Lee News Service Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

TEMPE, Ariz. --- An Iowa football season which opened with thunder and lightning ended Friday night with a flurry.

The Hawkeyes scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, but it wasn't enough to overcome 21 unanswered points through three quarters by 19th-ranked Oklahoma, which held off Iowa 31-14 in the Insight Bowl.

"We had opportunies missed early, did some things to hurt ourselves, but Oklahoma had something to do with that, too," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Our guys played hard, competed hard on defense, but Oklahoma was the better team tonight."

A bowl record crowd of 54,247 watched the Sooners secure their 10th win of the season by running nearly 41/2 minutes off the clock before Michael Hunnicutt's 35-yard field goal with 2 minutes, 28 seconds remaining extended the Oklahoma lead to 10 points.

Play was halted seconds later when a television camera that had been suspended over the field by ESPN fell to the turf. A cable that snapped hit Iowa's Marvin McNutt in the arm as it fell.

The Hawkeyes, down 21-0 after three quarters, found themselves trailing 21-14 when Jordan Canzeri caught the first touchdown pass of his career with 6 minutes, 56 seconds remaining.

The 9-yard pass was the sixth completion thrown by James Vandenberg in nine attempts during a 12-play drive that saw McNutt equal Iowa's single-season receptions mark.

The senior gained 13 yards on his 82nd catch of the season, one of five Hawkeyes to catch passes on the series as Iowa (7-6) worked its way to the end zone.

C.J. Fiedorowicz allowed Iowa to avoid its first shutout since a 31-0 loss at Illinois on Oct. 14, 2000, catching a 5-yard touchdown pass from a scrambling Vandenberg pass two plays into the fourth quarter to cut into the 21-0 lead the Sooners had built.

His score capped a 16-play, 75-yard march by Iowa.

It was the first sustained drive by the Hawkeyes (7-6) since Canzeri was dropped for a three-yard loss on a 4th-and-1 play on the Oklahoma 6-yard line with 4:14 remaining in the first quarter as Iowa attempted to answer the Sooners' first touchdown.

Iowa put the ball in the hands of five different backs, but Canzeri was the most effective.

The true freshman rushed 21 times for 60 yards through three quarters and caught the first six passes of his collegiate career. He finished with 58 yards on 22 carries and totaled six receptions covering 28 yards.

It wasn't enough for the Hawkeyes to counter the speed of the Sooners and the size of Oklahoma's back-up quarterback.

Blake Bell, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound redshirt freshman who relieves starter Landry Jones in short-yardage situations, plowed his way through the heart of a stubborn Hawkeye defense for a pair of 4-yard touchdown runs in the first half.

Bell was Oklahoma's leading rusher when it took a 14-0 lead into the locker room at the half, totaling 13 yards on four carries.

Iowa's defense surrendered just 89 yards in the first half, but the Hawkeye offense sputtered early behind a 9-of-20 start from Vandenberg.

Jones, who was sacked twice by the Hawkeyes' Mike Daniels, led the Sooners to the only score of the third quarter.

He hit tight end Trent Ratterree with a 3-yard touchdown pass midway through the quarter, giving Oklahoma a three-touchdown lead.

"This 10th win is a great springboard into next season, and Iowa made us earn every bit of it with the way they came back in the fourth quarter," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "That didn't surprise me. That is the type of program Iowa has."

The loss denied Iowa a chance to win bowl games in four consecutive years for the first time in school history.

 

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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