In early October, the Fighting Illini marched into Kinnick Stadium looking to ruin Homecoming for the Hawkeyes.
Per usual, the Illini could not secure the victory and the final score of the game was 16 to 45 with Iowa taking the easy W. However, the game was much closer in the first three quarters than the score suggests.
Had Jeff George Jr. threw one less interception, the outcome may have been different. With the Illini down only by four, the offense drove to the Iowa 22-yard line with the help of a 27-yard catch by Malik Turner. The team was within striking distance and were looking to score after setting up a great drive.
First and ten, George Jr. drops back and looks. He feels the pressure and gets rid of the ball quickly, which causes him to miss his target, Louis Dorsey. The ball was thrown behind and too high for the freshman tight end to even get a hand on it.
The ball sailed and landed right into the arms of Iowa safety Brandon Snyder. With multiple blockers in front of him, he raced down the sideline and scored after key blocks from his teammates. Snyder ran untouched right into the end zone for an 89-yard pick six.
This completely changed the momentum and Iowa took over and never looked back. The Hawkeyes rolled right through and continued to score three more touchdowns just in the fourth quarter, while the Illini failed to create any spark. The offense was unproductive and the defense look defeated as they could not make any stops.
Coaches always say that there are two or three plays in each game that decides the outcome, and this was definitely a play that decided the outcome of the Illinois vs Iowa game.
The harsh winds troubled Jeff George Jr. throughout the whole game as he threw three interceptions against the Hawkeyes and the defense struggled to contain the Iowa offense in the fourth quarter.
Nevertheless, you can never blame a single player and hopefully the team has learned from the many mistakes made this season.