Iowa’s defense came up big late in the game against Missouri as a short-handed Hawkeye squad won the Insight Bowl 27-24 against a heavily favored Tiger team.
The Hawkeyes had blown a number of fourth-quarter leads this season, but a fourth quarter 72 yard interception return for a touchdown by Micah Hyde with 5:32 to go proved to be the game winner. It was the longest interception return for a touchdown in Iowa Bowl history.
Iowa came into the Insight Bowl with a slew of key offensive players out due to suspensions, transfers and injuries. Little used true freshman Marcus Coker started at running back and answered the challenge garnishing Insight Bowl MVP honors as he rushed for a bowl record 219 yards on 33 carries.
Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw for 434 yards but had two key interceptions, one when Brett Greenwood picked off a pass in the end zone and the other when Hyde ended up in the end zone with a touchdown.
Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi was expected to lead the Hawkeye attack but only threw 21 passes, completing 11 with two interceptions. The freshman running back Coker did the heavy lifting instead for Iowa.
Missouri was driving late in the game and appeared to get a first down on a fourth down pass from Gabbert to T.J Moe, who caught 15 passes in the contest, but replay officials nullified the catch and Iowa ran out the clock to preserve their first victory over Missouri in 100 years.
Iowa ended a three-game losing streak to finish at 8-5, while Missouri ended a three-game winning streak and closed the season at 10-3.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who has been under the heat lately, said he was, “proud of his players effort,” and his team, “had come up with some big fourth-quarter plays,” to win the game.