Insight Bowl: Iowa Defeats Missouri 27-24

An Insight Bowl record 53,453 saw an upset victory for the Iowa Hawkeyes (8-5) as they defeated the Missouri Tigers (10-3) in Sun Devil Stadium on Tuesday evening.

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Insight Bowl Victory For Iowa, 27-24 Over Missouri In Thrilling Win

Temple, AZ (Sports Network) – Iowa had waited for a big defensive play all season during heartbreaking last-second losses. It finally got it in the Insight Bowl.

Micah Hyde picked off Blaine Gabbert near the sideline, reversed field and followed a convoy 72 yards for the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter, as Iowa rallied past 14th-ranked Missouri, 27-24.

Iowa (8-5) had been tortured all season by a defense that faded in crunch time. The Hawkeyes lost three straight coming into the bowl game, all by four points or less. The defense had given up a game-winning touchdown in each of its five losses, and also had the bowl distraction of player suspensions, as leading receiver Derrel Johnson-Koulianos and leading rusher Adam Robinson both sat out.

Big players stepped up in their place. True freshman Marcus Coker ran for an Iowa bowl record 219 yards and two touchdowns and Marvin McNutt compiled 63 yards receiving for the Hawkeyes. Coker’s rushing total surpassed Bob Jeter’s 194 yards in the 1959 Rose Bowl victory over California.

Gabbert threw for 434 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions with 152 of those yards going on 15 completions to T.J. Moe. Jerrel Jackson caught nine passes for 129 yards for Missouri (10-3), which failed in its quest to win four straight games to end a season for the first time since 1965.

Iowa took the opening kickoff 67 yards in eight plays to paydirt. Ricky Stanzi’s 49-yard connection with McNutt was the drive’s big play, and Coker’s fifth straight rush ended with a touchdown from one yard out.

The Tigers took their initial possession 75 yards on 16 plays, converting three third downs, including a 24-yard toss from Gabbert to Jackson on 3rd- and-19 from midfield. The march stalled and Grant Ressel booted through a 23-yard field goal for a four-point game.

A quick dart from its new back gave Iowa a double-digit edge. After a six-yard pass to Allen Reisner, Stanzi turned and handed off to Coker, who did the rest with a 62-yard jaunt for a 14-3 edge.

Missouri reversed field position on its next series, but Iowa used a 38-yard toss from Stanzi to Don Nordmann to set up another score, this time a 34-yard field goal off the foot of Michael Meyer for a 17-3 lead.

The Tigers answered with a heavy dose of the pass — five complete passes in all — before Henry Josey caught the Hawkeyes off guard with a 10-yard TD jaunt for a seven-point margin.

Coker again ran around and through the Missouri defenders on Iowa’s first second-half possession. Coker broke off a 35-yard run highlighted by a head-on collision with a linebacker five yards into the scamper. The drive stalled inside the Tigers five-yard line, and Meyer was true from 21 yards out for a 20-10 lead.

Missouri again called a plethora of passes on its next drive. Gabbert found an open Michael Egnew for 25 yards and again for 13 later on in the march. He finally sprinted up the middle for a seven-yard score and 20-17 deficit late in the third quarter.

After a Stanzi interception, Missouri methodically moved 57 yards in nine plays to take the lead. The Tigers needed to convert just one third down, and Egnew was the recipient of Gabbert’s deft three-yard TD pass for a 24-20 lead.

After Gabbert’s poor decision resulted in Hyde’s 72-yard interception return, the Tigers advanced the football to the Iowa 43-yard line and appeared to connect on a fourth-down throw to the sideline. However, the originally ruled completion was overturned, creating a turnover on downs.

Iowa iced the game with Stanza’s 39-yard completion to Reisner in the closing seconds.

This game marked Missouri’s 28th all-time bowl appearance. Missouri made one other appearance in the Insight Bowl, downing West Virginia, 34-31, in 1998…Iowa played in its 25th bowl game…Missouri still holds a 7-6 edge in the all-time series, and this was the first meeting since 1910…Missouri had 512 total yards to 425 for Iowa…Stanza threw for 200 yards on 11-of-21 passing with two interceptions…Egnew caught seven passes for 64 yards. Coker carried the football 33 times, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.

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Missouri Intercepts Stanzi, Drives To Take Lead Against Iowa 24-20

After intercepting Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi in Missouri territory, Blaine Gabbert and the Tigers put together a quick drive that resulted in a 3-yard touchdown strike to Michael Egnew, the Missouri Tight End.

The Tigers have taken a 24-20 lead with :54 seconds left in the third quarter, finally overcoming their lack of running game to establish a presence through both dimensions of their offense.

Iowa held out for a long time, and they still may win this game – but Missouri has all the momentum now.

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Missouri Scores On Gabbert Touchdown Run, Iowa Leads 20-17 In Third

Blaine Gabbert has the look of a man possessed. He is willing his team back into the Insight Bowl with his arm and his legs. He has passed for 354 yards and also just picked up a big touchdown on a QB keeper.

Despite the lack of a run game, Gabbert is bringing Mizzou close. With 4:34 left in the third quarter, the Iowa lead has been trimmed to 3.

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Iowa Adds Field Goal, Take 20-10 Lead Over Missouri

After a 13-play, 93-yard, 6:17 long drive, the Iowa Hawkeyes scored a field goal from the leg of Mike Meyer to take a ten point lead in the Insight Bowl.

As of the 7:03 mark in the third quarter, Iowa RB Maurice Coker has already collected 170 yards on the ground, plowing over Mizzou defenders and establishing himself as a prominent freshman talent.

Ricky Stanzi has been accurate and has moved the chains, picking up 156 yards so far on 9/15 passing. The Tigers have only picked up 11 yards on the ground, which is a statistic that needs to change if they are going to pull out the win tonight in Sun Devil Stadium.

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Gabbert Shows Off His Arm, Missouri Still Gets Intercepted, Iowa Leads 17-10 At Half

Blaine Gabbert has shown off an excellent football acumen in the Insight Bowl, placing balls in excellent spots and maneuvering around Iowa defenders.

Unfortunately, Gabbert was picked off in the end zone in the final minute of the second quarter after one of his passes bounced off a receiver’s hands and into the awaiting arms of a Hawkeye defender.

Despite this interception, Gabbert has still thrown for 284 yards in the first half, boosting his stock in the process.

At the half, Iowa leads Missouri 17-10.

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Missouri Rushes Back Into Insight Bowl, Iowa Leads 17-10

Henry Josey of Missouri scored on a 10-yard rush to bring the Tigers within one touchdown of the surprising Iowa Hawkeyes.

Blaine Gabbert has already thrown for 206 yards on 16 for 21 passing, and with the near-complete absence of a running game, Gabbert has shouldered the load admirably.

There is now 4:51 left in the second quarter, and Iowa will have the ball on their own 20-yard line after a touchback.

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Insight Bowl: Iowa Scores Again, 17-3 Over Missouri, Second Quarter

The Hawkeyes offense was well-prepared for this game against the Missouri defense. Kirk Ferentz and his staff identified the strengths and weaknesses of the Tiger defense over several weeks and have exposed the flaws in a big way.

The main problem? Mizzou is not getting any sort of pressure on QB Ricky Stanzi. Stanzi is taking his time, making his reads, and finding open men down the sideline on a consistent basis.

The Hawkeyes were forced to settle for a field goal from the 17-yard line after a successful drive, and now lead 17-3 with 7:28 to go in the third quarter.

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Coker Runs For 62-Yard Touchdown, Iowa Takes Commanding 14-3 Lead Over Missouri

Maurice Coker looks great out there on offense, blowing through an open hole and running for a 62-yard touchdown with 13:26 left in the second quarter.

Missouri is getting hit in the mouth right now and does not look like a 10-2 team. Iowa certainly doesn’t look 7-5, and even with all their personnel issues they have come out with purpose in the Insight Bowl so far.

Blaine Gabbert looks to stop the bleeding now, and will try to lead a long drive to bring the Tigers back to within one score.

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Missouri Counters With Field Goal, Trail Iowa 7-3

Blaine Gabbert led an efficient drive down to the Iowa five-yard line before the offense was stalled. Kicker Grant Ressel put it through the uprights from 23 yards out to put the Missouri Tigers on the board.

With 3:53 left in the first quarter, this game has been loud and exciting. The fans are enthusiastic and have shown up in droves, and most of the seats are now filled.

Gabbert was 8 for 9 for 82 passing yards but lost eight yards on the ground.

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Insight Bowl: Iowa Strikes First, Take 7-0 Lead Over Missouri

Marcus Coker, the freshman running back for the Hawkeyes, gashed his way up the middle for a two-yard touchdown run with 10:32 left in the first quarter.

The drive was sparked by a huge catch by Marvin McNutt on a 49-yard reception. Stanzi hit McNutt on a streak down the right sideline and Iowa took advantage to take the first lead of the Insight Bowl.

Next, Missouri takes the field looking to even the tally.

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Insight Bowl, Missouri vs. Iowa: One Hour Until Kickoff

Missouri and Iowa fans have begun to enter Sun Devil Stadium, and the weather  conditions outside make for a great night to watch football (currently low 60's, no wind). The field is adorned with the Missouri letters on the north end zone and the Iowa letters on the south side. Both teams use a black and gold color scheme, so it will be difficult to determine who brought the larger contingent until the cheering begins.

The Insight logo is in three locations on the field, and they are certainly getting a lot for their advertising dollar. The entire upper deck of the north end zone is covered by black tarp, and seats on both sides begin on the side of the Missouri end zone. 

Missouri boosters are placing yellow pom poms on the west side seats, hoping to stir up some home cooking for their Tigers. The bands are facing each other across the north end zone and the stadium is filling up nicely. With the quality of these two teams, a sellout is a real possibility.

We will continue to bring you updates regarding the Insight Bowl all evening long. Stay tuned to SB Nation Arizona for all the details.

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