2011 Iowa Hawkeyes Football

Big Ten football fans

Iowa Hawkeyes vs LA-Monroe Warhawks Football Recap

Iowa 45, Louisiana Monroe 17


In the big picture, Iowa’s month of September was not as fulfilling as it could have been. A loss to rival Iowa State created such a reality. However, when one then realizes the journey this team has made over the first four weeks of the regular season, the outlook in Iowa City doesn’t seem so gloomy after all.

In their final nonconference game of the season, the Iowa Hawkeyes stomped the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks on Saturday afternoon at Kinnick Stadium. James Vandenberg completed 21 of 32 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Marcus Coker carried 18 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

The Hawkeyes, who ran a no-huddle offense during the first half, led 28-3 at halftime. The Warhawks showed life in the third quarter, scoring on a four-yard run by Kolton Browning to cut Iowa's lead to 28-10. The teams traded touchdowns before a 23-yard pass from Vandenberg to Keenan Davis gave Iowa a 42-17 lead with 39 seconds left in the third, shutting the door on the visitors from the Deep South.

Yes, this was a matchup between a Big Ten team and a Sun Belt foe. However, the decisiveness of the victory had to cheer the Hawks and their fans. It’s true that the loss to Iowa State in the Cy-Hawk rivalry game cut deep for head coach Kirk Ferentz and the rest of the Iowa football family. However, the Hawkeyes’ ability to come back from the dead against Pittsburgh – overcoming a 24-3 deficit in the process – might very well have changed the tone and trajectory of this season. Yes, Iowa fans expected to be 4-0 and not 3-1 after four games, but perhaps the adversity faced by Ferentz’s forces will make this team and the program more resilient as a result. Iowa has endured hardships in September, and that might be the best possible galvanizing component this team could have possibly hoped for. It’s definitely something to lean on as October approaches.

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Vandenberg's one-yard touchdown run gave Iowa a 7-0 lead on their first drive of the game to set the right tone for the aggressive and attacking Hawkeyes. Marvin McNutt caught seven passes for 100 yards and two first-half touchdowns, both on fade routes inside the red zone. Kevonte Martin-Manley finished with six catches for 82 yards for the winners.

The Warhawks used two quarterbacks. Cody Wells completed 13 of 17 passes for 162 yards. Kolton Browning completed 16 of 27 passes for 131 yards.

The Hawkeyes committed just one penalty and turned the ball over once. The Warhawks were turnover-free, but couldn't move the ball consistently. Iowa held ULM to 59 yards on 30 rush attempts. The Warhawks lost their third straight game against BCS conference teams, having also fallen at TCU and Florida State.

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer