Ann Arbor — Twenty-five years ago, Michigan and Iowa played in a classic showdown of the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams.
The identities of both will be considerably different when they meet Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium.
The Wolverines, coached by Bo Schembechler, had a lock-down defense that allowed a total of just 21 points in the first five games going into Iowa City in 1985.
This year, Michigan has given up 26.8 points A GAME over the first six weeks.
Iowa, coached by Hayden Fry and quarterbacked by Chuck Long, was an offensive power in ’85, having averaged 44.2 points in its first five games.
These Hawkeyes coming to town are now built around their defense — No. 1 in the nation in points allowed (10.2 per game) and No. 4 in total defense.
“You bring up good moments,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said during his weekly news conference earlier this week, flashing back 25 years to when he was the Hawkeyes’ offensive line coach. ” I liked the end, I remember that. I liked that a lot.”
Rob Houghtlin, despite being hampered by a torn quadriceps, kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 1 Iowa the 12-10 victory.
Brent Musburger, then with CBS, asked Fry during a post-game interview what he was thinking as Houghtlin, who did all of Iowa’s scoring on 4-of-5 field goals, prepared for the final kick.
The response was classic Hayden Fry.
“I was thinking ‘Praise the Lord’ and forgive us of all our many sins,” the coach said, smiling. “We love you, Lord, and just help us one more time.”
It was the Wolverines’ only loss of the season. They went on to go 10-1-1, including a victory over Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl, and finished No. 2 in the final poll.
Iowa later lost to Ohio State but still won the Big Ten championship. The Hawkeyes then lost again to UCLA in the Rose Bowl and ended up No. 10 with a 10-2 record.