Well, this is unusual. Not the fact that Iowa lost 17-9 to Wisconsin on Saturday; that was expected.
But with 5 minutes, 30 seconds left to play in the game, the Hawkeyes were down 14-6, and had the ball at the Wisconsin 20-yard line. Iowa faced a fourth and 5, and coach Kirk Ferentz sent in the field-goal unit.
Iowa’s Keith Duncan missed a 38-yard attempt. The Badgers took over and drove for a field goal that salted away the game. Now you may be wondering why the Hawkeyes didn’t go for a touchdown late in the game. Score a TD, get the two-point conversion and the game is tied, right?
It seems that Ferentz didn’t realize Iowa could have pulled even. At least that’s what we can glean from the postgame news conference.
Lest you think this is an exaggeration, here is the transcript of what Ferentz said when he was asked about trying a field goal:
Q. This will sound like second-guessing. It’s 14-6, you go for the field goal. You’re still going to need a touchdown. What was the thought process there?
COACH FERENTZ: You have to score twice. It gets down to that. Somehow, some way you’re going to have to score twice.
If there’s a little bit less, fourth-and-two, something like that, we probably would have gone for the touchdown.
Q. 14-6, if you get the touchdown and the two-point conversion, you have a tied ballgame.
COACH FERENTZ: The situation we were in, we felt that was the best play.
Fourth-and-five against these guys is not easy, especially down there in the red zone. We didn’t see that as a high-probability play. We’re going to have to get back there again. Kind of the thinking there.
Hmmm. Not surprisingly, many people were either dumb-founded or flat-out angry.