On Nov. 8, 2008, unbeaten and third-ranked (AP) Penn State — two weeks removed from a road win over No. 10 Ohio State, one that kept their national champion hopes alive — visited Iowa. The Nittany Lions led 23-14 entering the fourth quarter. They didn't score again; Iowa did.
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Daniel Murray's 31-yard field goal with one second remaining gave the four-loss, unranked Hawkeyes a stunning win that essentially ended Penn State's season. It was the first of three title-crushing blows that Iowa delivered to Big Ten opponents at Kinnick Stadium between 2008-16.
Two years later, on Oct. 30, 2010, undefeated and fifth-ranked Michigan State visited Iowa. Six minutes and 12 seconds into the game, Ricky Stanzi connected with Colin Sanderman on a three-yard touchdown. Michael Meyer's PAT gave them a 7-0 lead. That's all the scoring they needed in a 37-6 demolition of the Spartans.
Iowa didn't play a top-five opponent at home until last year, when No. 2 Michigan came to Kinnick on Nov. 12. Like Penn State and Michigan State in 2008 and 2010, the Wolverines were undefeated and in position for a title shot (or in this case, a playoff spot). Michigan was held to 201 yards of total offense and committed two turnovers, the second of which came in Iowa territory with fewer than four minutes remaining and the Wolverines holding a two-point lead. Three minutes and forty-eight seconds later, Keith Duncan's 33-yard field goal gave Iowa a 14-13 win.
Kinnick Stadium nearly took another top-five opponent this year too. In late September, Penn State needed a 12-play, 65-yard drive in the game's final two minutes to keep their playoff hopes alive with a 21-19 win. It ended Iowa's three-game home winning streak vs. top-five opponents and was their first home loss to a top-five team since a 38-17 shellacking by No. 1 Ohio State in 2006.
They can start a new streak in Week 10 vs. Ohio State. The third-ranked Buckeyes visit Iowa City one week after stunning Penn State in Columbus last week. While Urban Meyer's team is a heavy favorite (-17), if recent history is any indication, this game will be no sure thing for the playoff-seeking Buckeyes.