Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Kirk Ferentz ties Joe Paterno for the most bowl wins all-time by a Big Ten coach


Josh Helmer 

Kirk Ferentz’s legendary run at Iowa just got a little more distinguished. With the Hawkeyes’ defensive masterclass over Kentucky, Ferentz now has 10 bowl wins in his career.

Ferentz’s 10 bowl wins ties him with late Penn State head coach Joe Paterno for the most bowl wins as a member of the Big Ten conference all-time. Iowa’s 24-year head coach improved his mark in bowl games to 10-9 and became the 19th coach to win 10 or more bowl games throughout their career.

“Just really happy for our guys. Especially our seniors. What a way to send them off. It’s been a great group, and I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done. Each and every one of these guys has really embodied what it means to be a Hawkeye,” Ferentz said afterwards.

The fact that Xavier Nwankpa and Cooper DeJean each had pick-sixes for the Hawkeyes felt like a fitting finish to a 2022 season highlighted by perhaps the greatest defense in the program’s history.

“Yeah, huge. We knew what we were up against. In some ways both of us were looking in the mirror a little bit. Stronger more veteran on defense, both teams. For us, playing clean football offensively is a starting point. I was confident Joe could do some things and get some things going.

“Defensively, certainly that was going to be paramount, and we’ve ridden that all season long. You never count on the touchdowns, but the field position part,” Ferentz said of Nwankpa and DeJean’s defensive scores.

Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops probably described it best.

“I think Iowa won today by being Iowa, and credit them. I say that with a compliment,” Stoops said.

Iowa finished the TransPerfect Music City Bowl a perfectly imperfect 0-for-11 on third-down conversion tries. The Hawkeyes were also 0-for-2 on fourth-down conversion tries.

Again, given the way the 2022 season unfolded, it was sort of the perfect finish. At any rate, congratulations to coach Ferentz on guiding this team to the Music City Bowl and for finding a way to lean on the defense one final time to pick up a milestone bowl victory.

Here’s the list of Ferentz’s other bowl wins during his run at Iowa:

  1.       2001 Alamo Bowl: Iowa 19, Texas Tech 16
  2. 2004 Outback Bowl: Iowa 37, Florida 17
  3. 2005 Capital One Bowl: Iowa 30, LSU 25
  4. 2009 Outback Bowl: Iowa 31, South Carolina 10
  5. 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl: Iowa 24, Georgia Tech 14
  6. 2010 Insight Bowl: Iowa 27, Missouri 24
  7. 2017 New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa 27, Boston College 20
  8. 2019 Outback Bowl: Iowa 27, Mississippi State 22
  9. 2019 Holiday Bowl: Iowa 49, USC 24

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