IOWA CITY – It took 11 games, but the ball finally bounced Iowa’s way.
Anthony Hitchens recovered a fumble late in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory as the Hawkeyes rallied to beat Michigan, 24-21, Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa (7-4, 4-3) spotted Michigan a 21-7 lead on the strength of three turnovers. But after the Hawkeyes recovered to take a 3-point lead with 6:02 remaining, Hitchens stripped quarterback Devin Gardner as the Wolverines were driving to take the lead. Iowa sealed it when Jake Rudock found tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz for a first down that allowed the Hawks to run out the clock.
The Hawkeyes have played well for the most part all season, but untimely turnovers have hurt them in their four losses. Rudock had a season-high three interceptions against Michigan (7-4, 4-3) but offset those with a pair of touchdowns. Iowa trailed 21-7 at halftime, but Rudock threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Tevaun Smith and led two more scoring drives in a second half in which the Hawks scored 17 unanswered points.
Iowa’s defense was dominant in the second half after allowing three touchdowns before intermission. The Hawks allowed just 45 yards of total offense in the half and 158 total. Michigan was held to 10 first downs compared with Iowa’s 21.
Mark Weisman rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown for Iowa, which has won three straight at home over the Wolverines.
Rudock finished with 239 yards passing on 19-0f-30. His interception on Iowa’s first play resulted in a 7-yard return for a touchdown by Brennen Beyer.
The game was played in frigid temperatures, close to 15 degrees with a wind-chill factor of 0.