football Edit

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This week’s featured program is from September 15, 1984.

Penn State. The Beasts of the East.

I’m old enough to remember the days when PSU was a national program the likes of Notre Dame, Michigan and Miami.

It was Linebacker U. Jack Ham played there. So did Shane Conlan. As did Dennis Onkotz. But Penn State was also Franco Harris, Mike Reid and Ted Kwalick.

Home to All-Americans and All-Pros. Home to plain uniforms and a non-descript football legend, Joe Paterno.

As a Hawk fan I’ve witnessed some great games against PSU, live, on TV and on the radio.

I remember going to a game at Iowa City where, if memory serves correct, Iowa didn’t get a first down until late in the fourth quarter…and that was on a penalty. We finally crossed midfield when an Iowa back fumbled forward and the Hawks fell on it in PSU territory. Add in that the game was played in a light rain and the fact that I stayed for the whole game and those that question my sanity may have a point.

The Hawks got revenge the next year at Penn State when the Hawks held the Mighty Lions to six points en route to a 7-6 win.

I remember playing football in my neighbor’s back yard while Bob Brooks blared on the radio. Tommy Renn banged home a 2 yard TD in the first period and we hoped and hollered and then resumed our game, knowing full well that TD wouldn’t hold up.

Luckily the Hawks thought differently. Iowa turned Penn State away time and time again.

Then in the 4th quarter disaster struck as Jon Lazar was stripped of the ball on Iowa’s 30. Penn State drove that short thirty yards to score, but JoePa gambled by going for two and the pass was broken up in the end zone.

Penn State drove again later in the game and was stopped within the Iowa ten and so they lined up for a FG with less than a minute to go. But LB Dean Moore got a finger on the ball making the kick veer off and giving the game to the Hawks.

Of course, there have been plenty of big wins by the Hawks over PSU, including a stellar game by Tim Dwight in the drizzle in 1996 and the overtime win in 2000 that gave Kirk Ferentz his first Big Ten road win as well as last year’s thriller.

However, one of the wildest games occurred the year before this week’s feature program when Iowa and PSU combined for over 1,000 total yards and 76 points as the Hawks took down the Lions 42-34. Owen Gill led Iowa with 131 yards and one TD, but it was Ronnie Harmon who made the play of the game as he leapt over a defender to grab an under thrown pass from Chuck Long, spun as he hit the ground and scored a 77 yard touchdown.

Coming into the 1984 game both Iowa and Penn State were undefeated and in the top ten. The Hawks were coming off a 59-21 pasting of Iowa State.

The Hawks were led by QB Chuck Long who threw for 217 yards and four TDs in the season opener versus the Clones. Ronnie Harmon was starting to get some snaps at RB behind England born, Owen Gill. Speedster Robert Smith was part of a great receiving corps that included Harmon, Scott Helverson, Bill Happel and an emerging TE, Jon Hayes.

Unfortunately, the Hawks would fall to PSU on this day 20-17 as Tom Nichols’ 56 yard FG to tie fell short.

Larry Station would be chosen 1st team All-American by AP and was one of six Hawkeyes to earn all league honors - Long, Harmon, Hufford, Little and Stoops being the others.

Iowa ended the year with a shellacking of Texas in the rain soaked Freedom Bowl. The Hawks beat the Horns 55-17 behind Longs SIX TD passes. That performance was overshadowed a month later when Long announced he’d be returning to Iowa for his senior year.

In other Hawkeye news the Twin Towers (Greg Stokes and Michael Payne) enjoyed a successful senior season on the basketball court, going 21-10. Stokes ended up as Iowa’s leading scorer.

Three Hawkeye wrestlers won Gold Medals in the '84 Olympics - Randy Lewis and Ed and Louuuuuuuuu Banach, while Barry Davis got Silver.

The complete list of uploaded features from the 1984 game program, including the Iowa two deeps which are listed at the very bottom.

Two deeps for Iowa:


SE - Happel 5’11” 183, Early 6’0” 170

LT - Croston 6’5” 280, Gambol 6’7” 277

LG - Glass 6’1” 270, Kellogg 6’1” 270

C - Sindlinger 6’2” 245, Spranger 6’2” 245

RG - O’Brien 6’3” 272, Humphrey 6’3” 258

RT - Haight 6’3” 276, Wester 6’7” 280

TE - Hayes 6’5” 245, Flagg 6’6” 245

QB - Long 6’4” 202, Vlasic 6’3” 190

RB - Gill 6’1” 226, Harmon 5’11” 196

FB - Bush 6’1 234, Sennott 6’0” 215

WB - Helverson 6’2” 196, Smith 5’11” 176

K - Nichol 5’10 190


LE - Hooks 6’3” 226, Gear 6’1” 204

LT - Hufford 6’3” 262, Drost 6’4” 286

NT - Peterson 6’2” 255, Vrieze 6’3” 245

RT - Little 6’4” 254, Schuster 6’4” 260

RE - Strobel 6’3” 230, Burrell (Height and Weight not listed)

LB - Spitzig 6’3” 220, Hedgemann 6’4” 235

LB - Station 6’1” 231, Davis 6’1” 220

CB - Hunter 5’11” 200, Sims 5’10” 185

SS - Mike Stoops 6’2” 182, Norvell 6’4” 195

FS - Mitchell 6’1 290, Schmidt 6’1” 195

CB - Creer 6’1” 190, Corbin 6’2” 199

P - Nichol or Kostrubala 6’2” 210