COLUMBUS, Ohio — Iowa’s staff and players prepared for two weeks to shock No. 4 Ohio State.
They did — for a half.
Behind tailback Carlos Hyde’s 149 yards rushing and two touchdowns and Braxton Miller’s wizardry both throwing and running, the Buckeyes overcame a halftime deficit to beat the Hawkeyes 34-24 on Saturday.
“It wasn’t like anybody on our part thought it was going to be an easy second half,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “You play 60 minutes. There’s no prizes for leading at halftime.”
Iowa (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) got plenty of big performances and was tied heading into the fourth quarter before the Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0) scored the final 10 points to run their FBS-best winning streak to 19 straight.
“We’ve just got to play better,” said Jake Rudock, who completed 19 of 34 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns with one interception for the Hawkeyes. “We’ve got to play enough to win, believe that we’re going to win. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done today.”
Rudock threw scoring passes of 2 yards to C.J. Fiedorowicz and 6 yards to Kevonte Martin-Manley as the Hawkeyes, 17-point underdogs, took a 17-10 halftime lead.
Hyde, who rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the second half to lead a power surge, got Ohio State rolling on the first possession of the third quarter. He barely got the nose of the football over the goal line to score the first touchdown after 204 rushing attempts against Iowa this season.
Miller, who completed 22 of 27 passes for 222 yards and two scores without an interception and ran for 102 yards, then hit Devin Smith on a 14-yard scoring pass for Ohio State’s first lead of the game.
On the next official play from scrimmage, Rudock flipped a perfect spiral just over the outstretched hands of a defender and to the fingertips of Jake Duzey, who caught it in stride and raced 85 yards down the Iowa sideline to tie it again at 24 through three quarters.
“I didn’t have any idea where anybody was so I just kept running,” he said. “I wasn’t going to look back.”
Rudock marveled at how a brawny 6-foot-4, 245-pound sophomore could not only make the catch over his shoulder but also outrun three Ohio State defenders the final 50 yards.