Iowa History Daily: October 20 - Houghtlin's Heroic Field Goal

Iowa History Daily: On October 20, 1985, Iowans held their collective breath as Hawkeye kicker Rob Houghtlin booted a game-winning field goal to propel #1 ranked Iowa over #2 ranked Michigan. The 29-yard field goal sailed through the Iowa City sky and into history as Hayden Fry’s Hawkeyes bested Bo Schembechler’s Wolverines 12-10.

Led by Heisman Trophy Candidate Chuck Long at quarterback, the Hawkeyes entered the season in the top 5 before ascending to #1 for only the second time in program history after a 57-3 beating of Iowa State in Ames on September 28. A few weeks later the #2 Wolverines came calling as 66,350 Iowans crammed into Kinnick Stadium to witness the titanic Big 10 clash.

Michigan Quarterback Jim Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a 10-9 lead late in the fourth quarter. Iowa took possession with Long under center at their own 22-yard line as the clock read 5:27 remaining. Suspense continued to build as the Hawkeyes methodically made their way down the field, racing the clock as Long’s drive led to the Michigan 12-yard line with only two seconds to go.

Houghtlin, a walk-on sophomore kicker for the Hawkeyes, squared up for a pressure-packed field goal attempt. With three field goals good on the afternoon already, the kicker remembered later: “"I knew when I hit the ball it was good.” As Hawkeye fans rejoiced, Hayden Fry asked a question which still resonates today: “Was this the biggest win ever at Iowa?" #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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