Recapping Iowa’s success in alternate uniforms

Iowa football will wear all-gold uniforms on Oct. 12 against Penn State at Kinnick, adding to a history of alternate uniforms at home.



Fans rush the stadium after the Iowa vs. Ohio State game at Kinnick Stadium on Nov. 4, 2017. Iowa defeated Ohio State 55-24.

Pete Mills, Assistant Sports Editor

On Oct. 12, Iowa football will link arms in the tunnel and take the field of Kinnick Stadium to ACDC’s “Back in Black” before facing Penn State. But for the first time in history, they won’t be back in front of fans wearing black uniforms, they’ll be in solid gold.

Although the team won’t wear black, it also won’t be the first time the team’s been in alternate uniforms. A recent history of Hawkeye football in alternates provide an interesting insight in what to expect on Oct. 12.

2015 — Minnesota blackout

On Nov. 15, 2015, a strong run by the Iowa football team became a record-breaking season. A matchup with Minnesota at Kinnick — night game, blackout, and all — put the then-No. 5 Hawkeyes on the national stage.

On the flip side, it was a notably slow year for the Gophers. Minnesota had dropped the previous three contests heading into its matchup with Iowa.

Clad in unforgettable blackout uniforms — with massive, gold numbers and black helmets with wide Tigerhawks — Iowa took down Minnesota to regain Floyd of Rosedale.

LeShaun Daniels must’ve been a fan of the alternates, because the running back busted out a big day for the Hawkeye offense. He rushed for 195 yards on the day, a career best, and added 3 touchdowns. Quarterback C.J. Beathard showed his smarts, scoring 2 touchdowns on the ground and adding 213 yards in the air in a very clean game.

For the first time in Iowa history, the Hawkeyes started 10-0 in a season.

2012 — Purdue throwbacks

It’s not always smooth sailing in alternate uniforms.

It was a notably rough season for Iowa (the team went 4-8), and the alternate throwbacks worn on Nov. 10 against Purdue did not seem to help at all.

The Boilermakers had dropped their previous five games and were hungry for a win. The game was closely contested, with the largest lead going to Purdue after a 36-yard Boilermaker field goal by Sam McCartney to put the team up 17-7 in the first half.

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Quarterback James Vandenberg and the Iowa offense eventually inched back. A 5-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Fiedorowicz opened up scoring for Iowa in the second half. But the hungry Purdue offense responded with another touchdown and never relinquished the lead.

Although it ended with a score of 27-24, Purdue outshone Iowa by a mile in total offense. The Boilermakers put up 490 yards to only 264 yards given up, but 3 Purdue turnovers kept the Hawkeyes in it.

2017 — Ohio State blackout

With the play clock at full, unopened 15 minutes left in the first quarter, Buckeye quarterback J.T. Barrett stepped back in the pocket and launched a pass right into the gut of Iowa defensive back Amani Hooker, who took the ball to the house to open up a nightmarish game for the then-No. 6 Buckeyes.

The game, on Nov. 4, was the last time Iowa has worn alternate uniforms. The storylines that developed from the win still give Iowa fans chills, even though it was an unremarkable season for the team in a lot of ways.

Then-sophomore Nate Stanley had the game of his career, putting up 226 yards passing with 5 touchdowns. T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant — future first-round picks in the NFL draft — each caught 2 of the touchdown passes.

Hooker opened up the interception spree for the Hawkeye defense, but Josh Jackson closed it. In his breakout game, Jackson snagged 3 passes from Barrett — one of them a memorable, acrobatic one-hander next to the Buckeye end zone.

Iowa fans remember the score: 55-24.

The Hawkeyes won’t wear all black this time, but they’ll want the same results. Penn State has been one of the top teams in the conference under James Franklin, and each of the matchups between the teams has been tightly contested. Some magic with the eye-sucking gold uniforms can’t hurt.