Hawkeyes speechless about officiating


Published: Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 2, 2006 at 11:58 p.m.
The Iowa Hawkeyes weren't shy about blowing the whistle on the officiating following their 31-24 loss to Florida in Monday's Outback Bowl.
A game featuring several questionable calls against Iowa turned controversial when Iowa senior linebacker Chad Greenway was penalized for being offsides as the Hawkeyes recovered an onside kick with 1:24 left and the game hanging in the balance.
"That was typical of what the refs were doing today," Greenway said, before stopping short of blaming the officials for the loss. "But it's not about that. It's about Florida beating us. They outplayed us today."
Greenway said he felt like he was onside. His coach agreed.
"He looked a lot onside to me," Kirk Ferentz said. "But I'm biased."
Florida coach Urban Meyer said he didn't know if it was the proper call, but agreed it was a huge one.
"Boy, I hope they were offsides," Meyer said. "To make a call like that one. ... That was a tough call."
It was a tough one for Iowa because the Hawkeyes had already shredded Florida's defense for 17 points in the fourth quarter and appeared destined to send the game into overtime had they been given one more series.
"I thought we would have (tied the game)," said Iowa quarterback Drew Tate, who was 32-of-55 passing for 346 yards and three touchdowns. "But it doesn't matter now. It's too late."
Following the penalty, Iowa attempted a second onside kick which was recovered by Florida's Chad Jackson, allowing the Gators to take a knee and end the game.
"You can't ever say, 'What if? What if?' " Greenway said. "That's how it worked out and you have to live with it."
Iowa will have to live with what they believed was a bad afternoon of officiating by the entire Conference USA officiating crew. The Hawkeyes were penalized eight times for 60 yards while the Gators committed five penalties for 30 yards.
A pair of costly Iowa penalties extended a Florida drive late in the first half allowing Dallas Baker to score on a 24-yard touchdown reception with one second left for a 24-7 Florida lead at halftime.
Iowa's Marcus Schnoor was called for running into the punter on fourth-and-3, while defensive end Kenny Iwebema was flagged 15 yards for a helmet-to-helmet personal foul on Florida's Chris Leak.
Replays showed Iwebema never came into contact with Leak's head. Among other penalties against Iowa was an unusual "disconcerting signals" call on the Hawkeyes defense. Iowa linebacker Abdul Hodge said the Hawkeyes were just calling their defense like they had been doing all afternoon and should have just been given a warning.
"When you saw us getting pushed back over things that were non-existent ... come on," Hawkeyes running back Albert Young said. "I don't know what to say about that."
You can reach Brandon Zimmerman by calling 374-5051 or by e-mail at zimmerb@gvillesun.com.

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