Western Michigan Upsets Iowa, 27-21

Updated 9/9/2000
Iowa's Kahlil Hill (3) is tackled by Western Michigan's Ronald Rogers after making a first quarter reception, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2000, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) (September 9, 2000) -- Jeff Welsh passed for 216 yards and a touchdown and Jared Pike thwarted Iowa's final drive with two key sacks as Western Michigan held off the Hawkeyes 27-21 on Sept. 9th.

The Broncos (1-1), who lost a close 19-7 contest to Wisconsin in their season opener, gave the Hawkeyes (0-2) fits early in racing to a 24-6 halftime lead.

Iowa's Scott Mullen threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kahlil Hill and a 6-yard TD toss and 2-point conversion pass to Kevin Kasper to pull the Hawkeyes to within 24-21 with 4:22 to play in the third quarter.

A 33-yard field goal by Brad Selent, his second of the game, gave the Broncos a 27-21 edge with 6:52 remaining. The Hawkeyes had to punt on their ensuing possession, but Tim Dodge intercepted a pass by Welsh to give Iowa the ball at its 38 with 5:28 to play.

Mullen, who completed 23 of 34 passes for 314 yards, guided the Hawkeyes to the Western Michigan 34 just inside 2 minutes to play. But on a fourth-and-15, Mullen was sacked by Pike.

The Hawkeyes got an automatic first down on the Broncos' 29, but Pike nailed Mullen for a 9-yard loss before making the decisive stop three plays later.

Western Michigan's Garrett Soldano, top, dives over Iowa quarterback Scott Mullen to recover a fumble in the fourth quarter Saturday, Sept. 9, 2000, in Iowa City, Iowa. Western Michigan won 27-21. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
The Broncos got the ball back with 1:47 to play and ran out the clock to win the first meeting between the teams.

Welsh put on a clinic in the first half, completing 14 of 16 passes for 161 yards, including a 36-yard scoring toss to Steve Neal.

Welsh finished the day 20-for-30, while Neal had eight receptions for 114 yards.

Iowa's Kevin Kasper caught nine passes for 102 yards.

Ryan Harris made his first collegiate pass count for the Broncos, hooking up with Corey Alston on a 78-yard scoring toss as he subbed for Welsh on Western Michigan's first series of the second quarter.

That gave the Broncos a 17-6 lead with 10:01 left in the second quarter. Iowa's scoring came from a 41-yard field goal from Nate Kaeding in the first quarter and a 47-yarder in the second.

However, Kaeding, a freshman who played a few blocks away at Iowa City West High School, missed a 35-yard field goal to the right early in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game at 24.

His first field goal came after Hill opened the game with a 55-yard kickoff return, but the Bronco's tied the game on Selent's 48-yard field goal, also in the first quarter.

A 1-yard TD plunge by Robert Sanford capped an 8-play, 65-yard drive that gave Western Michigan a 10-3 lead before Kaeding's second field goal closed the gap to 10-6.