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Recap: Miami battles, falls at #20 Iowa 38-14

Brett Gabbert played well in his first start, but the defense got worn down late.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 Miami OH at Iowa Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Saturday was a historic night for the Miami RedHawks as Brett Gabbert got the nod at starting quarterback, making the first-ever true freshman to start at the position in program history. He certainly earned his place on the field as he went 17-27 for 186 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception on the road against #20 Iowa. The bad news for the RedHawks is that Iowa could’ve done whatever they wanted to offensively in the second half as every drive for the Hawkeyes in the third and fourth quarters (save for the drive that ended in a turnover and the game-ending drive) ended in a touchdown.

The first half was a very different experience, however. Miami was able to get a stop on fourth down on Iowa’s first drive and held the Hawkeyes to three points on the following drive. On the following possession, Gabbert led the ‘Hawks on a ten-play, 77-yard drive that was capped off with Gabbert’s first touchdown pass to Jack Sorenson. Iowa responded with a lengthy touchdown drive of their own to retake the lead at 10-7.

The teams traded punts, and Miami ended up with possession of the ball in Iowa territory with 2:31 left in the half. The Red and White managed to get to fourth-and-one on the 36-yard line going in before Iowa called a timeout to adjust their defense. Next, Miami called another timeout to try to get their house in order but to no avail as they were flagged for 12 men in the huddle and had to punt the ball back to Iowa. The Hawkeyes ran out the clock to end the half.

The second half was a rough one for the Miami offense as it went 0-5 on third down conversions during the final two periods, giving Iowa a chance to pull away. After capping off the first two drives of the third quarter with touchdowns, the Hawkeyes coughed up the ball on third-and-one and Doug Costin recovered it to give new life to the RedHawks. Gabbert concluded another ten-play drive with his second career scoring pass to Andrew Homer.

Iowa answered back with a score of their own and Gabbert had a rare miscue on the ensuing drive as he threw an interception on the first play of the drive, giving the Hawkeyes possession at the Miami 23-yard line. The ensuing touchdown for Iowa with a little over three minutes left ended the game for all intents and purposes as both team put their backup quarterbacks on on their final drives of the game.

In addition to Gabbert, other RedHawks were able to produce in spite of the loss. Sorenson looks like he’s in midseason form with five receptions for 44 yards and a score, while Luke Mayock added three catches for 65 yards. Sterling Weatherford and Ryan McWood led the team with ten tackles each as Kyle Kramer did his part in the field position battle as he pinned the Hawkeyes inside their own 20-yard line four times.

The RedHawks return to action on Saturday as they host Tennessee Tech at 2:30 p.m. for their Homecoming. The game will be available on ESPN+.