Iowa’s version of Captain America is making what everyone hopes will be a streak-breaking return to America’s Heartland.
No. 17 Iowa will play host to No. 10 Penn State in Iowa City Saturday night. The Nittany Lions have gotten the best of the Hawkeyes of late as they’ve won each of the last five games between the Big Ten programs, with Iowa’s last win coming in 2010. The starting quarterback for the Hawkeyes that October day? Ricky Stanzi.
All of which brings us to this week, with Iowa announcing that its honorary captain for the Penn State game will be… Stanzi, who will walk with the Hawkeyes’ captains to midfield for the pregame coin toss. Additionally, the school stated, Stanzi “be with the Hawkeyes in the locker room before and after the game.”
And the Friday night before the game as well.
From 2008-10, Stanzi posted a 26-9 record as Iowa’s starting quarterback. During that span, he and Iowa went 3-0 against Penn State, the first of which was a 24-23 upset of the then-No. 3 Nittany Lions. The next two wins came by a combined 32 points, including a 24-3 triumph at Kinnick Stadium in 2010 that turned out to be the Hawkeyes’ last win in a miniseries that extends back to 1930.
Stanzi, the only player to quarterback Iowa to three straight bowl wins, remains third on the school’s all-time list in passing yards (7,377) and total offense (7,373). He also still, nearly a decade later, leads the nation in ‘Merica bad-assery.