Insight Bowl: OU's Blake Bell scores 3 touchdowns as Sooners beat Iowa 31-14

By JOHN MARSHALL, AP College Football Writer Modified: December 31, 2011 at 12:57 am •  Published: December 31, 2011

Oklahoma drove inside Iowa's 10 on its opening drive, though that ended with an acrobatic tip-and-catch interception by Iowa defensive lineman Broderick Binns.

The Sooners kept rolling after that, marching down on their next drive for a 3-yard, play-action touchdown pass from Jones to Trent Ratterree — breaking a streak of eight straight TDs by Bell — to go up 21-0.

The Hawkeyes fought back.

Iowa overcame the suspension of its top running back and a favored opponent to win last year's Insight Bowl, beating Missouri 27-24. The Hawkeyes did it behind Marcus Coker, who ran for 219 yards and two touchdowns after replacing suspended starter Adam Robinson.

This time it was Coker who had to watch. The sophomore, who ran for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns during the regular season, was suspended for violating the university's student-athlete code of conduct.

Without Coker, Iowa would have to rely on a group of unproven running backs — none had more than 18 carries — and lean even more on Vandenberg.

No one was particularly effective in the first half.

Vanderberg was off-target early and had a pass intercepted by Jamell Fleming at Iowa's 31-yard line in the first quarter, then exacerbated the miscue by being called for a late-hit penalty. Bell scored his first touchdown two plays later.

Iowa had just one sustained drive in the first half, but that petered out; the Hawkeyes lost three yards on a fourth-and-1 from Oklahoma's 6-yard line.

Their running game ineffective, the Hawkeyes bumbled around most of the next two quarters before finally moving the ball again late in the third quarter. Vandenberg completed seven of his eight passes on a 75-yard drive, the final an across-his-body throw for a 5-yard touchdown to C.J. Fiedorowicz that cut Oklahoma's lead to 21-7.

Vandenberg then got the Hawkeyes within seven with 7 minutes left, hitting Keenan Davis to convert on a fourth-and-10 to set up a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Canzeri on a screen.

That was it, though.

Oklahoma's Mike Hunnicutt followed a 35-yard field goal with just over 4 minutes left and Bell added his final scoring run after the falling camera nearly took out McNutt.


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