IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Jeremiha Hunter made up for a mental mistake moments earlier by blocking Northern Iowa's second field goal try in the closing seconds, allowing No. 22 Iowa to escape with a 17-16 victory Saturday.
The Panthers lined up for the potential winning field goal with 7 seconds left, but Broderick Binns blocked Billy Hallgren 's 40-yard attempt on first down. Believing the game was over, Hunter and several Hawkeyes allowed UNI to recover the ball with a second left.
After officials reviewed the play to make sure there was time on the clock, the Panthers tried again on second down, and Hunter got his hand on Hallgren's attempt to preserve the win.
The Panthers, one of the top programs in the Football Championship Subdivision, returned 14 starters from a team that reached the national semifinals last season. The experience showed as Northern Iowa put the ultimate scare into its in-state rival.
Ricky Stanzi had 242 yards passing for the Hawkeyes, who trailed 13-10 before Stanzi found tight end Tony Moeaki for a 6-yard touchdown with 13:18 left in the game.
Hallgren's 39-yard field goal with 4:26 left brought Northern Iowa within 17-16.
Pat Grace , who threw for 270 yards, then methodically marched the Panthers all the way form their own 8 yard line with 2:14 left to set up Hallgren's potential game-winners.
The Hawkeyes gained just 104 yards of total offense in the first two quarters. The running back tandem of Paki O'Meara and Adam Robinson rushed for 79 yards on 24 carries in Iowa's first game minus Doak Walker Award winner Shonn Greene - hardly encouraging for the Hawkeyes.
Northern Iowa outgained Iowa 354-329 and went 7 for 17 on third down.
With Iowa's offense stuck in the mud, the Panthers drove 91 yards on 15 plays to take a 10-3 lead and quiet a sold-out crowd - save for patches of purple-clad Northern Iowa supporters who made the 70-mile drive from Cedar Falls.
Grace capped the drive by finding Ryan Mahaffey for a diving 14-yard TD catch.
Iowa caught a major break by recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, but fumbled it right back to Northern Iowa two plays later. A 34-yard field goal by Hallgren gave Northern Iowa a 13-3 lead early in the third quarter.
After looking lifeless for two quarters, Iowa's offense got on track in surprisingly quick fashion. The Hawkeyes went 70 yards in just six plays, and Robinson's first career touchdown, an 11-yarder, pulled them with 13-10 with 9:41 left in the third quarter.
The Hawkeyes finally took the lead back on Stanzi's TD pass to Moeaki in the corner of the end zone.
Iowa blew a pair of scoring chances in the third quarter and went into the fourth quarter down by three. Daniel Murray missed a 48-yard field goal, and a 44-yard touchdown pass to Paul Chaney Jr. was called back because of a holding penalty.
Former Iowa coach Hayden Fry was the Hawkeyes' honorary captain. Fry, who won three Big Ten titles in 20 seasons at Iowa, was on the field for the coin toss and later hung out on the Hawkeyes sideline.
They also wore stickers on their helmets that read ''ANF,'' for ''America Needs Farmers.'' Those decals originated during Fry's tenure.