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Defenders hang tough, for awhile

Posted September 7, 1999

By Jim Ecker
Gazette sportswriter

More coverage: Photos | Boxscore

IOWA CITY -- Iowa linebacker Aaron Kampman had a bag of ice strapped to his left arm after Saturday's game against Nebraska. He carried another bag of ice in his hand.

"Minor bumps and bruises. It goes with the territory," he said.

Kampman dished out more than he absorbed Saturday, especially in the first half when the Hawkeyes stood toe-to-toe with the fifth-ranked team in the country.

The Hawks battled Nebraska to a scoreless draw for 1 1/2 quarters yesterday and trailed 7-0 at halftime.

Kampman made a string of big plays in the first half, stuffing the Cornhuskers with big hits, inspiring the crowd and his team.

"We were excited, we were pumped up," he said. "We knew we could play with Nebraska. I still think we can, despite the score."

Kampman refused to blame the offense for the 42-7 defeat, insisting it's a team effort, but the defense obviously got tired in the second half. "That's no excuse," he said.

Kampman finished with seven tackles, including an early pair on Nebraska quarterback Bobby Newcombe and tailback DeAngelo Davis.

"We're a darn good defense and I think we proved that today," Kampman said. "We just have to get a little more consistent."

Kampman, a sophomore from Aplington-Parkersburg, turned down a scholarship from Nebraska.

"I wanted to come out and personally have a great game," he said.

Matt Stockdale had an interception and 31-yard return for Iowa in the first half. He injured his sternum early in the third quarter and was taken to the hospital for treatment, but Coach Kirk Ferentz said the early report is favorable.

LeVar Woods and Ed Saidat recovered fumbles. Anthony Herron and freshman Colin Cole had sacks.

Iowa's defense got shredded in the final game of the 1998 season by Minnesota, but the Hawks looked much stronger Saturday.

"We know we have a good defense. Nebraska is a team, just like us," said defensive tackle Jerry Montgomery. "They didn't do too much today. A couple of big plays."

In reality, Nebraska rolled up 543 yards on 77 plays, a healthy average of 7.1 yards per play. But the Hawks did have seven tackles for losses.

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