Friday, November 13, 2009


COLUMBUS — Before last weekend, the only passes Iowa red-shirt freshman quarterback, James Vandenberg, had attempted in his collegiate career, were the three he threw in garbage time against Iowa State earlier in the season.

The 6-3, 205-pound backup from Keokuk, Iowa, was designated as clipboard carrier this season, riding the pine behind starter, Ricky Stanzi — the man who was leading the Hawkeyes to an undefeated season and a No. 4 ranking in the BCS standings, prior to last weekend.

However, Vandenberg's role with the Hawkeyes was transformed drastically during last Saturday's game against Northwestern, when Stanzi rolled his ankle in the end zone early in the second quarter, forcing the starter to leave the game with a bad sprain. The devastating injury snatched the clipboard out of Vandenberg's hands, and in turn, placed the Hawkeyes' season hopes on his bright green shoulders.

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