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As the swarm turns 40, Iowa adds a new twist

As the swarm turns 40, Iowa adds a new twist


Iowa's swarm takes the field for the first time against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday during first-half action in Iowa's season opener at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

IOWA CITY — As Iowa kicked off the 2019 football season Saturday night, there was a new twist to an entrance tradition celebrating its 40th anniversary.

It was 40 years ago new coach Hayden Fry introduced the "swarm" to fans attending games at Kinnick Stadium, an entrance that began on Sept. 8, 1979, when the Hawkeyes took the field for a season-opening game against Indiana.

Taking the field as a group, jogging while holding hands in a sign of solidarity, Iowa football teams have entered the field of competition that way ever since.

Fry said at the time it was a way to build a team.

In addition to an entrance now accompanied at home by the playing of AC/DC’s Back in Black, the Hawkeyes this year for the first time entered through a newly decorated entrance tunnel.

Walls that were simply cement since the south end zone of Kinnick Stadium was rebuilt in 2005 are now a glossy black with the words Iowa edge, Together, Physical, Smart and Swarm in bold gold lettering and a back-lit Back in Black at the end of the tunnel the team uses to reach the field.

The remake was paid for by the Hawkeye Legacy program formed by former Iowa players.

"It’s first class," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "The players were excited to see that. It’s something that kind of lifted their spirits at the end of camp. They’re eager to swarm out of that tunnel. We’re appreciative of everybody that made that a reality."

Short start: Alaric Jackson’s night ended almost before it began.

The junior offensive tackle suffered a right knee injury on the Hawkeyes’ second offensive possession of the game, leaving the field with 4 minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the opening quarter and eventually walking to the locker room with the help of crutches.

Kyler Schott, a sophomore, entered the game at a guard position, and Levi Paulsen shifted to Jackson’s spot at tackle initially. By the second quarter, redshirt freshman Cody Ince entered the game at guard as Jackson watched from the sideline.

Bettendorf's Mark Kallenberger took the field at a tackle spot during Iowa's second touchdown drive of the third quarter as the Hawkeyes looked at a number of lineup combinations.

First freshman: Justin Britt became the first true freshman to see action for Iowa this year.

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman from Indianapolis took the field as part of Iowa’s field goal squad in the first quarter to help the Hawkeyes to an early 3-0 lead.

Missing the opener: Offensive guard Cole Banwart and defensive back Julius Brents missed Saturday’s opener because of injuries.

Banwart’s absence because of a lower leg injury allowed seniors Levi and Landan Paulsen to become the first set of twins to start for Iowa in the same game since Kevin and Kent Ellis started in the Hawkeye secondary during the 1980 season.

Brents was sidelined with a knee injury.

Remembering Bullock: Iowa players wore a decal with “DB5” on their helmets Saturday.

The decal is in memory of former Hawkeye running back Damon Bullock, who rushed for 1,074 yards on 290 carries before completing his Iowa career in 2014 and died in March.

Football and brews: Iowa’s newly completed north end zone grandstand was open for its first game Saturday, an $89 million project which included the stadium’s first loge boxes and a club seating area.

Beer and wine, which have been available for purchase in suites on Kinnick Stadium’s west side, are now also available for the first time to fans seated in the loge and club areas in the north grandstand.

Those are not available to fans seated in remainder of the facility.

Full house: Saturday's game at Kinnick Stadium was a season-opening sellout.

A crowd of 69,250 was announced, the new capacity of the facility following the reconstruction of the north end zone.

Stoops returns: Former Iowa defensive back and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was the honorary captain for Saturday’s game.

Stoops, a letterwinner from 1979-82 who was part of Iowa’s 1981 Big Ten championship team and an all-Big Ten pick the following year, coached the Sooners to a 190-48 record.

He talked with team on Friday and accompanied Hawkeye captains to midfield for the pregame coin toss in addition to being with the team before and after the game.

In the hall: Iowa recognized the members of 31st induction class into the school’s athletics hall of fame during Saturday’s game.

Jeremy Allen, Deb Brickey, Eric Juergens, Marc Long, Diane Pohl, Leroy Smith and Tangela Smith were inducted at an event Friday.

Juergens is a Maquoketa native and a former Augustana wrestling coach, while Allen, a two-sport athlete, and Smith lettered in football.

On the air: Saturday’s game marked the return of Iowa radio voice Gary Dolphin to play-by-play duties after he was suspended for the final weeks of the basketball season for on-air comments he made involving a Maryland player.

Ferentz welcomed Dolphin’s return.

"We look forward to that," Ferentz said. "… It’s great to hear him back on the air. We’re all looking that direction now, what’s in front of us. We’re excited about the season and excited to have Gary be part of that."


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