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No. 10 Iowa gets past Hoosiers 35-27 to stay perfect

No. 10 Iowa gets past Hoosiers 35-27 to stay perfect

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — C.J. Beathard had the perfect ending for a painful Saturday.

He kept No. 10 Iowa unbeaten and in prime position to make a playoff run.

The Hawkeyes quarterback, who has battled a groin injury for the past month, hurt his back on a leaping go-ahead touchdown run late in the first half, continued to play and threw a 10-yard TD pass to George Kittle with 6:03 left in the game to wrap up a crucial 35-27 victory at Indiana. Beathard made it look

easy. 'Nothing serious, I just bruised my back,' he said. 'I'm not 100 percent, but when the adrenaline's going, it felt pretty good.' So he refused to let anything derail the Hawkeyes' surprising playoff push.

Iowa (No. 9 CFP) is 9-0 for the first time since 2009 and only for the second time ever.

At 5-0 in conference play and with three regular-season games remaining — home against Minnesota and Purdue and at Nebraska — the Hawkeyes have a clear path to their first Big Ten West title and a return trip to Indiana for the conference championship game on Dec. 5.

And Beathard, the first Iowa quarterback to win his first nine starts, improved to 10-0 with a gritty performance. He shrugged off the nicks to finish 19 of 31 with 233 yards and the touchdown and ran five times for 38 yards to continue Iowa's pursuit of perfection. In fact, Beathard may have saved the pursuit of perfection with a daring 7-yard quarterback draw that had him diving over a pile of defenders and the ball coming out at the goal line. When the replay review didn't show enough to overturn the call, Iowa led 21-17 with 17 seconds left in the half. The Hawkeyes never trailed again. 'That was a great effort on his part, and I guess we can all quit asking about what percent he is because I have no idea and certainly he doesn't either,' coach Kirk Ferentz said. 'It's a good enough percent to look like a football player out there.'

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