30-Year CFB Anniversary: NC State Upsets No. 16 Iowa in Kickoff Classic

Photo via YouTube/ABC broadcast

For 20 years from 1983 to 2002, Giants Stadium was host to the annual “Kickoff Classic”.

Over those two decades, there were only two occasions where an unranked team knocked off a ranked one. The first was on this day 30 years ago.

NC State scored the final 10 points to knock off No. 16 Iowa, 24-14.

Setting the Stage

Despite being unranked for the contest on Aug. 29, 1992, NC State was coming off a very good season. The Wolfpack finished 9-3 and ranked in 1991.

Led by 14th-year head coach Hayden Fry, Iowa was coming off a top-10 finish in 1991. The Hawkeyes went 10-1-1 with the only loss coming to Big Ten champion Michigan. To start 1992, Iowa was ranked No. 16.

NC State Finds a Way

More than half the final quarter had expired when NC State went ahead for good in the 1992 opener. NC State kicker Steve Videtich had never made a collegiate field goal when his 46-yarder with less than seven minutes to go broke a 14-14 tie and put the Wolfpack up 17-14.

Iowa moved near midfield on the following possession, but a failed conversion attempt on fourth down allowed NC State to deliver the dagger. Following the failed attempt, NC State quarterback Terry Jordan used his legs and his arm to help the Wolfpack find paydirt.

After four runs for 29 yards, Jordan found Eddie Goines in the end zone with less than two minutes to go to ultimately put the game away. Jordan, who missed most of 1991 with an arm injury, rushed for 71 yards.

Iowa’s two touchdowns came on passes from Jim Hartlieb to Danan Hughes. Despite being tied in the fourth quarter, the Hawkeyes never led.

Chicago Tribune


In Hindsight

For both programs, the Kickoff Classic was a sign of how things would go for the season. NC State finished 9-3-1 and ranked No. 17 in the final AP Poll. It marked the first time since 1973 and 1974 under Lou Holtz that the Wolfpack finished AP-ranked in consecutive seasons.

Iowa would go on to finish just 5-7. It was the most losses in a season for Iowa in 12 years.

While the teams had drastically different years, they gave college football fans a good show early on in 1992. That show came on this day three decades ago.

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.