Q&A with Warren Holloway
Redshirt senior Warren Holloway put his name forever in the Hawkeye history books with The Catch. HawkeyeLocator caught up with the Homewood, Illinois native to discuss the only touchdown he scored in an Iowa uniform.
What do you remember about The Catch and the whole experience?
“I know what I remember about the game for the most part, we prepared a great deal for the game. We were really excited about the fact that they were defending national champs, you know, they were a high profile SEC team. We played Florida the year before, so to play another high profile SEC team really excited us. We were really looking forward to seeing what that SEC speed was like, you know people say that is one of the faster, if not the fastest, conference in the nation. So it was cool to do that. So upon playing the game, we found that we could keep up and we could play and that we had a good chance to win, so long as we stuck to our game. Which, you know, in the Big Ten, is more of a black and blue type of division. But we were also a throwing team that year too so, I guess for a Big Ten team we were playing more of their game. We had pretty good success, actually uncharacteristic success, that game running the ball. As far as the play goes, the play is pretty vivid. We were playing for the field goal, get to the 20 or so and have (Kyle) Schlicher kick it in. About midfield, we had an offensive penalty and we didnt realize that the clock had stopped. We got the play in pretty fast, but we did notice that the defense, their communication was not good, yelling at each other, yelling at the sideline. The secondary was completely unorganized. So that’s what actually made us rush up to the line, not the time running out, which worked out good. So upon the snap, I got off line. The man on me didn’t get a good jam on me at all, which made me think zone, but then I saw the safety come over down on Chandler, so I was a little bit confused because if it was zone he’d still be backpedalling. But he came over on Chandler, and I knew zone or not Ed had his guy man on man pretty much because he could not beat safety help on the inside. Once I got past my guy, I knew I was home free. It was just a matter of whether Drew saw me or not. The play was originally designed to go to Clint [Solomon] on the backside. We all ran gos, and Clinton had a post. He was trying to get one-on-one coverage. But I ended up being the one that was open most of the play. When Drew threw the ball, he kind of hung it some outside and I initially thought he was throwing to Ed. I figured I don’t know who he’s throwing to, it’s the last play of the game and somebody with an Iowa jersey has to catch it. So I went for it anyway. As the ball drifted over my head, it actually stopped over my head, he hung it right over my head. I figured I couldn’t let it just hit the ground so I caught the ball and Ed made a good block. One guy kind of hit me across the shoulder and that was it, you know, just green grass from then on. I thought we would try a field goal kick, but time was out and everybody was running towards me and whatnot. We had a big dog pile where half of us couldn’t breathe. The rest you see on TV and on the clips and stuff. It was a pretty cool experience, you know. I got to sing the fight song in the locker room. One of the more memorable things was the locker room. Coach (Ken) O’Keefe actually picked me up, I didnt think he had it in him per se. He was into the moment and whatnot, so I thought it was pretty interesting.”
Did you have any feelings before the game started that you were going to make a big play?
“You know what, it was part of the team culture that we all visualized what plays that we wanted to make or that we wanted to make a big impact in the game. So I would so absolutely that I had the expectation of making a play, but we all did because thats just how we thought.”
As far as being the only touchdown of your career, how much more special did that make it?
“It makes it very gratifying. I played offense for a reason. You play offense because you like to score, almost regardless of the position. So to finally cross the goal line at least once in five years I would say makes my special experience at Iowa rather complete.”
How does it feel to be a part of one of the greatest plays in Iowa football history?
“All I can say is that it feels good. I mean, I played alongside a lot of good guys, some of which were fortunate enough to go to the NFL. So to be a part of a play thats going to be so vividly remembered and cherished and so forth just feels great. It is a little hard to put into words, but it was cool. From what I understand, Iowa doesnt have many victory-type memories on its own, so at some point in life on Earth it will happen again, but I got to be a part of the first, so thats cool.”
How did your life change after The Catch, and what do fans say when they meet you?
“I don’t know how much I would say my life has changed. Still I maintain that one of my biggest accomplishments at Iowa is probably graduating. I can’t stress enough the importance of that and the type of doors it opened. I can’t count how many times somebody asks, ‘You played at Iowa?’ I’ve lost count how many times the next question is, ‘Did you graduate?’ So I would say graduating is one thing that really changed my life. The cool thing about meeting fans and people who remember the play and not even Iowa fans, people in general but specifically Iowa fans, they always have the story of what happened, where they were at, what they were doing during the play. Its always a great story, it usually involves some furniture being broken or some type of calamity or whatever. So its always cool to here the story, I’m always entertained and glad to hear those stories. Almost always it’s, ‘That was the first time or the only time I did this,’ or, ‘I was standing next to somebody I’ve known all my life and I saw a reaction out of them that Ive never seen before,’ that type of thing. So that’s pretty cool.”
We got to hear it from you what was the play call?
(Laughs) It was called All Up X Post.
You had it ready to go and knew it was coming?
“Yeah, you know, we signal the plays in and we practice the two-minute-drill all the time, so everything was pretty textbook. Honestly, the whole play in itself really felt like practice, you know, I wasn’t nervous at all. The thing they say about everything going silent and so forth, that’s all very true, I have to admit. When the ball was in the air I didn’t hear anything at all until I actually caught the ball. Then I could hear everything and was more aware. But I can definitely say that when the ball was in the air, it was just me and the ball.”