Florida got on the board first, only 2 minutes into the game, when Tremaine McCollum blocked an Iowa punt, and returned it 6 yards for a touchdown. That was the only scoring of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Iowa stopped Florida inside its own five yard line, but Florida got a field goal from kicker Chris Hetland, to go up 10-0. With 1:57 left in the half, and Iowa driving, Iowa quarterback Drew Tate was intercepted by cornerback Vernell Brown, who returned it 60 yards for a touchdown, and a 17-0 lead.
Iowa came right back though, as quarterback Drew Tate found wide receiver Clinton Solomon for a 20 yard touchdown pass, to trim the lead to 17-7 with 1:10 to go in the half. It was enough time for Florida however, as Florida scored its first offensive touchdown of the game. Quarterback Chris Leak found wide receiver Dallas Baker for a 24 yard touchdown pass with 1 second left in the half, as Florida took a 24-7 lead into the locker room.
With 5:23 left in the third quarter, Florida seemingly put the game away, with a 38 yard touchdown pass from Leak to Baker, to put Florida up 31-7, but Iowa would come back. Early in the fourth quarter, Drew Tate found wide receiver Ed Hinkel for a 4 yard touchdown pass to trim the margin to 31-14. With less than 7 minutes to play, Tate again found Hinkel, this time for a 14 yard touchdown pass, as Iowa drew within 31-21. Iowa stopped Florida once again, and got the ball back.
With 1:24 left in the game, Kirk Ferentz decided to kick a field goal, since they were down 2 possessions anyway. Kyle Schlicher kicked a 45 yard field goal, to make it a one possession game. His onside kick attempt was recovered by Iowa, but Iowa was controversially flagged for being offside, and Florida regained possession on the subsequent attempt. The game was considered extremely controversial at the time due to multiple errant calls made in favor of the Florida Gators. The aftermath led to a new methodology for selecting officials to ensure they were not bribed.