Iowa CITY, Iowa - A year ago at this time, Iowa was coming off a season-opening home loss to Northern Illinois. The setback came on the heels of a miserable 4-8 campaign in 2012.
It made sense that the Hawkeyes appreciated Saturday's 31-23 win against Northern Iowa. The alternative held little appeal.
Iowa allowed the Panthers, particularly running back David Johnson, some big plays. But the Hawkeyes recorded some highlights of their own.
Junior receiver Tevaun Smith electrified the crowd with a 35-yard run on a reverse and a one-handed touchdown grab. Defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat rolled up a team-high 10 tackles, four of which were for loss to go with two sacks.
Redshirt freshman Bo Bower, who recently went from walk-on to scholarship player, picked off a pass and sacked the quarterback. Quarterback Jake Rudock completed 31 of 41 passes for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns without an interception.
Watch the Hawkeyes' reaction to their Week 1 win in this video compilation of their thoughts: