LIKELY JANUARY TRIFECTA
With the win against Minnesota, Iowa joins Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin as Big Ten schools who have made January bowl appearances in three consecutives seasons. The other six schools in the Big Ten have never accomplished that feat.
HAWKS COULD DOT B10 POTW LIST
Drew Tate threw for more than 330 yards, Clinton Solomon nearly caught 160 yards worth of passes and Kyle Schlicher kicked five field goals on Saturday. Schlicher is a lock for B10 Special Teams POTW, while Tate and Solomon could either win it or share it. Jonathon Babineaux won it last week on the defensive side of things.
Over the past three seasons, Iowa is 19-4 in Big Ten play. The 19 wins ties the Iowa record for most league wins in three consecutive seasons. Iowa was 19-3-1 in league play from 1983-1985. They played nine Big Ten game in 1983 and 1984. Since going exclusively to an eight-game league schedule in 1985, Iowa's best three-season mark in league play is 18-6.
Iowa has won 36 games over the last four years, a total that ties for the second-most over any four-year span. The record of 37 was set from 1984-87…Iowa has won six straight conference games…The 2004 Iowa Hawkeyes become only the third Iowa team to record at least six consecutive conference victories in the same season (1991 (7), 2002 (8). Folks, that is three times, ever, in the history of the program, and it has happened twice in the last two years under Kirk Ferentz. These are truly excellent times…With the win at Minnesota, Iowa clinched no worse that sole possession of third place in the Big Ten. Iowa finished 4th in 2001, 1st in 2002 and fourth in 2003.
Iowa entered this year with several winning streaks in league play, and that meant that a lot of teams were gunning for the Hawkeyes. Their two game streak against Michigan was snapped back in September, while Iowa padded its winning streak against Penn State to five games in October. Iowa also has a two-game winning streak against Illinois and a four game winning streak against Minnesota. Iowa has a two-game winning streak against Wisconsin, the team they will play this week.
One mark of a great football program is when they get better as the season wears on.
Over the past three seasons, Kirk Ferentz's teams are 10-1 in October and 8-1 in November. Go back four years, and they are 11-4 and 10-2.
Like fine wine, Ferentz's teams get better with ‘age'.
A proven formula for Big Ten title contention is to split your road games and win all of your home games. Iowa handed Minnesota its first home loss of the season on Saturday. Iowa finished its 2004 Big Ten road campaign at 3-1. Last year, the Hawks were 1-3 on the road.
IOWA GAMES ARE ‘MUST SEE' EVENTS
The game at Minnesota was a sellout on Saturday, marking the ninth sellout crowd Iowa has played in front of in its ten games this year. The lone exception was at Illinois. Iowa's game against Wisconsin this week is also a sellout.
Iowa improves to 36-4 when leading at the half and 39-2 when leading after three quarters under Coach Ferentz. The win over Minnesota is Iowa's third of the season by two points (6-4 at Penn State and 23-21 over Purdue).
Iowa's 23 points in the first half match its season high for a half. The Hawkeyes had 23 points in the first half vs. Kent State and 23 in the second half of the win over Ohio State... Iowa's offense scored points on its first four possessions of the game, the first time this season Iowa has scored on four straight drives.
Iowa started three different players on Saturday from last week's game against Purdue, including center Ben Cronin and left tackle Ben Gates on offense and OLB Edmond Miles on defense. Saturday marked the first career start for Cronin, the second for Gates (right guard at Michigan) and the second for Miles (Michigan State).
DB Jovon Johnson had his second theft of the season in the second quarter, Iowa's third of the first half. Johnson has 12 career interceptions, moving into a fourth place tie on Iowa's career list with Steve Wilson, who played at Iowa from 1966-68. The record is 18, held by Nile Kinnick and Devon Mitchell.
With three interceptions in the first half and a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter, the Iowa defense has created 16 turnovers in the last four games. Minnesota, prior to the Iowa game, had not had three interceptions in a game, having a season high of two in a loss at Michigan State…Minnesota entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in turnover margin and the Gophers came into the game with just six turnovers in their first 10 games. Minnesota had five turnovers (four fumbles, one interception) in a loss in Iowa City in 2003.
Drew Tate completed 24-39 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions on Saturday. Tate has thrown two touchdowns in four of the last five games (none vs. Penn State). Tate has 15 TD passes this season, a total that ties the eighth best total at Iowa for a season. Tate has passed for over 300 yards in three games (vs. Michigan State and Ohio State in consecutive games). Tate's totals for the season include 198-319 for 2,313 yards, which is the eighth best single -season total at Iowa. Tate's attempts and completion totals are 5th best for a single season in school history.
Clinton Solomon collected career-highs in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (157) on Saturday. He has 48 receptions and 724 receiving yards this season. His 724 yards ranks 18th-best in a single season.
PK Kyle Schlicher scored 17 points vs. Minnesota , including a career-best five field goals. He converted 2-2 PATs and 5-5 field goals (36, 22, 20, 38, 49 yards). Schlicher converted three field goals vs. Purdue and the sophomore made two field goals in three games (Kent State, Ohio State, Penn State). Schlicher made eight consecutive field goals before missing a 47-yarder in the third quarter vs. Purdue. He has converted 17-22 field goals (12-13, 20-39 yards, with the miss being blocked) and 23-26 PATs this year. Schlicher is Iowa's leading scorer with 74 points….Schlicher's five field goals and 17 kicking points are both Iowa single game records. Nate Kaeding had four field goals in four different games, while Todd Romano, Rob Houghtling and Dave Holsclaw each had four in one game. Kaeding had 16 points kicking points twice…Three Iowa kickers (Schlicher, Kaeding, Holsclaw) have converted four field goals or more in a game vs. Minnesota…The Big Ten record for field goals in a game is seven, set in 1900. A Big Ten kicker had made five field goals in a game on 17 occasions.
Now thinks about these stats: Schlicher has attempted 11 field goals in his last two games, and he has made eight of them. Has an Iowa kicker ever done either of those things? I don't have the answer to that question, but I would doubt it.
DB Marcus Paschal had a career high 12 tackles for Iowa's defense, including seven solo tackles and a forced fumble.