Home Cooking: Iowa 35, Illinois 7

Iowa put together a solid game on Saturday against Illinois in a 35-7 win at home, something it desperately needed if the Hawkeyes want to defend last year's share of the Big Ten title. The Hawkeyes racked up 301 yards on the ground (39 carries) against Illinois and gained nearly 500 yards of total offense. Illinios allowed just over 700 yards of offense last week against Michigan State.

Albert Young led the way with 101 yards rushing on 15 carries before leaving the game early in the second half with cramping issues.

Marcus Schnoor and Damien Sims came in for relief, and Sims electrified the home crowd by ripping off a 66-yard run after breaking one tackle, turning on the jets and outrunning would be tackles.

Shonn Green ‘got a little bump on his shoulder' on special teams today, per Kirk Ferentz in the Learfield post game show.

Iowa came out with more imagination on offense this week, employing several three wide receiver sets and lining Scott Chandler in the slot. They also broke out a trick play when Drew Tate handed off to Young, Young ran right and Hinkel took a handoff on the reverse and dove into the endzone on a 20-yard scoring play.

Iowa threw to its running backs nearly 10 times on the day, the most action Iowa ball carriers have seen in the passing game since Ladell Betts and Jeremy Allen were on the team in 2001…or at least it seems like it has been that long. Young led Iowa with four receptions for 51 yards.

Drew Tate was an efficient 17 of 22 for two touchdowns and one interception. He also had five rushes for 27 yards. Iowa's offensive linemen game him plenty of protection on the way, which was a great thing to see.

Marshal Yanda and Mike Jones switched positions on the day, with Yanda going to right tackle and Jones sliding back in at left guard, a position where he has taken the majority of his snaps in his three-year career.

Iowa's defense allowed 374 yards of offense on the day, but they played much better in the second half. Illinois had numerous long drives in the first half, including a 20-play, 90-yard possession that ended with a missed 21-yard field goal.

Illinois played into Iowa's aggressive defensive philosophy on that drive, converting three third down plays on screen passes, the perfect call against a blitz. Illinois used that play well all day, something to keep in mind as Iowa continues to adjust on defensive this year.

Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway led the way for Iowa with 18 & 15 tackles, respectively. Iowa's defensive line had a better pass rush in the second half after being nearly non-existent in the first half. Greenway had two sacks, including one coming on a play where he lined up as a defensive end. Bryan Mattison and Ken Iwebema had one sack apiece.

Iowa was once again plagued by poor tackling in the first half, something they have struggled with this year. They were also bailed out by two blocked field goals, Jovon Johnson's 16th interception of his career on Iowa's two-yard line, a missed chip shot by Illinios and back to back drops in the end zone by Illini receivers in the second quarter, plays that preceded the missed field goal.

Andy Fenstermaker might not be the ‘official' starter at punter, but he continues to look like he has earned the spot. He averaged 44 yards on three punts on the day.

With the win, Iowa set a school record with its 21st consecutive win at home.

Iowa travels to Purdue next week for a 3:30pm central time contest.

GAME NOPTES

Today's victory extended Iowa's home winning streak to 21 games - a new school record. Iowa boasts a 24.3 winning margin during the winning streak. Iowa's 21-game home winning streak ranks third among Division I-A schools (Boise State -- 26 and USC -- 22). The Hawkeyes' last defeat in Kinnick Stadium came against Iowa State (36-31) on Sept. 14, 2002. Iowa also extended its home Big Ten winning streak to 14 games, which is also a school record. The current 14-game home conference winning streak began with a 42-24 triumph over Minnesota in 2001. Moreover, the Hawkeyes have maintained a lead or been tied in their last 39 quarters in Kinnick Stadium. The last time Iowa trailed in Kinnick Stadium was 6-3 in its 2003 regular season finale vs. Minnesota (Nov. 15, 2003).

Illinois won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Hawkeyes have started on offense in 68 of their last 72 games. Iowa has started on offense in 70-of-78 contests under Kirk Ferentz.

Today marked the third game this season Iowa scored a touchdown on its opening possession. The Hawkeyes also scored touchdowns on their first possession in home contests vs. Ball State and Northern Iowa. Iowa had only one third down on its opening scoring drive. The Hawkeyes failed to score any points in their road games at Iowa State and Ohio State (on opening drives).

Illinois failed to score on its opening possession, becoming the fourth Hawkeye opponent not to score on its first drive. Ohio State is the only Iowa opponent to score on its opening possession. Iowa has not allowed any first-quarter points in three home games this season. The Hawkeyes have out-scored their opponents 56-0 in the first quarter in three home games.

WR Ed Hinkel scored Iowa's second touchdown on a 20-yard reverse play; the first running play of his career. The senior also caught a 10-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The touchdowns are his first and second of the season and 10th and 11th of his career (9 receiving, 1 punt return, 1 rushing).

Today marked the 14th straight sellout in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the 2003 season. The last Iowa game not a sellout was vs. Buffalo (9/6/03).

RB Albert Young carried the ball 13 times for 102 yards, marking the second time this year and in his career he has rushed for 100 yards or more.

Iowa won its 50th homecoming game today, improving to 50-39-5 overall. The Hawkeyes improve to 6-2 against the Fighting Illini on homecoming. Iowa has won its last six homecoming contests. Additionally, Iowa has won six of its last eight overall meetings vs. Illinois.

DB Jovon Johnson intercepted his 16th career pass and second of the season. The interception stopped an Illinois scoring threat on the two-yard line. Johnson is two thefts from tying Nile Kinnick (18) and Devon Mitchell (18) for first on Iowa's career interception list. Iowa has forced three turnovers inside the red zone (2 fumbles, 1 interception) the last two games.

LB Abdul Hodge collected a career and game-high 18 tackles (11 solo), including two for loss, and surpassed Bobby Diaco, Melvin Foster, Aaron Kampman, Dave Haight and Bob Sanders for seventh on Iowa's career tackle chart with 353 career tackles. Hodge has recorded double digit tackles 17 times in his career and twice this season. LB Chad Greenway tallied 16 tackles (10 solo), including two for loss, and moved past Mike Wells for 14th in career stops at Iowa with 329 tackles. Greenway has posted double digit tackles 19 times in his career, including four times this year. Iowa had three players record double digit tackles in the first half. Hodge registered 12, while Greenway posted 11 and Miguel Merrick 10. Merrick finished the game with 13 tackles (7 solo), while Edmond Miles tallied 10 stops (6 solo), including one for loss.

DE Kenny Iwebema blocked two first-half field goals, the first blocks of his career, to tie a school record for blocked kicks in a single game. Iwebema ties Sean Considine, Maurea Crain and Merton Hanks. Iwebema's two blocks marked the first time an Iowa player blocked two kicks in a game since Considine blocked two punts at Iowa State (Sept. 13, 2003).

Illinois missed a 21 and 31-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter, marking the first time this season the Fighting Illini failed to score inside the red zone. Illinois was a perfect 12-12 entering today's contest. Illinois PK Jason Reda was 0-3 on field goal attempts (21, 31 and 44 yards) in the first half, missing one (21) and having two blocked (31 and 44). Hawkeye opponent field goal kickers are only 2-7 this season.

Instant replay was used once today on a deflected Illinois pass that was nearly intercepted by LB Abdul Hodge. The call on the field was upheld.

Iowa improved to 30-1 when leading at the half and 33-0 when leading after three quarters, dating back to the 2002 season. Additionally, the Hawkeyes improve to 11-1 in October, dating back to 2002.

Iowa had five true freshmen see action today for the fifth straight game: RB Shonn Greene, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Alex Kanellis, OL Dace Richardson and DT Ryan Bain.

Junior PK Kyle Schlicher converted all five PAT attempts today and remained perfect for the season (19-19 PATs and 4-4 field goals). Schlicher now has 126 points and ranks 16th in career scoring with George Rice (1951-53).

RB Damian Sims scampered 66 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for his second score of the season. Sims has posted Iowa's two longest carries of the season - both for touchdowns (66 yards vs. Illinois and 39 yards vs. Northern Iowa).

Iowa rushed for a season high 301 yards on 39 attempts.

TE Scott Chandler caught a seven-yard touchdown in the third quarter, his first of the season and third of his career.

Junior punter Andy Fenstermaker punted three times for Iowa, averaging 44.0 yards, with a long of 50 yards.


Hawkeye Insider Top Stories