Hawks Bring Down Grizzlies 41-7

The Iowa Hawkeyes opened the 2006 football season with a 41-7 win against Montana. Iowa started slowly, but grew more crisp in the second half to win its 19th home game in its last 20 games. Here are some notes from today's game in advance of HawkeyeNation.com's wall to wall post-game coverage.

OFFICIAL GAME STATS(pdf)

Iowa improves to 85-31-2 (.729) in season-opening games and 87-29-1 (.748) in home openers. Iowa has averaged 44.2 points and a winning margin of 37.8 in its last six season openers. The Hawkeyes are 19-1 (.950) in their last 20 home games.

Today's win is Head Coach Kirk Ferentz's 50th triumph as Iowa's head coach. Ferentz is only two victories from matching Forest Evashevski for the second-most wins by a Hawkeye head coach.

QB Drew Tate completed 15-28 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns were completed to different receivers (WR Dominque Douglas, RB Albert Young, TE Scott Chandler). Tate has thrown two touchdown passes or more in 18 career games, including 15 of his last 18 games dating back to 2004. He has tossed 46 career touchdowns and has claimed sole possession of second place in career touchdown passes. Chuck Long is Iowa's career leader with 74.

RB Albert Young rushed 19 times for 93 yards. He also scored two five-yard touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. The junior has amassed 1,519 career yards on 295 attempts. He moved past Ryan Terry and Mike Saunders into 18th place on Iowa's career rushing chart. He also caught four passes for 55 yards. The four receptions equal a career high. Young had four games with four receptions in 2005.

Austin Signor handled the place kicking duties today due to starter Kyle Schlicher missing the game due to injury. Signor converted on all five PATs and both field goal attempts of 41 and 35 yards in his first collegiate action.

Three true freshmen played today: WR Dominique Douglas, WR Anthony Bowman and LB A.J. Edds. Douglas caught three passes for 43 yards and a touchdown and returned one punt for 25 yards, while Bowman and Edds did not record any statistics.

Four different players scored Iowa's five touchdowns (RB Albert Young - 2; TE Scott Chandler; WR Dominique Douglas; RB Dana Brown). Touchdowns scored by Douglas and Brown are the first of their careers.

Iowa's defense limited Montana to 10 rushing yards on 24 attempts. The 10 yards are the second-fewest by an Iowa opponent during Ferentz's Iowa head coaching tenure. The Hawkeyes also limited Montana to only 144 total yards, a total that ties for second-fewest by an Iowa opponent under Ferentz. The Grizzlies were also limited to just 11 first downs, which ties for third-fewest by a Hawkeye opponent under Ferentz.

Junior LB Mike Klinkenborg collected a team and career-high 11 tackles (2 solo). Junior DE Bryan Mattison recorded seven tackles (4 solo), including three for loss. Sophomore DL Mitch King also tallied seven tackles (2 solo), including two for loss.

Iowa's second touchdown drive covered nine plays, 89 yards, in 3:37. The drive culminated on a nine-yard touchdown pass from QB Drew Tate to true freshman WR Dominique Douglas. Fifty-two of the 89 yards on the scoring drive were the result of two passing plays to running backs. Albert Young caught a 35-yard pass, while Damian Sims had a 17-yard reception.

Iowa converted the only turnover it forced into three points. Junior LB Mike Humpal intercepted Montana QB Josh Swogger on the Montana 26-yard line in the second period, which led to a 41-yard field goal by redshirt freshman Austin Signor. Montana converted an Iowa RB Albert Young fumble into a touchdown in the third quarter.

Iowa, who ranked second nationally in red zone proficiency in 2005, scored on all six red zone possessions (5 touchdowns, 1 field goal).

Montana won the toss and deferred to the second half. Iowa has started on offense in 73 of its last 80 games. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 75-of-86 games under Kirk Ferentz.

Iowa has won 35 of its last 44 regular season games. The Hawkeyes are also 34-3 when leading at the half and 38-2 when leading after three quarters the last five years.

Neither team scored on its first possession. In fact, both team's opening possession resulted in a three-and-out. The Hawkeye defense held the Grizzlies without a first down on their first three possessions. Furthermore, Montana was not able to advance past the Iowa 30-yard line until its first possession of the third quarter, in which the drive resulted in a touchdown.

Today's attendance of 70,585 is Iowa's 18th consecutive sell out, dating back to the 2003 season. All seven Hawkeye home games this season are sold out.

Iowa dominated the first quarter, posting 81 yards on 20 offensive plays, while Montana ran only nine offensive plays for negative one yard.

Iowa travels to Syracuse (2:30 p.m. CT, ABC) next weekend before hosting Iowa State (11:05 a.m., ESPN) on Sept. 16.


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