Hawks Grind Out 24-7 Win at Illinois

It wasn't pretty, but Iowa got the win. That's a familiar refrain thus far on the 2006 season, at least in three of Iowa's four wins. The Hawkeyes used a plain vanilla offensive attack en route to 21 second quarter points in the span of six minutes to beat Illinois 24-7.

With the win at Illinois, Iowa is 4-0 for the first time since 2003. The win also gives Iowa its fourth straight win over Illinois, the longest for Iowa in the 67 games of the series that began in 1899. Iowa defeated Illinois in three straight games on three occasions. Overall, Iowa has won seven of the last nine meetings. Iowa has won 38 of its last 47 regular season games.

Today's win is Head Coach Kirk Ferentz's 53rd triumph as Iowa's head coach. Ferentz moves past Forest Evashevski for the second-most wins by a Hawkeye head coach. The win over Illinois also ties Ferentz with Evashevski with 33 wins in Big Ten Conference play. Iowa over the past five seasons is now 35-3 when leading at the half and 40-2 when leading after three quarters.

Iowa won the toss and elected to receive. Iowa has started on offense in 75 of its last 83 games. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 77-of-89 games under Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has started on offense in three of four games in 2006

Neither team was able to score on its first possession of the game. Iowa has not scored on its first drive in four games. Two of Iowa's opponents, Syracuse and Iowa State, opened the game with touchdown drives.

Sophomore OL Seth Olsen started for the first time this season (left guard) and the second time in his career. Olsen started at Iowa State (right tackle) in the second game of 2005. Redshirt freshman Travis Meade saw action at left guard in the second half after starting center

Rafael Eubanks left the game late in the second period. With that move, Seth Olsen, who started at left guard, moved to right guard and Mike Elgin, who started at right guard, moved to center.

Iowa scored its three touchdowns in the second period in a matter of 4:08. On those drives, QB

Drew Tate completed 5-6 passes for 86 yards. The total yardage on the drives was 120 yards. Tate's TD pass to Tony Moeaki marked the 50th scoring strike of his career. Tate finished the day completing 17-27 passes for 190 yards, with one TD and one interception. Today marks just the fourth time in his last 20 games that he has not had at least two TD passes, dating back to 2004.

The 21 points in the second period mark Iowa's highest scoring period of the season. Previously, Iowa scored 17 points in the fourth quarter vs. Montana and 10 points in the final period vs. Iowa State.

Junior LB Mike Klinkenborg, the Walter Camp national defensive Player of the Week vs. Iowa State, led Iowa with 10 tackles. Klinkenborg has reached double figures in tackles in three of Iowa's four games. Senior LB Ed Miles recorded seven tackles, including four solo stops, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble.

Iowa kept its opponent off the scoreboard in the first half for the second time in four games. Montana, in the opening game, also failed to score in the first half. Illinois did not score against Iowa last season in the first half of Iowa's 35-7 win in Iowa City.

The Illinois game marks the first time a Big Ten opponent did not score in the first three periods, since Iowa's 33-7 win over Ohio State in Iowa City in 2004.

Senior DB Miguel Merrick had his second career interception in the second period and the theft led to Iowa's third touchdown of the quarter. The turnover marks just the second for the Iowa defense this season. LB Mike Humpal had an interception in the opening win over Montana and Iowa converted that theft into a field goal.

Junior DB Adam Shada had his first interception of the season in the third period and added his second interception of the game in the fourth period. Shada had three interceptions last season and now has five career thefts. This is the first time he has had more than one in a game and he added five tackles to go with the two interceptions. Shada's second theft marked Iowa's fourth interception of the game. Iowa had not had four interceptions in a game since the 6-4 win at Penn State in 2004.

DB Devan Moylan saw action in the second half, coming up with his first career interception. Iowa collected just one turnover in its first three games, turning an interception against Montana into a field goal in game one.

Sophomore TE Tony Moeaki had his second touchdown reception in two weeks, and both have come in the final minutes of the first half. Today's catch was a 35-yarder following an Illinois interception. Moeaki had a 19-yard scoring reception in the win over Iowa State and now has two career touchdowns.

PK Kyle Schlicher made his 43rd career field goal on a 45-yarder in the fourth quarter, his longest of the season. He now has 212 career points, two points shy of sixth place on Iowa's career scoring list. Schlicher also converted a 44-yarder late in the fourth quarter, the 42nd of his career and his longest of the season. Schlicher this season is 5-6 on field goals and 8-8 on PATs for 23 points.

RB Damian Sims scored his first points of the season on a one-yard run in the second period, giving Iowa a 7-0 advantage. Sims rushed 15 times for 55 yards to lead Iowa's rushing attack.

In the game, three Hawkeyes rushed for over 50 yards, as Albert Young added 57 yards and Shonn Greene 54 yards. RB Albert Young scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a six-yard run in the second period. Young also has one receiving touchdown this season. Young rushed 14 times for 57 yards and had six receptions for 40 yards. Young now has 1,706 career rushing yards on 349 attempts. He ranks 13th in career rushing, moving up two spots on the career list vs. Illinois, just four yards behind Ed Podolak. Young also had 18 receptions through four games.

Dominique Douglas started his first career game at wide receiver last week and started again vs. Illinois. Against Illinois, Douglas had five catches for 64 yards. In the win over Iowa State he led the Hawkeyes with 88 yards on six receptions. His only score of the season came on his first career catch vs. Montana.

Senior DB Marcus Paschal returned to the starting line-up after missing the Iowa State game.

OL Mike Jones, WR Andy Brodell and DE Alex Kanellis did not see action. All three have started games this season and Jones had started 34-straight games prior to the Illinois contest.

Each head coach used their replay challenge in the first half. Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz challenged an Illinois fumble in the first quarter, but the call on the field was upheld. The play in question was an Illinois fumble that was ruled to be recovered by the home team after it appeared Iowa's Adam Shada had made the recovery. Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz has challenged two plays in four games, with the call on the field being upheld each time. Illinois Coach Ron Zook challenged a play in the second period in which Iowa's Marcus Paschal was ruled to have intercepted a pass. The call on the field was overruled, allowing Illinois to maintain possession.

Iowa returns home next Saturday to host Ohio State (7:13 p.m.) in a game to be televised nationally by ABC.

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