NIU Preview: NCAA 2008 Overview

Take a look inside the game when HawkeyeNation simulates this Saturday's game against Northern Illinois on the Xbox 360.

Each week, we'll be taking a look at Iowa's opponent with the help of EA Sports' NCAA Football 2008 on the Xbox 360. We'll set up the depth charts and let the system simulate the whole game, bringing you the stats, the storyline, photos and video.

This week, Jake Christensen started his 2007 campaign off with a bang, leading the Hawkeyes down the field on the opening drive, going 4-4 through the air for 49 yards, finishing up with a touchdown strike to James Cleveland, putting the Hawkeyes ahead 7-0 after the extra point.

On the ensuing kickoff, Trey Stross forced a fumble, which Iowa turned into three points after an Austin Signor 40-yard field goal.

After allowing two NIU field goals, the Hawkeye defense and Devan Moylan finished the half off nicely with a 62-yard interception return for touchdown, putting the Hawkeyes ahead 17-6 going into the locker room.

In the second half, the NIU defense stiffened up, only allowing one Hawkeye touchdown in the second half, on a check-down pass to Albert Young that he took into the endzone, putting the Hawkeyes up 24-6.

Northern Illinois wasn't quite ready to give up, however, mounting a comeback late. After capping off a long drive with a short TD pass, Northern Illinois went for a two-point conversion, trying to pull within two. Mike Klinkenborg stepped in front of the Northern Illinois pass attempt, keeping the 12-point Hawkeye lead intact at 24-12.

Northern Illinois, after stopping the Hawkeyes early in the fourth quarter, added another touchdown, moving within 5 at 24-19.

Austin Signor responded on the following drive with a career-long 53 yard field goal to give the Hawkeyes their final margin of victory, at 27-19.

In a day dominated by defenses, Jake Christensen and the rest of the Hawkeyes managed to make it through the day without any turnovers.

Stats

Offense
Jake Christensen – 10-17 for 112 yards, 2 TD
Albert Young – 14 rushes, 35 yards, 1 rec, 28 yards, TD
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos - 3 rec, 27 yards
Tom Busch – 3 rec, 23 yards
Tony Moeaki – 2 rec, 13 yards
James Cleveland – 1 rec, 11 yards

Defense
Charles Godfrey – 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Bradley Fletcher – 8 tackles
Mike Klinkenborg – 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, interception
Jeremiha Hunter – 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Mitch King – 7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack
Devan Moylan – 5 tackles, interception, returned 62 yards for TD.

Special Teams
Derrell Johnson Koulianos – 1 KR for 24 yards, 3 punt returns for 42 yards, 14.0 average
Andy Brodell – 2 KR for 50 yards.
Austin Signor – 2/2 FGA, long of 53. 2/2 on XP.

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