Aug 30, 2003
By TODD DVORAK
Associated Press Writer
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Fred Russell ran for 161 yards and a touchdown and Nathan Chandler threw for two scores as Iowa beat Miami of Ohio 21-3 in the season opener Saturday.
The Hawkeyes also intercepted Ben Roethlisberger four times and beat the RedHawks for the third straight season.
Russell carried the ball 22 times and had long runs of 59 and 66 yards, both in the second half. Chandler, making his first career start, was 12-of-19 for 129 yards. He also ran for 24 yards.
Iowa’s defense, which gave up 343 yards passing to Roethlisberger last year, was more aggressive and tighter in coverage Saturday. Iowa recorded four sacks, held Miami to 50 yards rushing and didn’t give up a pass longer than 26 yards.
Roethlisberger finished 27-of-42 for 250 yards.
Miami scored on its first possession, on a 21-yard field goal by Jared Parseghian. Roethlisberger looked sharp early, connecting on his first seven passes in marching Miami 77 yards in 15 plays.
Iowa answered on the next drive when Chandler threw a 7-yard TD pass to fullback Aaron Mickens.
The Hawkeyes seized momentum late in the half by capitalizing on a Miami mistake. With 32 seconds left and the ball at Miami 6, Roethlisberger was flushed from the pocket and wrapped in a defender’s arms when he threw an interception that Jovan Johnson returned 20 yards to the 1-yard line.
Russell scored two plays later, giving Iowa a 14-3 halftime lead.
Iowa safety Chris Smith erased Miami’s only other first-half scoring chance when he intercepted Roethlisberger at the Iowa 3-yard line early in the second quarter. Johnson intercepted his second pass with 4:32 remaining when he jumped for the ball in the end zone, ending any hopes of a comeback.