Oct. 1, 2005
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.
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.