Oct. 28, 2006
Today’s win is Iowa’s sixth of the season, making the Hawkeyes bowl eligible for the sixth straight season. Iowa has now won 11 straight non-conference home games, dating back to a 31-26 loss to Iowa State in 2002. Iowa has now won 27 of its last 29 games in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the 2002 season.
Iowa improves to 6-0 against Northern Illinois, with all six games being played in Kinnick Stadium. Iowa opens the 2007 season against Northern Illinois at Soldier Field in Chicago on September 1. The Hawkeyes improve to 16-1 against current members of the Mid-American Conference.
Jake Christensen started at quarterback for the Hawkeyes today. He became the first left-handed quarterback to start since Phil Suess (1977-80) and the first redshirt freshman to start since Jon Beutjer started four games in 2000.
Iowa won the toss and elected to receive. Iowa has started on offense in 80 of its last 88 games. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 82-of-94 games under Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has started on offense in eight of nine games in 2006.
Iowa and Northern Illinois both failed to score on their opening possession. Iowa has not scored on its first drive in nine games. Three of Iowa’s opponents (Syracuse, Iowa State and Ohio State) opened the game with touchdown drives.
Iowa held the nation’s leading rusher, Garrett Wolfe, to 66 yards and one touchdown on 22 attempts. The Hawkeye defense also held the Huskies to 123 yards passing, a season low for an Iowa opponent. Additionally, Iowa held the Huskies to 196 total yards and 73 yards rushing; entering today Northern Illinois averaged 412.2 yards total offense and 201.4 yards rushing.
RB Albert Young scored on a seven-yard run in the first quarter, his fifth of the season to tie Damian Sims for the most touchdowns on the Hawkeyes this season. Young rushed for 51 yards on six carries and had a five-yard reception on the 10-play, 73-yard scoring drive.
Young rushed 25 times for 124 yards, marking the first time this season he has eclipsed the century mark. The junior has surpassed 100 yards nine times in his career, the last coming vs. Minnesota (11/19/05). Iowa has had two running backs top 100 yards (155, Damian Sims vs. Purdue) this year.
Northern Illinois forced three turnovers (interception, two fumbles) today, but failed to score after both Hawkeye miscues. Iowa was able to score a touchdown following three Northern Illinois turnovers (two interceptions, fumble). LB Mike Humpal intercepted his third pass of the season in the final seconds of the fourth period.
Iowa’s first two scoring drives registered 73 yards. Iowa has had 14 scoring drives cover 70 yards or more this season.
Iowa held Northern Illinois without a first down on its first three drives. The Huskies didn’t register move the chains until the 12:01 mark of the second quarter. Iowa had 14 first downs to Northern Illinois’ one in the first half.
WR Trey Stross had a 47-yard reception in the first quarter, his longest reception of his career. The pass play from QB Jake Christensen is Iowa’s second longest pass play this season (52 yard pass from Drew Tate to Andy Brodell vs. Purdue).
QB Jake Christensen completed 19-30 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He completed his first career touchdown pass to WR Dominique Douglas for six yards in the second quarter. Christensen also completed a 10-yard scoring pass to TE Scott Chandler late in the fourth quarter.
Iowa’s defense was led by LB Edmond Miles, LB Mike Klinkenborg and DE Bryan Mattsion. Miles and Klinkenborg each collected a team-best 11 tackles. Klinkenborg also had a tackle for loss and a fumble recovered. Mattison posted nine tackles and was credited with two pass break-ups.
Today marked the second consecutive game Iowa did not allow a touchdown in the first half. The Hawkeyes held Northern Illinois scoreless in the first half today, while they held second-ranked Michigan to a field goal last week. Additionally, Iowa did not allow any points in the first three quarters for the first time this year.
Northern Illinois cut Iowa’s 17-point lead to three (17-14) midway through the fourth quarter. Leading by three, QB Jake Christensen engineered a nine-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 4:44 that culminated with a TE Scott Chandler 10-yard scoring reception with 3:56 left in the fourth quarter. The touchdown catch was his fifth of the season. Chandler led Iowa receivers with five catches for 63 yards.
Iowa held the ball for a season-high 34:11 today, besting 32:15 at Illinois (9/23/06).
Instant replay was used twice in the second half. A Northern Illinois touchdown pass ruled a touchdown on the field was upheld. Also, an Iowa incomplete pass was challenged by Northern Illinois Head Coach Joe Novak and was overturned.
Today was Iowa’s 22nd straight sellout, dating back to the 2003 season. The last Hawkeye game not sold out was vs. Buffalo (9/6/03). All seven home contests this season are sold out.
Iowa remains home for two more games vs. Northwestern (Nov. 4, ESPN+) and Wisconsin (Nov. 11, TBA) before closing the season at Minnesota.