Oct. 13, 2007
Today’s four-point victory is Iowa’s fifth straight over Illinois and third consecutive in Kinnick Stadium. Furthermore, the Hawkeyes have won eight of the last 10 meetings against Illinois.
Iowa has won 29 of its last 34 games in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the 2002 season. The Hawkeyes entered today’s game ranked 16th-best in the country in home winning percentage over the last five years (2003-07).
Today’s win over No. 18/19 Illinois is Iowa’s first victory over a ranked opponent since defeating 19th-ranked Wisconsin 20-10 (Nov. 12, 2005). Additionally, the win is Iowa’s first over a ranked opponent at home since dropping ninth-ranked Wisconsin 30-7 (Nov. 20, 2004).
Illinois entered today’s contest averaging 30.2 points per game. The Hawkeyes held the Illini to only six points and zero touchdowns.
Iowa’s defense allowed only two field goals, marking the fourth game this season the Hawkeyes did not yield a touchdown (Northern Illinois, Syracuse, Iowa State and Wisconsin).
Today’s game was another sellout in Kinnick Stadium (70,585). Iowa has a consecutive sellout streak of 27 games, dating back to the 2003 season. The last Hawkeye contest not sold out was vs. Buffalo (9/6/03).
Illinois won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Iowa has started on offense in 90 of its last 99 contests. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 92 of 105 contests under Kirk Ferentz.
Iowa has not scored on its opening drive in any of its seven games. Illinois scored on its first possession, converting a 46-yard field goal. Only two of Iowa’s opponents (Iowa State and Illinois, both field goals) have scored on their first possession. The Hawkeyes opening drive (12 plays, 45 yards in 6:20) was their longest drive of the season in time possession and equaled their longest in plays.
Iowa maintained possession for 10:30 in the first period, but did not score. Iowa’s two first-quarter drives stalled after failing to convert fourth down plays inside Illinois’ 35-yard line. The Hawkeyes had 23 plays for 96 yards in the first quarter.
Iowa evened the game 3-3 with 26 seconds left in the first half. PK Daniel Murray made a 28-yard field goal from the left hash mark. The Hawkeyes drove 57 yards in 10 plays in 2:59.
Trailing 6-3 in the third period, Iowa took a 10-6 advantage on a 20-yard touchdown pass from QB Jake Christensen to TE Brandon Myers. The scoring reception was Myers’ third of his career. Myers finished the game catching three passes for 38 yards and a score.
Iowa collected two Illinois turnovers in the fourth quarter, a fumble and interception. The Hawkeyes were unable to turn the fumble into points as Iowa had a fumbled snap on Illinois’ 11-yard line on the ensuing drive. The lost fumble was Iowa’s first turnover in two weeks. Iowa did not score following the goal line interception. The Hawkeyes, a team that entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in turnover margin, finished the contest +1. For the season, Iowa is now +9 in turnover margin.
FS Brett Greenwood intercepted his second career pass and his second the last two weeks. The redshirt freshman intercepted the Illinois pass in the end zone and returned the theft nine yards to thwart the Illini’ go-ahead touchdown opportunity.
QB Jake Christensen completed 17-25 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown. He has thrown for at least one score in Iowa’s three home games this season.
LB Mike Humpal registered a career-high 18 tackles, besting his previous high by five stops. Humpal has tallied double-digit tackles in four games this season, including the last three. He collected his first career sack in the third period and finished the contest with a career-high 2.5 tackles for four yards loss. He also recovered his first career fumble in the fourth quarter. The senior forced a fumble in each of the previous two games.
DB Adam Shada finished the contest with 10 tackles, including 0.5 for loss and a pass break-up.
WR Paul Chaney, Jr. caught a career-high three passes for 47 yards today.
Instant Replay was not used in today’s contest.
RB Albert Young carried the ball 25 times for 99 yards today. The 99 yards is Young’s second-highest rushing total of the season. The 25 attempts is season high for Young. The senior also caught four passes for 25 yards. Young, who ranks fifth in Iowa career rushing, now has 2,704 career rushing yards. He is only 56 yards from matching Fred Russell (2,760) for fourth in Iowa career rushing.
Last week, nine of Iowa’s 14 offensive drives were three-and-out; the Hawkeyes did not have one three-and-out vs. Illinois.
Iowa converted 10 of its 17 (.588) third down conversions, its second-best conversion rate of the season (.684 vs. Syracuse).
Iowa travels to Purdue next Saturday for an 11:02 a.m. kickoff (ESPN or ESPN2).