Nov. 1, 2008
With today’s loss, Iowa is 5-4 on the season and 2-3 in Big Ten play. The Illinois win snapped Iowa’s five-game winning streak in the series and leaves Illinois with a 38-29-2 series advantage, with Iowa winning eight of the last 11 meetings. Illinois holds a 20-13 advantage in games played in Champaign.
Iowa’s four losses on the season have come by a combined 12 points, including one point (at Pittsburgh), five points (Northwestern) and two three-point decisions (at Michigan State and at Illinois).
Illinois won the toss and elected to defer. Iowa has started on offense in 100 of its last 113 contests, including 8-9 games this season. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 102-of-119 games under Kirk Ferentz.
Iowa failed to score on its first possession of the game. Iowa has scored on its opening possession in four of nine games, collecting touchdowns against Maine, FL International and Wisconsin and a field goal against Iowa State.
Illinois failed to score on its opening possession. All nine Iowa opponents (Maine, FIU, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Northwestern, Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois) failed to score on their opening drives this season.
Junior RB Shonn Greene led Iowa’s rushing game with 103 yards on 21 carries, his ninth straight game of the season with over 100 rushing yards. Greene came into the game ranked third in the nation in rushing yards, behind Donald Brown of Connecticut and Javon Ringer of Michigan State. Brown had 19 carries for 84 yards and Ringer 21 carries for 54 yards today. Previously, Greene and Brown were the only players in the nation with over 100 rushing yards in their first eight games.Greene’s season totals through nine games stand at 198 carries for 1,257 yards, which ranks seventh best in single season rushing.This marks the 10th 100-yard rushing game of his career. His career totals stand at 267 attempts for 1,635 yards. He ranks 16th in career rushing yards.
Greene now has 11 rushing touchdowns this season, which ties as the sixth-most by an Iowa player in a single-season.
Greene became the second-fastest Iowa running back to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a single-season, surpassing 1,000 vs. Wisconsin in game eight. RB Tavian Banks eclipsed 1,000 yards in six games in 1997. Greene is the 12th Iowa running back to top 1,000 rushing yards in a single-season.
Senior DL Matt Kroul started his 46th consecutive game today, which is the longest active streak in the Big Ten and third-longest among FBS players. Kroul was credited with three solo tackles and three QB pressures against the Illini.
PK Trent Mossbrucker has made at least one field goal in eight of Iowa’s nine contests, including a career-best three against Illinois in a career-best four attempts. He converted from 26 and 19 yards in the second period and 27 yards in the third period. Mossbrucker has made 13-of-15 field goal attempts after missing a 30-yard attempt (wide left), also in the second period. His only previous miss was a blocked attempt vs. Florida International and his second quarter miss at Illinois ended a streak of nine straight made attempts.
Sophomore CB Amari Spievey had his third interception of the season in the second period, along with a 23-yard return. The theft led to Iowa’s second field goal in the second period.
Senior CB Bradley Fletcher had his second interception of the season in the third period, his first since the opening game of the season vs. Maine.
With two interceptions at Illinois, Iowa now has 16 thefts for the season. The Hawkeyes began the day tied for third in the nation in interceptions, trailing only North Carolina (17) and California (15). North Carolina did not play today and California played Saturday evening.
Iowa came up with its third turnover of the game with DB Tyler Sash recovered a fumble in the fourth period, which led to Iowa’s final touchdown and two-point conversion. The recovery is the first for Sash, a redshirt freshman. Iowa had three takeaways for the second straight game after having three interceptions in a win over Wisconsin.
Iowa has recorded at least one takeaway in 29 of its last 31 games, dating back to the 2006 season. Iowa has scored 58 points following 19 opponent turnovers in nine games.
Iowa had its first turnover in three games when Illinois had a pass interception late in the second period. Iowa did not have any turnovers in wins over Indiana and Wisconsin. Iowa’s second turnover (fourth quarter fumble) was returned for an Illinois touchdown and the third, an interception, came in the final seconds of the game.
Iowa scored three points following an interception in the second period, did not score following a third period theft and added a touchdown and two-point conversion after a recovered fumble in the fourth quarter.
Iowa had one turnover in the first half, which led to three points for Illinois. The Illini returned an Iowa fumble for a touchdown in the fourth period and did not score following an interception in the final seconds.
Iowa scored three field goals and a touchdown on its five red zone possessions, with the other ending in a missed field goal. The Hawkeyes had scored on 12 consecutive red zone trips (six touchdowns, six field goals), dating back to the Michigan State game (Oct. 4), before a missed field goal attempt in the second period.
Illinois scored a rushing touchdown on its only red zone possession, that coming in the first period.
Sophomore QB Ricky Stanzi started for the sixth-straight week and the seventh time in nine games. He completed 11-29 attempts for 191 yards and one touchdown. Stanzi has thrown at least one touchdown pass the last five games.
Senior DT Mitch King tied for Iowa’s tackle lead with nine stops, including five solo tackles and two tackles for loss (seven yards). Junior LB Pat Angerer matched King with five solo tackles and four assists.
Iowa returns home for its next two games, hosting Penn State next Saturday (2:30 p.m., ABC) and Purdue the following weekend.