What the Doctor Ordered

Sept. 25, 2010

| Box Score in PDF Format

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nary a ray of sunshine found its way to the artificial turf of historic Kinnick Stadium or the shiny gold-colored Throwback helmets worn by the nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t a bright day for UI coach Kirk Ferentz and his troops.

Iowa shrugged off a slow start offensively to strike for a season-high and the Hawkeye defense pitched a shutout en route to a 42-0 victory by the home team over visiting Ball State in the “2010 Throwback Game” – a salute to the Iowa football teams of the 1950s that played for hall of fame head coach Forest Evashevski. Iowa took the field Saturday in uniforms that had the look and feel of Evy’s last UI squad, the 1960 Hawkeyes who claimed a share of the Big Ten Conference title.

The victory improved Iowa to 3-1 heading into next week’s Big Ten Conference opener against Penn State Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. Ball State fell to 1-3 and 0-2 against Big Ten opponents having lost at Purdue last week

Iowa won this game the way Ferentz suggested it would have to on Tuesday: They needed to lean heavily on their most experienced – and healthiest – running back, Adam Robinson, while giving some other ball carriers an opportunity to get introduced to the offense; get continued precision from Iowa’s field general, quarterback Ricky Stanzi; and see a stronger effort from the Iowa “D.”

Robinson was Robinson, gaining most of his yards after contact. When he punched the clock at the end of his workday, the sophomore had scored a pair of one-yard touchdowns and gained 117 yards on 22 carries before being replaced early in the third quarter by red-shirt freshman tailback-turned-fullback-turned tailback Brad Rogers. A 5-foot-10, 215-pound chip off the Shonn Greene block, Rogers hammered Ball State for 39 yards in his first five collegiate carries. He finished the game with 66 yards on 9 attempts.

The Hawkeyes also took the redshirt off true freshman running back Marcus Coker, who ran for 56 yards on 8 carries, including one early in the fourth quarter that covered 21 yards.

“A-Rob’s just a special player. He shows up every Saturday. He doesn’t make mistakes,” Ed Podolak said of A-Rob before turning to the newcomers. “It’s nice to know he can go the distance if we need him to. It’s also nice to know we have others, and we do.”

“Those guys showed something, even with the limited exposure,” the Gazette’s Mike Hlas offered during his post-game visit with the Hawkeye Radio Network.

“You need someone to back up Adam Robinson and I think this team has two in Rodgers and Coker who can do that.”

“A-Rob’s just a special player. He shows up every Saturday. He doesn’t make mistakes. It’s nice to know he can go the distance if we need him to. It’s also nice to know we have others, and we do.”
Ed Podolak of the Hawkeye Radio Network on Iowa’s running backs

Stanzi was as good as it gets despite the steady rain that started shortly after kickoff and never really went totally away. The senior completed 19 of 25 passes – numbers that include four passes that were dropped by Hawkeye receives and touchdown strikes of 8 (to Keenan Davis in the second quarter), 22 (to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos in the second quarter), and 45 (to DJK in the third quarter).

While Iowa’s offense was rolling to 558 total net yards and 28 first downs, Clayborn, Binns, Tarpinian, Sash and the gang of the defensive side of the ball were outstanding against an offense that was averaging 20-plus points per game. The goose egg was Iowa’s first since last year’s 12-0 defeat of Minnesota in last year’s regular season finale in Kinnick. That game was the second straight shutout of the Gophers.

The Hawkeyes allowed Ball State only 112 net yards of offense – 56 on the ground, 56 via the air. BSU gained only eight first downs and two of them came via penalty. <>

Ferentz was also looking to see improvement by its special teams units, particularly the coverage units. They delivered, too, limiting an explosive group of BSU kick returners to just 16 yards per return. Iowa also missed its first field goal attempt, a 37-yarder early in the second quarter, but nailed its second to close the game’s scoring.

Iowa returns to action next Saturday with a primetime date against the Nittany Lions. The two will open the league season at Kinnick in the first-ever Black and Gold Spirit Game. Fans attending the nationally televised game next Saturday at Kinnick are encouraged to show their support for the Hawkeyes by wearing black or gold depending on their seat location.

Iowa vs. Ball State 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Iowa Hawkeyes 7 14 14 10 45
Ball State 0 0 0 0 0
Iowa Statistical Leaders
Passing: Ricky Stanzi 19 of 25, 288 yards, 3 touchdowns
Rushing: Adam Robinson 22 carries, 115 yards, 2 touchdowns
Receiving: Allen Reisner 5 catches, 53 yards
Tackles: Jeff Tarpinian 9 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss