Nov. 13, 2010
Northwestern scored the final 14 points to rally and defeat Iowa 21-17 today at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. The Wildcats have beaten the Hawkeyes five of the last six meetings.
All 38 points were scored with the wind today.
Today’s attendance of 47,130 marked Northwestern’s first sellout of the season and largest crowd since the same number attended the Ohio State at Northwestern contest in 2008.
Junior WR Marvin McNutt, Jr. had a five-yard reception for a touchdown in the third period, the 14th of his career. McNutt, Jr. is tied for eighth in career TD receptions. He ended the day with seven catches for 72 yards and a score. The seven receptions equaled a personal best.
Senior WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos had a 70-yard scoring reception in the third period, the longest reception of his career. He is Iowa’s career leader in receptions and yards (0-0) and is tied for third with 16 scoring catches. He ended the game with five receptions for 104 yards and a score.
Third-down conversions played a factor in the outcome. Northwestern converted 9-16, while Iowa was just 2-14. The Hawkeyes were 3-4 on fourth down, with their final fourth-down pass attempt falling incomplete in the end zone.
Senior punter Ryan Donahue had a 73-yard punt in the second period, which ties as the 10th longest in school history. Donahue also had a 73-yard kick against Northwestern in 2009 and he had a 76-yard kick against the Wildcats in 2007. Donahue is one of 10 semifinalists for the 2010 Ray Guy Award as the top punter in the nation. He finished the day with seven punts for 300 yards (42.9 avg.). In addition to the 73-yard punt, he also had a 52-yarder. Two of his kicks were downed inside the 20.
Senior QB Ricky Stanzi completed 23-41 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. Stanzi improved his career totals to 501-833 for 6,855 yards and 53 touchdowns. Iowa is 25-7 with Stanzi as its starting quarterback. He has at least one touchdown pass in the last 19 games he has played. He has at least three scoring passes in five of 10 games in 2010. He is third in career touchdown passes with 53. His 22 TD passes in 2010 tie as fourth best in a season. He is fifth in career completions, attempts and yards.
QB Ricky Stanzi completed a 70-yard scoring strike to senior WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos in the third period. The pass is the longest touchdown play of the season for Iowa and the longest pass play (66 yards vs. Iowa State). The reception is the longest of Johnson-Koulianos’ career and moves him into a tie for third with 16 career scoring receptions.
Sophomore RB Adam Robinson led Iowa’s ground game with 22 attempts for 108 yards. Robinson had five rushing touchdowns in 11 games as a freshman in 2009 and he has 10 this season. He has rushed for over 100 yards in six of nine games played in 2010 and has eight career games over the century mark. He has scored two or more touchdowns in five games this season. Robinson increased his career totals to 375 carries for 1,748 yards. He is tied with Nick Bell for 13th in career rushing yards at Iowa.
Iowa was 2-2 in the red zone vs. Northwestern, collecting a field goal and a passing touchdown. For the season, Iowa is 34-39 in the red zone, scoring 12 rushing touchdowns, 14 passing touchdowns and eight field goals. Iowa lost a fumble in the red zone and ended the game in the red zone against Eastern Illinois, had a missed field goal vs. Ball State and Indiana and a fumbled snap on a potential field goal attempt vs. Wisconsin. Iowa has scored on 97 of the last 108 red zone possessions (65 TDs and 32 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. Iowa is 78-88 (.884) combined inside the red zone its last 26 games.
Northwestern was also perfect in the red zone (3-3), collecting one rushing and two passing touchdowns. Iowa opponents are 21-30 in the red zone, with nine passing touchdowns, seven rushing touchdowns and five field goals.
Iowa did not score following a fourth-quarter interception. Iowa has scored 74 points following 18 opponent turnovers, plus 14 points following a blocked punt and a blocked field goal. Iowa collected at least one turnover in 11-of-13 games last season, with no turnovers vs. Michigan State and Ohio State. The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 53 of its last 59 games, dating back to 2006. Iowa entered today’s game ranked second nationally in turnover margin. Iowa has just seven turnovers in 10 games. Northwestern scored its second touchdown of the game after Ricky Stanzi was intercepted on the five-yard line. The Wildcats drove 85 yards in 13 plays and scored on a six-yard pass play.
Senior LB Jeremiha Hunter had the third interception of his career in the fourth period and his first of the season. Hunter missed Iowa’s win over Michigan State before returning to action last week at Indiana. Hunter is tied with Mel Cole for 31st in career tackles with 244.
Iowa won the toss and elected to receive. Iowa has started on offense in 122 of its last 140 contests. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 124-of-146 games under Ferentz. Iowa games vs. Wisconsin (10/23/10), Ohio State (11/14/07), Indiana (10/31/09), Purdue (11/15/08), Penn State (11/08/08), Wisconsin (10/10/08), Minnesota (11/10/07), at Northwestern (11/3/07), vs. Michigan State (10/27/07), at Penn State (10/6/07), vs. Iowa State (9/16/06), vs. Minnesota (11/19/05), vs. Michigan (10/22/05), at Purdue (10/8/05), at Minnesota (11/13/04), vs. Purdue (11/6/04), at Miami, OH (9/7/02) and at Michigan State (9/27/03) are the only contests that the Hawkeyes didn’t start on offense. Iowa won 13 of the 18 games.
Iowa did not score on its first possession for the fourth time in 10 games. Iowa collected field goals on its first drive vs. Penn State and Indiana and began games vs. Eastern Illinois, Iowa State, Wisconsin and Michigan State with touchdown drives.
Northwestern scored on a rushing touchdown on its first possession. Iowa has allowed just seven opponents (Indiana, game nine, and Penn State, game four, both in 2009, and Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Northwestern, 2010) to score on their opening drive in its last 36 games.
Senior WR Colin Sandeman missed his first game of the season and OL Adam Gettis missed his second straight game. Senior LB Jeff Tarpinian returned to the starting line-up, starting at outside linebacker. OL Nolan MacMillan returned to action after missing three games, but senior OL Josh Koeppel did start at right guard for the second straight week.
Following a short Iowa punt, Northwestern gained possession on the Iowa side of the field for a second period drive. In nine previous games, Iowa opponents had started just three of 100 possessions on the Iowa side of the field. Northwestern missed a field goal attempt on the possession.
Freshman PK Mike Meyer booted a 32-yard field goal in the first half. Meyer made 4-5 FG attempts in a win at Indiana last week, earning Big Ten special teams Player of the Week accolades. Meyer has made 10-12 field goal attempts this season.
Iowa hosts Ohio State next Saturday (2:36 p.m., ABC/ESPN) in its final home game. The Hawkeyes close the regular season Nov. 27 at Minnesota (time and TV, TBA).