Sept. 3, 2011
Iowa won today’s 2011 season opener 34-7 over Tennessee Tech.
Today’s game was delayed due to lightning. The delay began at 1:22 p.m. and lasted for 1:24, resuming at 2:46 p.m. The game was stopped with 3:37 remaining in the third period and Iowa leading 34-0. Tennessee Tech also had its opening game in 2010 delayed due to weather, and that contest was not completed.
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz coached game No. 150 as Iowa’s head coach. He is now 90-60 as Iowa’s head coach and in his 13th season.
Iowa is now 90-31-2 (.734) in season-opening games. Iowa has won 11 straight openers and is 11-2 mark under Coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa’s winning streak in season opening games ranks fourth longest among Big Ten teams, trailing only Nebraska, 25, Wisconsin 12 and Ohio State 11 (before today). Iowa is also 22-1 in its last 23 non-conference home games.
Iowa’s last season-opening loss came against eighth-ranked Kansas State (27-7) in the 2000 Eddie Robinson Classic at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Iowa’s most recent home opening loss was to fifth-ranked Nebraska (42-7) in 1999.
The game featured a sellout crowd of 70,585, Iowa’s 50th sellout in its last 52 home games.
STARTING ON OFFENSE
Iowa received the opening kickoff after Tennessee Tech deferred to start the game. Iowa has started on offense in 125 of its last 144 contests. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 128-of-150 games under Coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa games vs. Minnesota (11/27/10), 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 19 games.
Neither Iowa nor Tennessee Tech scored on their first possession of the game, with Iowa being stopped by a lost fumble and Tech being forced to punt. Iowa scored on its first possession in eight of 13 games in 2010 (6 TDs, 2 FG).
Seven of Iowa’s opponents scored on their first possession a year ago.
Iowa has allowed nine opponents to score on their opening drive in its last 40 games.
FIRST TIME STARTERS
Iowa players starting for the first time in their career included OL Matt Tobin, TE Brad Herman, FB Matt Meyers, WR Keenan Davis, DL Lebron Daniel, DL Dominic Alvis, LB Christian Kirksey and DB Collin Sleeper.
IN THE RED ZONE
Iowa was 3-4 (75%) in the red zone, collecting a field goal and two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). The Hawkeyes drove to the six-yard line on its final possession before time expired on its fourth red zone trip.
In 2010, Iowa was 43-48 in the red zone, scoring 14 rushing touchdowns, 17 passing touchdowns and 12 field goals.
Iowa has scored on 109 of the last 120 red zone possessions (72 TDs and 37 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. Iowa is 90-101 (.891) combined inside the red zone its last 30 games.
Tennessee Tech was 1-2 (50%) in the red zone, missing a field goal and scoring a rushing touchdown.
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS
Iowa scored 10 points following two interceptions, with the touchdown coming on an 89-yard return by DB Shawn Prater. Iowa also collected a field goal following an interception and 52-yard return by LB James Morris.
Iowa scored 95 points following 24 opponent turnovers in 2010, plus 14 points following a blocked punt and a blocked field goal. The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 57 of its last 63 games, dating back to 2006. Tennessee Tech did not score after recovering an Iowa fumble in the first period. Iowa opponents scored 28 points following 10 Iowa turnovers in 2010.
MCNUTT LEADS RECEIVERS
Senior WR Marvin McNutt, Jr. had an 88-yard touchdown reception in the second period and a 19-yard score in the third. McNutt, Jr. is now third in career touchdown receptions (18), three shy of the school record (21 by Tim Dwight and Danan Hughes, who were both in attendance today). McNutt, Jr. ended the game with six receptions for 140 yards and two scores. He had two touchdown receptions for the third time in his career (last was at Ohio State in 2009).
The receptions and yardage are the most by an Iowa receiver in an opening game since Ryan Barton had 128 yards (four catches) vs. Central Michigan in 1998. The two receiving TDs are the most by a Hawkeye in an opener since Maurice Brown had two TD receptions vs. Akron 2002.
PRATER GETS TOUCHDOWN RETURN
Senior DB Shaun Prater had an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second period. The return ranks as the fifth longest interception return for a touchdown in Iowa history. The touchdown return for Prater is his second, as he had a 33-yard touchdown in Iowa’s 2010 win over Penn State. Prater now has seven career interceptions for 173 yards. The 173 career return yards rank seventh best at Iowa.
MORRIS GETS FIRST THEFT
Sophomore LB James Morris had his first career interception in the second period and had a 52-yard return that led to an Iowa field goal. Morris ended the game with 10 tackles, matching LB Christian Kirksey as Iowa’s tackle leaders.
IOWA AMONG INTERCEPTION LEADERS
With two interceptions in the first half, Iowa has 65 interceptions since the start of the 2007 season. Iowa had 63 thefts over the last four seasons, a total that ranked second in the nation (Florida, 68). Also over the last four seasons, Iowa has had more interceptions than touchdown passes allowed. The Hawkeyes have had an interception return for a touchdown in each of the last four years, including four last season. Iowa has had an interception return for a score in nine of the last 11 seasons and 9-13 seasons under Kirk Ferentz. Iowa had six non-offensive touchdowns in 2010.
MEYER PERFECT ON THE DAY
Sophomore PK Mike Meyer made a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter and added a 20-yarder in the second period to go with being perfect on PATs (4-4). He has made 16-19 career field goals.
VANDENBERG GETS START
Junior QB James Vandenberg started for the third time in his career, but for the first time since the final regular season game in 2009. He completed 13-21 attempts for 216 yards and two scores, with no interceptions. The scoring passes, both to senior WR Marvin McNutt, Jr., covered 88 and 19 yards. Vandenberg became the first native Iowan to start a game for the Hawkeyes since Kyle McCann in 2001.
? This marks the 35th straight game Iowa has held its opponents to two touchdown passes or fewer.
? The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 57 of its last 63 games, dating back to 2006.
? Senior punter Eric Guthrie averaged 39 yards on three punts. He had just one career punt prior to today.
Instant Replay was used twice in the second period. WR Keenan Davis was ruled down at the one-yard line after making a catch. The play was originally ruled an Iowa touchdown. An 88-yard touchdown pass from James Vandenberg to Marvin McNutt, Jr. was upheld after it was ruled McNutt, Jr. did not step outside of bounds.
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE
Iowa plays at Iowa State next Saturday (11:10 a.m., FSN). Tennessee Tech hosts Maryville (TN) next Saturday night.