Hawkeyes Kickoff Season in Chicago, Sept. 1

Aug. 24, 2012

Game One: Iowa Depth Chart & Game Notes


  • The Hawkeyes have won their last 11 season opening games, dating back to 2001. 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 winning streak in season opening games ranks fourth longest among Big Ten teams, trailing only Nebraska, 26, Wisconsin 13 and Ohio State 12).
  • The season opener will be the second time Iowa will play in Soldier Field; Iowa beat Northern Illinois, 16-3, in Chicago in 2007. This season marks the fifth time in Iowa history its season opener will be played at a neutral site. The Hawkeyes also played Tennessee and NC State in the 1987 and 1992 Kickoff Classic at East Rutherford, N.J., respectively, and Kansas State in Kansas City in the 2000 Eddie Robinson Classic.
  • Iowa is a perfect 2-0 in games played on Sept. 1, beating Kent State (51-0) in 2001 and Northern Illinois (16-3) in 2007.
  • After opening the season against Northern Illinois in Chicago’s Soldier Field, the Hawkeyes will play four straight home games. In order, Iowa hosts Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Central Michigan and Minnesota during the month of September, prior to an open date. Iowa has not played four straight home games since 1980.
  • After 13 years with the same offensive and defensive coordinators, Iowa enters 2012 with new coordinators. Phil Parker, who has coached the Hawkeye secondary the past 13 seasons, has taken over as the new coordinator on defense. On offense, coordinator and quarterbacks coach Greg Davis has joined the staff.
  • Senior QB James Vandenberg, who started started all 13 games a year ago, completed 237-of-404 pass attempts for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2011. Only 17 returning players in the FBS threw for more yards than Vandenberg.
  • “Hawkeye Day with the Cubs” is slated for Friday, Aug. 31 at Wrigley Field when Chicago hosts San Francisco. University of Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the game at 1:20 p.m. (CT). Ticket packages can be purchased at bravosportsmarketing.com or tickets.com.
Game 1 | Iowa vs. Northern Illinois
Date Saturday, Sept. 1 | 2:32 p.m. (CT)
Location Chicago | Solider Field
Radio Hawkeye Radio Network
Live Coverage GameTracker | Twitter Game Updates
All-Time Series Iowa leads, 7-0

Iowa opens the season Saturday, Sept. 1, against Northern Illinois. Game time is 2:32 p.m. at Chicago’s Soldier Field (61,500).

ESPNU (HD) will televise the contest. Tom Hart and John Congemi will call the action.

Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play, with color commentator Ed Podolak and sideline reporter Rob Brooks. The Hawkeye Radio Network includes more than 40 stations throughout the state. The broadcast can also be heard on XM Radio 196 and Sirius 113.

The National I-Club and the UI Alumni Association invite all fans to the “Hawkeye Huddle” from 6:30-9 p.m. Friday. The “Hawkeye Huddle” will be held at the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier, located at 600 Grand Avenue downtown Chicago. The free reception features refreshments, snacks, Hawk Shop door prizes, Herky, and the Iowa cheerleaders.

Iowa is 90-31-2 (.740) in season-opening games, including an 11-2 mark under Coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has averaged 37.7 points and a winning margin of 31.0 in its last 11 season-opening victories (Tennessee Tech 34-7 in 2011; Eastern Illinois 37-7 in 2010; Northern Iowa 17-16 in 2009; Maine 46-3 in 2008; Northern Illinois 16-3 in 2007; Montana 41-7 in 2006; Ball State 56-0 in 2005; Kent State 39-7 in 2004 and 51-0 in 2001; Miami, Ohio 21-3 in 2003; Akron 57-21 in 2002).

Iowa has played 1,155 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 594-522-39 (.531). That includes a 376-202-16 (.646) record in home games, a 218-320-23 (.409) record in games away from Iowa City, a 293-352-25 (.456) mark in Big Ten games and a 259-166-15 (.606) record in Kinnick Stadium.

There are a few remaining tickets for games against Northern Iowa, Central Michigan and Purdue. Iowa has issued over 59,000 season tickets, which includes more than 10,000 student tickets. The Iowa record for average home attendance is 70,585, set in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011. Iowa has sold out Kinnick Stadium 56 of the last 58 games heading into the 2012 season. In addition, Iowa has sold its allotment of tickets to road games at Michigan and Michigan State, in addition to the season opener against Northern Illinois in Chicago.

Iowa boasts a 7-0 record against Northern Illinois, with six of the games being played at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City and one at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Hawkeyes won the previous seven meetings by a 30.6 margin of victory. Iowa won the last meeting 16-3 on Sept. 1, 2007 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Coach Kirk Ferentz’s first victory as Iowa’s head coach came against the Huskies in 1999 (24-0).


  • Iowa does not play a true road game until it plays Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., on Oct. 13. The Hawkeyes’ opener vs. NIU is played on a neutral field, followed by four consecutive home games (Iowa State, UNI, Central Michigan and Minnesota).
  • Iowa’s preseason depth chart has five native Iowans listed as starters on the offensive line: LT Brandon Scherff (Denison), LG Matt Tobin (Dyersville), C James Ferentz (Iowa City), RG Austin Blythe (Williamsburg), RT Brett Van Sloten (Decorah). Ferentz has 26 career starts, followed by Tobin’s 10 starts and three by Scherff.
  • Iowa is 14-2 when rushing for 120 yards or more the last two seasons.
  • Iowa’s defense, ten different players, collected a total of 22 sacks a year ago. Seven of the ten players, and 18.5 of the sacks, graduated. Dominic Alvis (1.5), Christian Kirksey (1.0) and Steve Bigach (1.0) are Iowa’s only returnees who recorded a sack in 2011.
  • Iowa linebacker coach LeVar Woods scored his only career TD in Iowa’s 24-0 win over Northern Illinois in 1999, which was coach Ferentz’s first career win at Iowa as a head coach. Woods picked up a blocked field goal and scampered 87 yards for the score. The 87-yard return is the longest blocked field goal return in Iowa history.
  • NIU enters the 2012 season with the nation’s longest active winning streak (including bowl games), nine games, dating back to its 40-10 win over Kent State on Oct. 8. 2011.
  • Dave Doeren enters his second season as head coach of Northern Illinois after leading the Huskies to an 11-3 overall record, a Mid-American Conference championship and victory in the GoDaddy.com bowl a year ago. Doeren came to NIU after serving five years (2006-10) on Wisconsin’s defensive coaching staff. He also served on the coaching staffs at Kansas (2002-05), Montana (2000-01), USC (1998-99) and Drake (1995-97), his alma mater. Doeren graduated from Drake in 1994.
  • Like the Hawkeyes, the Huskies have a new offensive coordinator this season, Mike Dunbar. Dunbar has Big Ten and Iowa ties as he previously served as UNI’s head coach for four seasons (1997-2000) and as an assistant coach at Northwestern (2001-06) and Minnesota (2007-08).
  • NIU defensive coordinator and safeties coach Jay Niemann is an Iowa State graduate (1983). He served seven seasons on Drake’s football staff (1989-96), five years at UNI (1997-2001) and six years as Simpson’s head coach (2002-07).
  • NIU’s offensive line was 10th in the nation a year ago in sacks allowed and helped pave the way for the 12th-ranked running game. However, the Huskies have only one returning starting lineman this year – Logan Pegram, who was at left guard last season and will move to center in 2012.
  • The Huskies’ top two offensive threats, QB Chandler Harnish and RB Jasmin Hopkins have graduated. The duo combined for 2,335 rushing yards and 26 TDs, while Harnish added 3,216 yards and 28 TDs through the air.
  • Martel Moore returns for his senior season after tying for the team lead with 47 catches for 747 yards and seven TDs a year ago.
  • NIU received votes in the USA Today Coaches’ and Associated Press polls preseason poll.

Iowa beat Northern Illinois, 16-3, in front of a capacity crowd of 61,500 fans at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., on Sept. 1, 2007. Iowa grabbed a 6-0 advantage on a RB Albert Young five-yard touchdown run (PAT failed) in the second quarter. The Hawkeyes added another touchdown on its next possession, marching 95 yards in eight plays to increase their lead to 13-0 midway through the second period. QB Jake Christensen completed a 5-yard pass to TE Brandon Myers. Northern Illinois posted its only points on a 33-yard field goal by PK Chris Nendick late in the second quarter to cut Iowa’s advantage to 13-3. Hawkeye place kicker Austin Signor added a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter to stretch the Hawkeye lead to 16-3. Iowa rushed for 250 yards on 46 carries. Conversely, the Huskies rushed for 21 yards on 21 attempts. Young ran for 144 yards on 23 attempts. Also eclipsing the century mark was teammate Damian Sims. He carried the ball 16 times for 110 yards. In his second career start under center, Christensen completed 12-29 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. WR James Cleveland (61 yards) and TE Tony Moeaki (32 yards) each had three receptions to lead the Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes had a plus-three turnover margin in the contest, collecting three interceptions. DB Charles Godfrey intercepted two, including one inside the red zone on Iowa’s 3-yard line to thwart a Huskie scoring threat early in the third period. LB Mike Humpal registered the other theft and also collected six tackles. Godfrey also had seven tackles and one pass break-up. LB Mike Klinkenborg tallied a team-best nine stops, while DB Adam Shada recorded eight tackles.

Now in his 14th season as Iowa’s head football coach, Kirk Ferentz ranks fourth in longevity among FBS head coaches. Ferentz is first among Big Ten coaches and nationally ranks behind Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer, Larry Blakeney of Troy and Mack Brown of Texas.


  • The Hawkeyes host Minnesota to open Big Ten play on Sept. 29. This marks just the fourth time in Kirk Ferentz’ 14 years at Iowa that the Hawkeyes have opened the conference season at home.
  • Eight of Iowa’s 11 FBS opponents played in bowl games. That list includes Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Michigan State, Penn State, Northwestern, Purdue, Michigan and Nebraska. In addition, Northern Iowa participated in the FCS playoffs, advancing to the quarterfinals. Both Michigan (Sugar) and Michigan State (Outback) won January bowl games.
  • The Hawkeyes do not face Big Ten opponents Illinois, Ohio State and Wisconsin this season.

Iowa’s coaching staff has undergone several changes from a year ago. Phil Parker is the new defensive coordinator after coaching the Iowa secondary for the past 13 seasons. Reese Morgan moves from offensive to defensive line coach and Darrell Wilson has moved from coaching linebackers to coaching the defensive backs. LeVar Woods is in his first season as the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson will assist Morgan with the defensive line. On offense, coordinator and quarterbacks coach Greg Davis joins the staff for his first season with the Hawkeyes. Brian Ferentz is in his first season as Iowa’s offensive line coach and graduate assistant David Raih has added the duties of coaching the Hawkeye tight ends. Lester Erb continues to coach the running backs and will again work with Wilson in coaching the Hawkeye special teams. Both Ferentz and Woods are former Hawkeye players.

Iowa returns 39 lettermen from 2011, including 19 on offense, 17 on defense and three specialists. The 39 returning lettermen are three more than a year ago. The Hawkeyes return six starters on offense, five on defense and one specialist. The lettermen breakdown includes five three-year lettermen, 14 two-year lettermen and 20 one-year lettermen. The total roster has 118 players, and includes 18 seniors, 20 juniors, 25 sophomores, 19 redshirt freshmen and 36 true freshmen.

Iowa’s projected returning starters on offense include: center James Ferentz, left guard Matt Tobin, quarterback James Vandenberg, tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, fullback Brad Rogers and wide receiver Keenan Davis. The returning defensive starters include: lineman Dominic Alvis, linebackers Christian Kirksey and James Morris and defensive backs Micah Hyde and Tanner Miller. PK Mike Meyer also returns. Among the returning starters, only Kirksey and Hyde on defense and Ferentz and Vandenberg started every game in 2011. Ferentz and Hyde have each started 26 consecutive games over the past two seasons. Iowa’s depth start includes 13 seniors, but just eight of those 13 are projected as starters. That is the fewest number of projected senior starters in the Kirk Ferentz era at Iowa. The previous low was 10 in both 2007 and 2009. Just seven seniors are listed as starters on the preseason depth chart. That is the lowest number in the Kirk Ferentz era at Iowa.

Iowa returns three players who earned All-Big Ten honors in 2011. DB Micah Hyde was a second team selection by league media and earned honorable mention recognition from league coaches. Center James Ferentz and linebacker James Morris both earned honorable mention recognition from league coaches and media. Hyde earned honorable mention recognition from league media in 2010. Hyde and junior LB James Morris were named third team all-league on Phil Steele’s all-Big Ten selections. College Sports Madness named Hyde first team all-Big Ten, while Morris was named to the third team. The BTN.com all-Freshman team included WR Kevonte Martin-Manley and OL Brandon Scherff. Martin-Manley ranked third on the team with 30 receptions for 323 yards and three touchdowns. He started two games while playing in all 13 contests and was used on KO returns late in the season. Scherff started three games and played in 11 contests at left guard. Senior DL Steve Bigach and senior QB James Vandenberg were named to the Capital One Academic All-District Six first team last year. Vandenberg carries a 3.36 GPA and has earned his degree in integrative physiology. He completed 237-404 pass attempts for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. Bigach is majoring in integrative physiology and mathematics and carries a 3.65 GPA. He played in 12 games, earning three starts at defensive tackle and two at defensive end. He recorded nine solo tackles and 15 assists. Both Vandenberg and Bigach earned academic all-Big Ten honors in 2010 and 2011. In the last 13 seasons, under Coach Kirk Ferentz, 19 Iowa football student-athletes have combined to earn academic all-District and all-America recognition on 35 occasions.

Iowa has posted 85 wins since the start of the 2002 season, which ranks as the 16th highest total in Division I football. The list includes the following: Boise State (117); USC (109); Oklahoma (108); LSU (106); Ohio State (105); Texas (103); TCU (103); Virginia Tech (102); Georgia (98); Florida (95); West Virginia (95); Wisconsin (94); Auburn (94); Utah (92); Alabama (91); Oregon (90); IOWA (85); Florida State (85); Boston College (84); Hawaii (84); Texas Tech (84); Miami, FL (83); Nebraska (82) and Michigan (82). Penn State had its wins vacated from 1998-2011.

Iowa returns the following players who led the team in statistical categories in 2011:

  • QB James Vandenberg started all 13 games in 2011, completing 237-404 pass attempts for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions.
  • PK Mike Meyer was second on the team in scoring with 86 points, hitting 14-20 field goal attempts and all 44 PAT attempts. He has made 56 consecutive PAT attempts (Nate Keading holds the school record with 60 set in 2001-02) and ranks 14th in career scoring with 159 points in two seasons.
  • Junior linebackers Christian Kirksey and James Morris shared the team lead with 110 tackles. Kirksey started all 13 games, recording 62 solo tackles, three pass break-ups and two caused fumbles. Morris, who missed one contest due to injury, had 52 solo stops. They both recorded one pass interception.
  • Senior Micah Hyde and junior Tanner Miller shared the team lead with three interceptions. Hyde also handled the majority of punt returns, averaging 8.2 yards on 13 returns, and shared the team lead with eight pass break-ups.

Iowa’s week one depth chart includes 10 players who originally joined the program as a walk-on. That includes five on offense (OL Matt Tobin, TE Zach Derby, RB Michael Malloy, WR Steven Staggs and FB Mark Weisman), three on defense (OLB Tom Donatell, LB Macon Plewa and LB Travis Perry), and two specialists (PK Mike Meyer and LS Casey Kreiter). True freshmen on the depth chart include defensive back Kevin Buford, punter Connor Kornbrath, and running backs Greg Garmon and Michael Malloy.

Senior QB James Vandenberg tied for third in single-season touchdown passes (25) in 2011. He is fourth in season passing yards (3,022), ninth in career passing yards (3,537) and eighth in career passing touchdowns (28). Vandenberg passed for 399 yards in a win over Pittsburgh last season, a total that ranks seventh best in a single game. His 391 yards total offense in that contest ranks eighth best for a single game. His completions (31) in that contest rank fourth best for a single game and his attempts (48) ties as seventh best. Sophomore PK Mike Meyer begins this season ranked 14th in career scoring with 159 points (28-37 FGS, 75-77 PATs). His 86 points in 2011 ties as 14th best in single-season scoring. Senior DB Micah Hyde holds the eighth (72) and 10th (66) longest interception returns in school history.

Iowa’s defense has ranked among national leaders in causing turnovers in recent seasons. Since the start of the 2008 season, Iowa has collected 72 interceptions, a total that ties as fifth best in the nation over that span. Iowa had nine interceptions in 2011, with two of those being returned for touchdowns (89 yards by DB Shaun Prater and 98 yards by DB Tanner Miller). LB James Morris also has a 52-yard return that led to a field goal. The Hawkeyes have had an interception return for a touchdown in each of the last four years, including four in 2010. Iowa has had an interception return for a score in nine of the last 11 seasons and 9 of 13 seasons under Kirk Ferentz.


  • Iowa defeated a team ranked in the top five in the nation, in the Associated Press rankings, in 2008 (Penn State), 2009 (Penn State) and 2010 (Michigan State), along with defeating 13th-ranked Michigan in 2011.
  • Iowa earned Big Ten Conference championships in 2002 and 2004 and placed second in 2009. Iowa (8-0, 2002) is one of two Big Ten teams to post a perfect mark in conference play since 1998 (BCS era).
  • Iowa has ranked in the top 10 in the final Associated Press and CNN/USA Today coaches polls in four of the past 10 seasons, including a ranking of seventh in both polls at the conclusion of the 2009 season. Iowa ranked eighth in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and the Hawkeyes were also 20th in 2008.
  • Iowa established a school record with 11 wins in 2002 (11-2) and matched that record in 2009. In 2009, Iowa won 10 regular season games for just the fourth time in school history.
  • Iowa won 10 or more games in three consecutive years (2002-04) for first time in school history.
  • Iowa compiled an eight-year record of 85-42 (.669), 2002-11, including a 50-30 Big Ten record. The 85 victories tie as the 17th best total in the nation.
  • Kirk Ferentz has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year three times (2002, 2004 & 2009) and he was named National Coach of the Year in 2002. Ferentz joins Michigan’s Bo Schembechler (four), Iowa’s Hayden Fry (three) and Penn State’s Joe Paterno (three) as the only coaches to be honored in more than two seasons.
  • Iowa has had national award winners in: Robert Gallery (2003 Outland, Top Lineman); Brad Banks (2002 Davey O’Brien, Top Quarterback; 2002 Associated Press National Player of the Year); Dallas Clark (2002 Mackey, Top Tight End); Nate Kaeding (2002 Groza, Top Kicker); Shonn Greene (2008 Doak Walker, Top Running Back).
  • Iowa has appeared in the final Associated Press poll 21 times in its program history, a total that ranks 25th best in the country.

Senior QB James Vandenberg is slated to start Iowa’s season opener, having started all 13 games a year ago and 15 overall in his career. Vandenberg completed 237-of-404 pass attempts for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2011. He ranked third in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (232.5), fourth in total offense (237.2) and fifth in pass efficiency (138.5). Vandenberg (6-foot-3, 212) was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA District Six Academic All-America team and is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Vandenberg is on five preseason watch lists (Davey O’Brien, Maxwell Award, Manning Award, CFPA Quarterback Trophy, and the Senior Bowl) and was also ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in the Big Ten by ESPN.com. Vandenberg is a native of Keokuk and is the second quarterback from the state of Iowa under Coach Kirk Ferentz. Kyle McCann (Creston) led Iowa to victory in the 2001 Alamo Bowl, the first bowl win for Coach Kirk Ferentz. Two native Iowans have led the Hawkeyes to Rose Bowl wins, including Kenny Ploen (Clinton) during the 1956 season and Randy Duncan (Des Moines) during the 1958 season. Both were first team All-Americans. St. Ansgar native Matt Sherman led Iowa to a pair of bowl wins (1996 Alamo and 1997 Sun Bowl), while Iowa City native Paul Burmeister was Iowa’s quarterback in the 1993 Alamo Bowl. Additional Iowa natives who passed for over 1,500 yards, but never led Iowa in a bowl game, include Gary Snook (Iowa City, 1963-65), Ed Podolak (Atlantic, 1966-68, who ended his Iowa career as a prolific running back), Phil Suess (Des Moines, 1977-80), Randy Reiners (Ft. Dodge, 1996-99), Tom McLaughlin (Dubuque, 1975-77), Al DeMarco (Mason City, 1947-48) and Glen Drahn (Elkader, 1948-50).


  • James Vandenberg leads all returning Big Ten quarterbacks in passing yards and only 17 returning players in the FBS threw for more yards in 2011.
  • Vandenberg had 18 TD passes and two interceptions in seven wins in 2011. He had seven TD passes and five interceptions in six defeats.
  • Iowa went 7-1 in the games that QB James Vandenberg completed at least 60 percent of his passes a year ago.
  • Iowa was 6-1 a year ago when Vandenberg threw for 219 yards or more.
  • Vandenberg threw only three interceptions in seven home games in 2011.

DB Micah Hyde

  • Second team all-Big Ten by league media and honorable mention by coaches in 2011
  • Defensive Player of the Game, 2010 Insight Bowl
  • Has seven career interceptions
  • Earned defensive back honorable mention recognition from College Football Performance Awards for his play in win over Pittsburgh and in loss at Penn State

QB James Vandenberg

  • Named to 2012 preseason watch lists for Davey O’Brien, Manning Award and Maxwell awards, and the CFPA Quarterback Trophy
  • Named to Capital One/CoSIDA District Six Academic All-America team in 2011
  • Completed 237-404 (.587) passes for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2011, with seven interceptions
  • Thirteen of 25 touchdown passes covered over 20 yards
  • Ranks third for touchdown passes in a season (25) and fourth in passing yards in a season (3,022) in 2011
  • Ranks ninth in career passing yards (3,537) and eighth in career touchdown passes (28). Vandenberg is 201 passing yards from equaling Gary Snook (1963-65) for eighth.
  • Named Big Ten Conference offensive Player of the Week after reaching career high marks in completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdowns in win over Pittsburgh in 2011. Also scored on a one-yard run and completed 17 of his last 20 passes in the second half.

PK Mike Meyer was one of 20 semifinal candidates for the 2011 Lou Groza Award, presented each year to the top place kicker in the nation. The junior in 2011 made 14-20 (.700) field goal attempts and was a perfect 44-44 in PAT kicks (has made 56 straight PATs over two seasons). Three of his six missed field goals hit the upright, while another attempt was blocked. The school record for consecutive PATs made is 60 established by All-Pro Nate Kaeding. Meyer ranked fifth in the Big Ten in kick scoring (6.6) for the season. He made a 22-yard field goal in the win over Pitt before missing from 40 and 50 yards and made his only attempt vs. ULM and Penn State (both from 23 yards). He was perfect against Northwestern, with field goals of 27 and 40 yards while converting five PATs. His only field goal attempt in the win over Indiana was good from 47 yards and he added 6-6 PATs. One of his two misses at Minnesota hit the upright and he made his only attempt (42 yards) in the win over Michigan. He had a 38-yard field goal in the win at Purdue. Meyer had a career-best 50-yard field goal at Iowa State, while also connecting from 42, 20 and 34 yards. Meyer made four field goals in a game for the second time in his career, as he made 4-5 in an 18-13 win at Indiana in 2010. Meyer is tied for 14th in single-season scoring with 86 points in 2011 and is 14th in career scoring with 159 points. He has made 28-37 (.757) career field goal attempts.

LB James Morris earned honorable mention all-Big Ten honors from both league coaches and media. He tied for the team lead in tackles (110 in 12 games) and ranked fifth in the Big Ten and 37th in the nation. The junior in 2011 returned to the starting line-up in Iowa’s win over Indiana after missing the Northwestern game due to injury. He matched his career best with 13 tackles at Nebraska. He also had 13 tackles at Minnesota, with 10 solo tackles and a tackle for loss, while moving from the middle linebacker position to the weak side. He collected eight tackles in the win over Michigan and had four tackles vs. Michigan State and Purdue. He recorded five tackles in the Insight Bowl vs. Oklahoma. Morris recorded 52 solo stops and 58 assists, along with one pass interception, in 12 games. Morris collected five solo stops and eight assists in Iowa’s loss at Penn State to again equal his career high of 13 tackles. He collected 10 tackles in wins over ULM and Indiana. Morris also had 13 tackles in the win over Pittsburgh.

LB Christian Kirksey recorded 110 tackles (62 solo) in 13 games to share the team lead. The junior in 2011 ranked seventh in the Big Ten in tackles per game (8.5). He also had five tackles for loss, one QB sack, three pass break-ups, two caused fumbles and one fumble recovery. He collected his first career interception in Iowa’s win over Michigan, stopping a Michigan red zone possession. He added nine tackles and a tackle for loss vs. Michigan State. He had 10 tackles in the final game of the regular season at Nebraska and seven tackles vs. Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl. Kirksey led the Hawkeyes with 11 solo tackles and two assists at Iowa State, while also causing and recovering an Iowa State fumble on the same play. He recorded 10 tackles (six solo stops) against Tennessee Tech and Penn State and had eight stops in the win over Pittsburgh. He added his second forced fumble of the season at Penn State. He had nine tackles in a win over Northwestern and led the Iowa defense with 12 tackles in the win over Indiana.

Iowa’s football record in the 2000 decade was 80-45 (.640), a record that ranks as the best decade in Iowa football history, based on total wins. Iowa posted a record of 77-40-4 (.652) during the 1980’s and the Hawkeyes were 62-53-2 (.538) in the 1990’s. Part of the Hawkeye success is due to the stability in the program, as Iowa has had just two head coaches since 1979. Hayden Fry took over prior to the 1979 season and coached through the 1998 season, posting a record of 143-89-6. Current Coach Kirk Ferentz replaced Fry, leading the program for the last 13 seasons. Ferentz also served as Iowa’s offensive line coach from 1981-89 under Fry.

As a team, Iowa ranked eighth nationally in fewest penalty yards per game (35.6), tied for 14th in red zone defense (73.7%), tied for 18th in fewest turnovers (18), tied for 19th in interceptions thrown (eight), ranked 22nd in fewest penalties per game (4.8) and 25th in net punting (38.5) in 2011. Individually, WR Marvin McNutt, Jr., was 12th in receiving yards per game (101.2) and tied for 27th in receptions per game (6.3), RB Marcus Coker ranked 15th in rushing yards per game (115.3), DB Shaun Prater ranked tied for 28th with four forced fumbles, QB James Vandenberg ranked 39th in passing yards (232.5) and 41st in pass efficiency (138.5) and LB James Morris tied for 37th in tackles per game (9.2). All Iowa team and individual statistical rankings, both in the Big Ten and the NCAA, can be found as a side bar within the game notes section.

Iowa has won 55 of its last 67 games (.821) in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the 2002 season, including a 6-1 record in 2011. Iowa recorded a school-record 22-game home winning streak between 2002-05, which ended with an overtime loss to Michigan. Iowa is 23-5 (.821) at home since the start of the 2008 season and 24-1 (.960) in its last 25 non-conference home games. Iowa has won 12 straight non-conference home games since the final game of 2007.

Iowa’s roster of 118 players includes 47 players from Iowa. The roster includes 13 players from Illinois; 11 from Ohio; six from Michigan; five from Florida and Texas; four from Maryland; three from Nebraska; two from Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; one from Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia; and three from Canada and one from Australia.

Iowa has seven players on its 2012 roster whose father played for the Hawkeyes. WR Jordan Cotton (Marshall in 1984-87), OL Cole Croston (Dave in 1984-86), TE Zach Derby (John in 1988-91), QB Dan Hartlieb (Chuck in 1986-88), OL Mitch Keppy (Myron in 1986-87), ATH George Krieger Kittle (Bruce in 1977-80) and DB Sean Skradis (Bryan in 1977-81).

The fathers of DB Tom Donatell and DB Greg Castillo are coaches in the NFL. Ed Donatell is the defensive secondary coach for the San Francisco 49’ers and Juan Castillo is the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Iowa had 47 pass plays and eight rushing plays, along with three interception returns, 28 KO returns, one punt return and 14 field goals, of at least 20 yards in 2011. Hawkeye opponents had 32 passing plays, nine rushing plays, two punt returns, three interception returns, one fumble return and 34 KO returns of 20 yards or more last season.

Iowa outscored its opponents in the first (69-57), second (106-75) and fourth (105-91) quarters, but was outscored in the third (67-61) quarter in 2011. Iowa was outscored in three overtime periods (20-17) at Iowa State.

Iowa averaged 5.5 yards on 389 first down plays, 6.1 yards on 290 second down plays, 4.4 yards on 175 third down plays and 5.3 yards on 21 fourth down plays a year ago. Iowa was 11-21 (.524) on fourth down conversions.

Iowa’s 54 scoring drives averaged 8.1 plays, 60.1 yards and 3:41 in elapsed time last season. Iowa had 11 scoring drives that covered 80 yards or more. Iowa had 41 touchdown drives, which averaged 7.8 plays, 66.8 yards and 3:05 in elapsed time. Hawkeye opponents had 50 scoring drives, averaging 9.3 plays, 58.7 yards and 3:51 in elapsed time in 2011.

Iowa was 41-49 (83.7%) in the red zone, with 18 rushing touchdowns, 13 passing touchdowns and 10 field goals a year ago. Iowa has scored on 147 of the last 165 (.891) red zone possessions (101 TDs and 46 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. Iowa is 128-146 (.877) combined inside the red zone its last 42 games. Hawkeye opponents were 42-57 (73.7%) in the red zone in 2011. Iowa allowed 14 rushing touchdowns, 17 passing touchdowns and 11 field goals.

Iowa scored 47 points following 19 opponent turnovers (10 interceptions, nine fumbles) in 2011. The Hawkeye defense collected at least one takeaway in 65 of its last 75 games, dating back to 2006. Iowa opponents scored 45 points following 18 Hawkeye turnovers a year ago.

Iowa ranks third in Big Ten bowl appearances. Ohio State has received a conference-best 42 bowl bids, followed by Michigan (41) and the Hawkeyes (26). Wisconsin ranks fourth with 23. Iowa (14-11-1, .558), Penn State (27-15-2, .636) and Purdue (9-7, .563) are the only Big Ten teams with a winning percentage in bowl games. Nebraska, competing in the Big Ten for the first time in 2011, holds a 24-24 (.500) record in 48 bowl games. Iowa was one of 10 Big Ten Conference teams to play in a bowl game following the 2011 season. The Big Ten had two teams competing in BCS games for the 11th time in 14 seasons. Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, the Big Ten has qualified 25 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. Seven different Big Ten programs have played in BCS bowl games. The Big Ten sent 10 teams to bowl games in 2011 for the first time ever.


  • Iowa was bowl eligible last season for the 11th straight season under Coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff.
  • The Hawkeyes have appeared in 10 bowl games since 2001. Iowa won the Outback Bowl over South Carolina following the 2008 season, concluded the 2009 campaign with a win over Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl and defeated Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl. Iowa’s three-game bowl win streak (2008-10) is an Iowa record.
  • The Hawkeyes have posted a 6-4 record in bowl games under Ferentz, including wins in four of six January bowl games.
  • Since the 2001 season, no Big Ten team has won more bowl games or has a higher winning percentage in bowl games, than Iowa.
  • Overall, Iowa has posted a 14-11-1 (.558) record in 26 bowl games. The Hawkeyes have competed in the Rose (five times), Alamo (four), Holiday (three), Outback (three), Orange (two), Peach (two), Sun (two), Insight (two), and the Capital One, Gator and Freedom bowls once.
  • Iowa (14-11-1, .558), Penn State (27-15-2, .636) and Purdue (9-7, .563) are the only Big Ten teams with a winning percentage in bowl games.
  • Iowa was one of 10 Big Ten Conference teams to play in a bowl game following the 2011 season. The Big Ten had two teams competing in BCS games for the 11th time in 14 seasons. Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, the Big Ten has qualified 25 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. Seven different Big Ten programs have played in BCS bowl games. The Big Ten sent 10 teams to bowl games in 2011 for the first time ever.

Iowa and Nebraska will meet for the second straight year on the Friday following Thanksgiving. The 2012 “Heroes Game” will be played Friday, Nov. 23 in Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium. The teams met on Friday following Thanksgiving last season in Lincoln in the inaugural battle for the “Heroes Game” trophy.

Iowa will once again host a night game in Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes will host Penn State at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 20. The game will be televised on BTN. Iowa is 6-3 in night games in Kinnick Stadium, including a 41-31 win over Northwestern a year ago.

All Iowa football games in 2011 were televised on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FSN or the BTN. Eight of Iowa’s 12 games this season are already scheduled for television, with the remaining four games expected to be selected as well. The last Iowa contest not televised was vs. Minnesota on Nov. 17, 2001. Iowa has appeared on television in 129 consecutive games.

Kirk Ferentz RADIO SHOW
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz is featured on “Hawk Talk with Kirk Ferentz” each week. The 90-minute radio call-in show is hosted by Gary Dolphin, the play-by-play voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The show airs each Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. from Carlos O’Kelly’s in Iowa City.

Iowa returns to Iowa City for its home opener against Iowa State, Sept. 8 (2:30 p.m., BTN). In fact, the Hawkeyes will remain in Iowa City through September entertaining UNI (Sept. 15), Central Michigan (Sept. 22) and Minnesota (Sept. 29).