Football to Host Minnesota Saturday on Homecoming

Sept. 24, 2012

Week Five: Iowa Game Notes

? Saturday will be Kirk Ferentz’s 200th game as a head coach (110-89).
? Three of Iowa’s first four games have been decided by three points or less, including two by one point. It marks the first time Iowa has ever had three of its first four games decided by three points or less.
? The last two Iowa-Minnesota games have been decided by a combined four points (Minnesota wins of 22-21 in 2011 and 27-24 in 2010, both contested in Minneapolis).
? Saturday will mark the first time Iowa will have ever played Minnesota in September. The previous earliest date the two teams met was Oct. 2, 1909. Saturday also matches the second-earliest Homecoming game in Hawkeye history. Iowa’s earliest Homecoming contest came on Sept. 27, 2008 (Northwestern). The Hawkeyes also played Homecoming on Sept. 29 in 1984 (Illinois), 2001 (Penn State) and 2007 (Indiana).
? Iowa is tied with Michigan and Wisconsin for second most Big Ten wins since 2002 with 50. Ohio State ranks first with 57. The Hawkeyes rank third in most conference wins (19) since 2008, trailing only Michigan State (24) and Wisconsin (21).
? Mark Weisman has rushed for a combined six touchdowns the last two games (three in each game against UNI and Central Michigan). He is the first player to score six touchdowns (rushing or receiving) in consecutive weeks under Coach Ferentz.
? Saturday marks only the fourth time in Kirk Ferentz’ 14 years at Iowa that the Hawkeyes have opened the conference season in Iowa City. Iowa has won two of its last three Big Ten openers.
? Both Iowa and Minnesota are idle next week.

Game 5 | Minnesota vs. Iowa
Date Saturday, Sept. 29 | 11:02 a.m.
Location Iowa City, IA| Kinnick Stadium
Radio Hawkeye Radio Network
Live Coverage GameTracker | Twitter Game Updates
All-Time Series Minnesota leads, 61-42-2

Iowa (2-2, 0-0) celebrates Homecoming Saturday, hosting Minnesota (4-0, 0-0) in the conference opener. Game time is 11:01 a.m. in Kinnick Stadium (70,585). The game is sold out.

ESPN2 (HD) will televise the contest. Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway and Lewis Johnson will call the action. The game can also be viewed online at

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 game can also be heard on Sirius satellite radio 132 and XM 194.

Iowa holds a 54-41-5 (.565) record in 100 Homecoming games. Iowa has won its last three Homecoming games, defeating Indiana 45-24 last season. Iowa is 14-3 on Homecoming since 1995, and 10-2 since 2000, including winning seven in a row from 2000-06. Saturday will mark the first time since Oct. 20, 1979, that Iowa will host Minnesota on Homecoming. The Hawkeyes are 6-9 against the Gophers on Homecoming. Iowa is 10-3 in Homecoming contests under Kirk Ferentz.

For the fifth year in a row, college football coaches nationwide will join together in support of the Coach To Cure MD program on Saturday. The rapidly growing annual effort has raised more than a million dollars to battle Duchenne muscular dystrophy. On Saturday American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) members will wear a Coach To Cure MD logo patch on the sidelines and college football fans will be asked to donate to research projects supported by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Football fans can donate to Duchenne muscular dystrophy research by either going online to or by texting the word CURE to 90999 (a $5 donation will automatically be added to your next phone bill). Last year, more than 10,000 college coaches at 505 different institutions participated in Coach To Cure MD events. Both figures are well higher than in any of the program’s first three years (2008-10). The four-year fundraising total is just over $1 million.

Iowa has posted a 10-3 record when playing on Sept. 29. Iowa defeated Oklahoma (20-0) in 1923, South Dakota (34-0) in 1934, Berg AAF (14-13) in 1945, USC (20-14) in 1950, Kansas State (16-0) in 1951, Indiana (27-0) in 1956, Oregon State (28-8) in 1962, Iowa State (30-14) in 1979, Illinois (21-16) in 1984, and Penn State (24-18) in 2001. The Hawkeyes lost to Penn State (27-8) in 1973, Miami (48-21) in 1990, and Indiana (38-20) in 2007.

The Hawkeye Express, the engine and club cars that transport fans from Coralville to Kinnick Stadium, is available for those fans traveling to Kinnick Stadium each Saturday. The Hawkeye Express is in its eighth season. Adults can ride the train for $12, while children (12-and-under) ride for free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UI Ticket Office or on game day at the Hawkeye Express depot. Media credentials are accepted as well. An all-time record 5,532 fans used The Hawkeye Express on Sept. 15 (UNI game). Free parking is located in lots near the Comfort Suites and Coral Ridge Mall. Fans can begin boarding the train in Coralville four hours before kickoff. Return trips begin at the start of the fourth period and run 90 minutes after the game. The Hawkeye Express is owned by the Iowa Northern Railway Company.

Junior PK Mike Meyer and sophomore FB/RB Mark Weisman earned honorable mention honors from the College Football Performance Awards at their respective positions for their play in last week’s game against Central Michigan. Meyer made his only field-goal attempt (46 yards) and converted all four PAT’s. The four PAT’s extended his consecutive PAT made streak to 63, moving him past All-Pro Nate Kaeding and establishing a new active school record. Weisman rushed 27 times for a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns, marking the second consecutive game the sophomore scored three times. The 217 yards tie Shonn Green (2008) and Nick Bell (1989) for the eighth-best rushing total in Iowa single-game history.

After running backs Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon left the UNI game (Sept. 15) with injuries, fullback Mark Weisman was forced into full-time running back duties against UNI and Central Michigan. The walk-on has delivered, rushing for 363 yards and six touchdowns on 51 attempts in two games. He rushed for 113 yards and three scores against UNI and a career-best 217 yards and three touchdowns versus Central Michigan. The 217 yards tie for the eighth-best rushing total in Iowa single-game history. The 217 yards rank as the third-most by a Big Ten player in 2012. Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell had 253 last week against Eastern Michigan, while Denard Robinson totaled 218 against Air Force. Iowa has had a different back lead the team in rushing in four of the last six games, dating back to last season (Marcus Coker at Nebraska, 18-87; Jordan Canzeri in Insight Bowl, 22-58; Damon Bullock vs. Northern Illinois, 30-150 and Iowa State, 22-53; Mark Weisman vs. UNI, 24-113 and vs. Central Michigan, 27-217). Weisman scored all three of Iowa’s touchdowns against UNI; two 1-yard scores and one 2-yard run. It marked the first time a Hawkeye rushed for three touchdowns in a game since Adam Robinson against Eastern Illinois (Sept. 4, 2010). He scored on runs of two, four and six yards. Weisman tallied three of Iowa’s four touchdowns last week against Central Michigan, scoring from five, 12 and 34 yards out. The 18 points scored ties Braxton Miller (Ohio State), A.J. Barker (Minnesota), Allen Robinson (Penn State) and Venric Mark (Northwestern) for the most points scored by a Big Ten athlete in a single game in 2012. Weisman is the only conference player to accomplish the feat twice this season.

As a result of a bet between the governors of the two states in 1935, possession of Floyd of Rosedale is at stake Saturday. The bronze pig traveling trophy is currently in the hands of the Gophers as a result of their 22-21 win in Minneapolis last season. Minnesota holds a 41-34-2 advantage in the series with Floyd of Rosedale on the line. Iowa has won eight of the last 11 meetings.

Saturday will be the 106th meeting between Iowa and Minnesota. Minnesota holds a 61-42-2 advantage in the series that began with a 42-4 Gopher victory in 1891. The Gophers won the first 12 games in the series before Iowa earned a 6-0 win in 1918. Iowa has won eight of the last 11 meetings, but the Golden Gophers have won the last two meetings, both played at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Iowa has won the last five meetings in Kinnick Stadium, including a 12-0 decision on Minnesota’s last visit in 2009. The Hawkeyes hold a 27-23-1 advantage in games played at Iowa City.

Jerry Kill is in his second season as the Minnesota head coach and his 19th year as a college head coach. Kill holds a career mark of 134-82 (.620), including a 7-9 (.438) mark with Minnesota. He most recently was the head coach at Northern Illinois, leading the Huskies to three straight bowl games while posting a 23-16 mark. He was named the 2010 national Coach of the Year by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Prior to his stint at Northern Illinois, Kill was the head coach at Southern Illinois, posting a seven-year record of 55-32. He posted an 11-11 mark in two seasons as the head coach at Emporia State and was 38-14 in five seasons as the head coach at Saginaw Valley State.

? Iowa is 0-1 in trophy games in 2012. Iowa was defeated by Iowa State, 9-6, in the battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. Iowa and Nebraska will meet later in the season, seeking possession of the Heroes Trophy. Iowa and Wisconsin do not meet during the regular season; the teams play for possession of the Heartland Trophy.
? Iowa’s last six trophy games (Cy-Hawk, Floyd of Rosedale, Heartland and Heroes), dating back to 2010, have been close contests, being decided by a combined 24 points (4.0 avg.).
? The Gophers won all four of their non-conference games by an average of 13 points. The last time Minnesota started the season 4-0 was 2008.
? Minnesota has scored 28 points or more in three of its four games, scoring 17 in last week’s 17-10 home victory over Syracuse. The Hawkeyes have scored 27 points or more twice this season (UNI and Central Michigan).
? The last three games between Iowa and Minnesota have been decided by a combined 16 points (5.3 avg.), including a combined four points the last two meetings (2.0 avg.).
? Minnesota’s defense has collected at least one interception in its first four games, including two last week against Syracuse. Iowa’s defense has forced at least one turnover in three of its four games. Last week against Central Michigan was the only contest of 2012 that the Hawkeyes did not collect a takeaway.
? Minnesota ranks 11th in the country in pass efficiency defense (93.19), 17th in turnover margin (+5), 19th in pass efficiency (160.6), 21st in total defense (307.5), 23rd in sacks (2.75), and 24th in pass defense (179.0). Individually, D.L. Wilhite ranks 17th in the nation in sacks (1.12), while Derrick Wells is 31st in interceptions (0.5). Wells and Iowa’s Tom Donatell are two of four Big Ten players with multiple thefts this season.
? 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 was played on a neutral field, followed by four consecutive home games (Iowa State, UNI, Central Michigan and Minnesota). Iowa is idle on Oct. 6.
? Minnesota has one Iowan on its roster, senior TE John Rabe (Iowa Falls).

Minnesota scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to rally for a 22-21 win over Iowa in Minneapolis on Oct. 29, 2011. The Gophers scored the winning points on a fourth down, 3-yard run with 2:48 remaining. Iowa’s defense held Minnesota out of the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt, but the Hawkeyes were unable to move into field goal position on their last possession. Iowa dominated much of the game, but the Hawkeyes were able to convert just three of six red-zone possessions into points. The Hawkeyes missed two field goals in the first half before taking a 7-0 advantage on a 12-yard pass from QB James Vandenberg to WR Marvin McNutt, Jr. Minnesota answered with a touchdown with 1:13 left in the half to tie the score at seven. Iowa drove 63 yards on its first possession of the second half, taking a 14-7 lead on a one-yard run by RB Marcus Coker. After the Iowa defense forced a second straight three-and-out, the Hawkeyes seemed poised for another score after reaching the Gopher 14. But a Vandenberg fumble was recovered by the Gophers and Minnesota drove to a 28-yard field goal. Iowa increased its advantage on its following possession, covering 71 yards in just seven plays. Vandenberg completed a 12-yard pass to OL Woody Orne (tackle eligible) on third down before Coker scored his second touchdown from the one, and Iowa led 21-10 with 13:51 to play. Minnesota closed the gap to 21-16 with 8:22 remaining, driving 80 yards in 11 plays. The two-point conversion failed, but Minnesota kept momentum by recovering an onside kick. The Gophers drove to fourth down at the three, where QB MarQueis Gray scored the winning points. Iowa’s offense dominated much of the first three quarters. Despite just seven offensive plays in the final quarter, Iowa gained 446 yards total offense and had just one punt. Minnesota gained 371 yards total offense, with 155 yards coming in the final period. Coker led the Iowa offense with 32 attempts for 252 yards and two scores. Vandenberg completed 16-24 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions. McNutt, Jr. led Hawkeye receivers with seven receptions for 101 yards. LB James Morris matched a career best with 13 tackles to lead the defense. DB Tanner Miller, LB Christian Kirksey and LB Tyler Nielsen each added six stops.

Minnesota forced four turnovers en route to a 17-10 victory over Syracuse last Saturday night in Minneapolis. The win was the Gophers’ fourth straight to start the season. RB Donnell Kirkwood rushed for 99 yards and two scores, while QB Max Shortell threw for 231 yards in place of injured starter MarQueis Gray. Minnesota led 7-3 at halftime and stretched its advantage to 14-3 after Kirkwood’s second rushing score of the game on the Gophers’ opening drive of the second half. Minnesota forced two turnovers and two three-and-outs on the Orange’s first four possessions of the second half. Syracuse scored a touchdown on its final possession with 46 seconds remaining in the game.

Central Michigan scored nine points in the final 2:18 to edge Iowa, 32-31 on Saturday. Iowa took a 23-21 lead with 2:18 remaining on a 12-yard touchdown by Mark Weisman. Central Michigan responded with a seven-play, 64-yard drive, capped by a Titus Davis touchdown reception to trim the Hawkeye lead to 31-29. The ensuing two-point conversion failed, but the Chippewas recovered an onside kick with 45 seconds left and won the game on 47-yard field with three seconds remaining on the clock. The Hawkeyes were led offensively by Weisman, who turned in his second three touchdown performance in as many weeks. Weisman finished the contest with 27 carries for 217 yards and scoring runs of five, 12 and 34 yards. The 217 yards tie Shonn Greene and Nick Bell for the seventh-most rushing total in a single game in Iowa history. Iowa jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after recording its first passing touchdown of the season, a 10-yard strike from James Vandenberg to Kevonte Martin-Manley. Weisman’s first touchdown of the day allowed Iowa to regain a 14-10 lead late in the first quarter. Central Michigan put up 13 second-quarter points to take a 23-14 lead into the half. Weisman’s second scoring run of the day made it 23-21 and a 46-yard field by Mike Meyer in the fourth quarter gave Iowa a one-point advantage at 24-23. Vandenberg finished 16-of-25 with 215 yards and one touchdown, while Keenan Davis had six catches for 88 yards. Iowa finished with 430 total yards of offense, including 215 rushing and 215 passing. Penalty yards hurt Iowa’s chances, as the Hawkeyes were flagged nine times for a total of 106 yards. Meyer set the Iowa school record for consecutive PAT’s made, breaking Nate Kaeding’s previous mark of 60. Micah Hyde and Anthony Hitchens each had 14 tackles to lead the Iowa defense. The Hawkeyes collected eight tackles for loss, with Hyde, Hitchens, Tanner Miller, Joe Gaglione, Louis Trinca-Pasat and Carl Davis each picking up one full TFL.

? The Iowa offense scored a season-high 31 points against Central Michigan.
? Iowa’s defense allowed nine second-half points, all in the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes had allowed zero fourth quarter points entering the contest. The Hawkeyes have only allowed 19 second-half points through four games.
? Mark Weisman scored on a 34-yard rush on a fourth-down play in the first period. The rush is the longest of his career and the longest by a Hawkeye rusher this season. Weisman also had a 5-yard rushing score in the third period, and a 12-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. The scores are Weisman’s fourth, fifth and sixth of the season; he had three TD’s versus UNI. Weisman finished the game with a career-high 217 yards on 27 attempts. His 217 yards ties for the eighth -best in Iowa single-game history (Shonn Greene and Nick Bell).
? In addition to making all four PAT’s and setting a new active school consecutive PAT made record, PK Mike Meyer made a 46-yard field goal; he is 9-of-10 this season. Meyer now has 193 points, surpassing Tim Dwight (1994-97) and Ronnie Harmon (1982-85) for ninth in career scoring. Meyer has made 37-of-47 career field goal attempts, including making his last eight attempts.
? Iowa was 3-3 in the red zone, scoring three touchdowns. The Hawkeyes have scored on 160 of the last 181 red zone possessions (106 TDs and 54 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. Iowa is 141-162 combined inside the red zone its last 47 games. Central Michigan was 5-5 in the red zone (2 TD, 3 FGs).
? Iowa’s defense failed to collect a takeaway for the first time this season. The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 67 of its last 78 games, dating back to 2006. Central Michigan recovered an Iowa fumble, the Hawkeyes’ first of 2012, in the first period. The Chippewas turned the Hawkeye miscue into three points. The Chippewas and Iowa State are the only opponents to have forced any Hawkeye turnovers in 2012.
? Iowa’s defense amassed eight tackles for loss by 10 different players (four players were credited with 0.5 tackles for loss). The eight TFL’s match a season high; Iowa also had eight against Iowa State in week two.
? DE Joe Gaglione recorded a sack. The senior has three of the Hawkeyes’ five sacks this season.
? LB Anthony Hitchens had 14 tackles; he has recorded double-digit tackles in three straight games. Hitchens had 19 versus Iowa State and 10 against UNI the previous two games.
? Iowa scored 13 combined points in the first quarter in its first three games; the Hawkeyes totaled 14 first-quarter points against Central Michigan.
? WR Kevonte Martin-Manley caught a 10-yard TD pass from QB James Vandenberg on Iowa’s opening possession, it was Iowa’s first TD pass of 2012. It marked the fourth straight week the Hawkeyes scored on their first drive (2 FGs, 2 TDs). Central Michigan drove the field on its opening possession for an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. The Chippewas became Iowa’s third opponent to score on their first drive (Iowa State and UNI).
? True freshmen WR Tevaun Smith and LB Nate Meier saw their first action of the game of the season. Iowa has played six true freshmen this season: Greg Garmon, Kevin Buford, Sean Draper, Connor Kornbrath, Meier, and Smith.

Iowa has won 56 of its last 70 games (.800) 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 24-7 (.774) at home since the start of the 2008 season.

After the first two games (Northern Illinois and Iowa State), Iowa’s offense averaged 12.0 points, 103.5 rushing yards, 182.5 passing yards, 286.0 yards total offense, and yielded a total of six sacks. However, the Hawkeye offense has seen its numbers improve the last two outings. Iowa has averaged 29.0 points, 208.0 yards rushing, 221.5 yards passing, 429.5 yards total offense, and have allowed zero sacks the last two games (UNI and Central Michigan).

Iowa’s defense has posted stellar numbers through four games. The Hawkeyes rank 30th in rushing defense (113.2), 25th in total defense (319.0), 34th in turnover margin (+3), 39th in pass defense (205.8), 41st in tackles for loss (6.5), and 54th in red zone defense efficiency (0.8). Iowa’s defense has amassed 18 tackles for loss (4.5 avg.) and forced five turnovers the last three games combined. Three of the five takeaways were collected inside the red zone, thwarting Iowa State scoring opportunities. The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 67 of its last 78 games, dating back to 2006.

? Iowa’s 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 30 career starts, followed by Tobin’s 14 starts and seven by Scherff. That group started the first four contests of 2012, marking the first time under Coach Ferentz the offensive line has consisted of all native Iowans.
? The Hawkeyes have played six true freshmen after four games: P Connor Kornbrath, CB Kevin Buford, CB Sean Draper, WR Tevaun Smith, LB Nate Meier, and RB Greg Garmon.
? The Hawkeyes rank 15th in the country in fewest turnovers lost (3), ninth in fumbles lost (1), and 34th in turnover margin (+3).
? Greg Garmon ranks 43rd nationally in KO return average (23.6). He did not play in last week’s game due to an injury.
? Tom Donatell is one of four Big Ten student-athletes with multiple interceptions this year. Donatell is tied for 31st in the country in thefts (0.5).
? Iowa is 9-2 in the games that QB James Vandenberg has completed at least 60 percent of his passes the last two seasons.
? The Hawkeyes are 7-2 over the past two years when QB James Vandenberg throws for 219 yards or more.
? Iowa averages 69 offensive plays through four games. The Hawkeyes averaged 53 offensive plays a year ago.
? C.J. Fiedorowicz leads Hawkeye tight ends with 13 receptions for 122 yards. Last season, he had 16 catches for 167 yards and three TD’s. Fiedorowicz has 10 catches for 101 yards the last three games combined, including a career-high 61 yards vs. Iowa State.
? After allowing six sacks in the season opener, Iowa’s offensive line has not surrendered a single sack the last three games.
? Iowa has had nine different players catch at least one pass this season.
? DL Joe Gaglione earned honorable mention honors from CFPA for his efforts in week one’s win over NIU. Gaglione played a key role for the Iowa defense that held NIU to just 201 yards of total offense. Gaglione recorded six tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack. He forced an NIU fumble that was recovered by Iowa and led directly to a Hawkeye field goal in the third quarter. Gaglione ranks first in Big Ten TFL’s (1.62) and tied for first in forced fumbles (0.5).
? Iowa has utilized two punters this season: freshman Connor Kornbrath and senior John Wienke. Wienke, who is mainly used on short-field punts, has had three of his four punts downed inside the 20, including two on the 1-yard line (Northern Illinois and Central Michigan). Kornbrath has punted 14 times for 498 yards (35.6 avg.).
? Iowa is 0-1 on two-point conversions this season. The Hawkeyes failed to score on their only attempt, late in the fourth quarter in their 18-17 victory over NIU.

Iowa has started the game on offense in 137-of-166 games under Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes started on offense against Northern Illinois and Central Michigan; Iowa started on defense against Iowa State and UNI. Iowa is 16-13 in the games it has started on defense under Ferentz.

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.

Junior PK Mike Meyer was named Big Ten co-special teams Player of the Week, earned CFPA honorable mention honors and was a Lou Groza Star of the Week after his week one performance in an 18-17 win over Northern Illinois. Meyer has connected on 9-of-10 field goal attempts this season. He has converted 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 34, 46 and 50-yarders, while missing a 40-yarder; Meyer has made eight straight since that miss. The 50-yarder, made against Northern Illinois, ties a career long (at Iowa State, 2011). He made four treys against the Huskies in week one, which matches his career high (at Iowa State, 2011 and at Indiana, 2010). His five attempts vs. NIU ties Iowa’s single-game record, which he also shares (at Indiana in 2010). Meyer, who is on the preseason watch list for the Lou Groza Award, ranks seventh in Big Ten scoring (8.5) and is tied for third in the country in field goals made per game (2.25). He was one of 20 semifinal candidates for the 2011 Lou Groza Award. Meyer has amassed 193 career points and ranks ninth on Iowa’s career list. He has made 37-47 (.787) career field goal attempts. Meyer is 28-32 (.875) from kicks 39 yards and closer; 7-11 (.636) from attempts 40-49 yards; and 2-4 (.500) from kicks 50 yards or farther. The native of Dubuque, Iowa, has made 63 consecutive PAT attempts, which is a new school record. His four straight PAT’s in last week’s game helped him surpass All-Pro Nate Kaeding’s previous record of 60 straight. Meyer’s last PAT miss was in a 37-6 win over Michigan State on Oct. 30, 2010 in Iowa City.

LB Anthony Hitchens leads the nation in tackles with 51 stops, while ranking fourth in tackle average (12.8). Hitchens has already surpassed his 2011 tackle total (25 stops in eight games). Hitchens has topped double-digit tackles the last three games. The junior amassed 19 tackles, including one for loss, against Iowa State on Sept. 8. The 19 tackles are the most by a Hawkeye since LB Abdul Hodge had 22 vs. Illinois on Oct. 1, 2005. Against UNI, he was credited with a team-high 10. Last week, he shared game-high tackle honors with 14 against Central Michigan. LB James Morris, who is on the preseason Bednarik, Butkus and Rotary Lombardi award watch lists, earned honorable mention recognition from the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for his play vs. Iowa State. Against the Cyclones, the Solon, Iowa, native totaled 12 tackles, including one for loss, intercepted his second career pass at the goal line and recovered his first career fumble. He also broke-up one pass. Morris is tied for third in the Big Ten and 21st nationally in tackles (10.0). He began the 2012 season with eight tackles in the win over NIU, including one tackle for loss, and had eight stops in Iowa’s win over UNI. Morris had 12 tackles last week against the Chippewas. Morris is the 65th Iowa player to reach the 200-tackle plateau. His 220 tackles (91 solo, 129 assists) tie Layne McDowell for 49th-best in Iowa history. He is one tackle from Earl Douthitt (221), two from Matt Bowen (222), four from Mike Klinkenborg (224), six from Mitch King (226), and nine from Brett Greenwood (229) and Roger Meyer (229). Morris earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from both league coaches and media in 2011. He tied for the team lead in tackles (110 in 12 games) and ranked fifth in the Big Ten and 37th in the nation. Morris recorded 52 solo stops and 58 assists, along with one pass interception, in 12 games.

Senior QB James Vandenberg started all 13 games a year ago and 19 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 four preseason watch lists (Davey O’Brien, Maxwell Award, Manning Award and CFPA Quarterback Trophy) and was also ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in the Big Ten by He has completed 75-128 passes for 808 yards and one TD in 2012. His 202 yards per game average ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Vandenberg has completed 359-627 passes for 4,345 yards and 29 career touchdowns. He ranks eighth at Iowa in career passing yards and touchdowns. Vandenberg is only four yards from surpassing Kyle McCann (4,349 yards) for seventh. He completed 18-28 passes for 228 yards and no interceptions in Iowa’s triumph over UNI, and 16-25 for 215 yards and one TD last week versus Central Michigan. 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).

Senior Keenan Davis became the 35th Hawkeye wide receiver to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards when his 75 yards on four catches against Iowa State pushed him over 1,000. Davis has caught 85 passes for 1,157 yards in his career. He ranks 31st in Iowa career receiving yards. Davis is only seven yards from Jon Filloon (1,164) for 30th, 13 yards from Devon Harberts (1,170) for 29th and 30 yards from Mike Flagg (1,187) for 28th. For the season, Davis leads the team with 20 catches for 258 yards, ranking sixth and eighth in the Big Ten, respectively. Davis, who is on the preseason Biletnikoff, Senior Bowl and CFPA award watch lists, had five catches for 54 yards two weeks against UNI and a team-high six grabs for 88 yards against Central Michigan.

Sophomore RB Damon Bullock, who led the Hawkeye offense through three games, missed the Hawkeyes’ last game due to an injury suffered in the first half of the UNI contest. Bullock’s return is uncertain at this time. He has amassed 367 all-purpose yards, averaging 122.3 yards per game, which ranks sixth-best in the Big Ten. Bullock led Iowa’s offense in the opening win, rushing 30 times for 150 yards and his first career touchdown. He scored on a 23-yard run with 2:15 remaining in the game as Iowa rallied for an 18-17 win. He also had three receptions for 26 yards. Bullock started for the first time in his career after collecting just 10 rushing attempts for 20 yards and one pass reception for 11 yards as a true freshman in 2011. The 150 rushing yards are the most for an Iowa running back in a season-opening game since 2003, when Fred Russell rushed 22 times for 167 yards in a 21-3 win over Miami, Ohio. It is also the most yards gained by a player in their first career start since Russell gained 170 yards on just 14 carries in a 57-21 win over Akron in the opening game of the 2002 season. Two weeks ago against UNI, Bullock had 77 yards rushing, including 53 yards on Iowa’s opening drive, but left the game in the second quarter due to injury and did not return. He also had one reception for five yards. Against Iowa State, Bullock totaled 109 all-purpose yards (56 receiving and 53 rushing). He had five receptions, which was a team and career best.

Iowa players earning the first start of their career in the season-opening victory over Northern Illinois included OL Austin Blythe, OL Brett Van Sloten, RB Damon Bullock, FB Mark Weisman, DL Darian Cooper, DL Louis Trinca-Pasat, LB Anthony Hitchens, and DB B.J. Lowery. True freshman Connor Kornbrath was Iowa’s starting punter. Hitchens and Van Sloten are juniors, Bullock, Lowery, Trinca-Pasat and Weisman are sophomores and Blythe and Cooper are redshirt freshmen.

Iowa’s depth chart includes seven players who originally joined the program as a walk-on. That includes three on offense (OL Matt Tobin, WR Steven Staggs and FB Mark Weisman), two on defense (OLB Tom Donatell 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, running back Greg Garmon and wide receiver Tevaun Smith.

Iowa’s defense has ranked among national leaders in causing turnovers in recent seasons. Since the start of the 2008 season, Iowa has collected 75 interceptions, a total that ranks among the 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). Iowa’s defense has registered three interceptions the last three games (two vs. Iowa State and one against UNI). 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’s 17 scoring drives have averaged 8.6 plays, 55 yards and 4:13 in elapsed time. Nine of Iowa’s 17 scoring drives had totaled 10 plays or more. The Hawkeyes averaged 5.8 plays and 58 yards in their five scoring drives last week against Central Michigan.

Iowa is 13-15 (86.7%) in the red zone, scoring seven field goals and six TD’s. The Hawkeyes’ two failed red-zone possessions resulted in a failed fourth-down conversion attempt against UNI and running out the clock at the end of the NIU game in an 18-17 victory. Iowa has scored on 161 of the last 182 (.885) red zone possessions (107 TDs and 54 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. Iowa is 142-163 (.871) combined inside the red zone its last 47 games. Hawkeye opponents are 12-15 (80%) inside the red zone. Iowa’s defense forced three red-zone turnovers vs. Iowa State.

Iowa has scored six points following six defensive takeaways. Against UNI, Iowa collected an interception but was unable to convert the takeaway into points. Iowa did not collect a takeaway last week against Central Michigan. The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 68 of its last 79 games, dating back to 2006. Iowa had no turnovers in its season-opening win over NIU or against UNI. The Hawkeyes had two interceptions against the Cyclones in week two and lost their first fumble of 2012 against Central Michigan. Iowa State failed to score any points following the turnovers, while the Chippewas scored a field goal after recovering a fumble inside the Hawkeye red zone.

Iowa has had nine pass plays and five rushing plays, along with seven KO returns and eight field goals, of at least 20 yards. The Hawkeyes had a season-best six offensive plays (three rush and three pass) over 20 yards last week against Central Michigan. Hawkeye opponents have had 10 passing plays, three rushing plays, seven KO returns and nine field goals of at least 20 yards.

Iowa has posted 87 wins since the start of the 2002 season, which ranks as the 18th highest total in Division I football. The list includes the following: Boise State (119); USC (112); Oklahoma (110); LSU (110); Ohio State (109); Texas (106); TCU (106); Virginia Tech (104); Georgia (102); Florida (99); West Virginia (98); Wisconsin (97); Auburn (95); Alabama (95); Utah (94); Oregon (94); Florida State (89); IOWA (87); Texas Tech (87); Miami, FL (86); Hawai’i (85); Nebraska (85); Boston College (84); and Michigan (84). Since 2003, Iowa is tied with Navy and Boston College for 22nd in the country with 76 wins.

? 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.
? 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 program history, a total that ranks 25th best in the country.

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.

On the strength of head coach Kirk Ferentz’s 14-year tenure, the University of Iowa football program is ranked 19th nationally in ESPN the Magazine’s “real” BCS rankings. ESPN used three categories of Football Bowl Series success, and then split them into nine factors: on-field performance (title track, head coach, strength of schedule), off-field success (academics, recruiting, NCAA violations) and traditions of success (NFL draft picks, stadium edge, football revenue). For each factor, data was used since 1998 to rank every team against its 119 FBS competitors. ESPN then weighted the results, with an emphasis on title track and player success (25 percent) ¬– the categories that most reflect an established winning program. Ferentz’s continuity as the face of the Iowa program gives the Hawkeyes their highest category rank at No. 4. The “head coach” ranking takes into account tenure, winning percentage, average turnover margin, and average penalties per game.

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 moved 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 continue to work with Wilson in coaching the Hawkeye special teams. Both Ferentz and Woods are former Hawkeye players.

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.

Eleven high schools have contributed more than one player to the current Iowa football roster. The leader is Iowa City High (Iowa) with four, while three players attended Washington HS in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Solon, Iowa HS. Those with two include Cass Technical HS in the Detroit area, DeMatha Catholic in the Washington, D.C. area, Dowling HS in West Des Moines, Iowa, Heelan HS in Sioux City, Iowa, Hazelwood East HS in the St. Louis area; Mount Pleasant, Iowa HS, Oskaloosa, Iowa HS, Wahlert HS in Dubuque, Iowa and Regina HS in Iowa City.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has each of his three sons involved in the Iowa program this season. Brian, a former Hawkeye letterman (2003-05), is in his first season as Iowa’s offensive line coach. James is a senior offensive lineman who has started the last 28 games at center. Steven is a tight end who is in his first season in the program as a true freshman.

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.

Freshman QB Dan Hartlieb is the lightest Hawkeye player at 155 pounds. Sophomore DL Carl Davis and sophomore OL Brandon Scherff are the heaviest at 310 pounds. A total of six Hawkeye players are listed at 300 pounds or more. The tallest players, at 6-7, are sophomore OL Andrew Donnal, junior TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, redshirt freshman DE Riley McMinn and junior OL Brett Van Sloten. The shortest players, at 5-8, are sophomore Jordan Canzeri and freshman Riley McCarron. The average Hawkeye player is 6-2 and weighs 227 pounds. That is one inch taller and 3.3 pounds lighter than the average Iowa player in 2011.

Iowa has played 1,159 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 596-524-39 (.531). That includes a 377-204-16 (.645) record in home games, a 219-320-23 (.410) record in games away from Iowa City, a 293-352-25 (.456) mark in Big Ten games and a 260-168-15 (.604) record in Kinnick Stadium.

There are a few remaining tickets for the Purdue game. 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 58 of the last 60 games. In addition, Iowa has sold its allotment of tickets to road games at Michigan and Michigan State. An estimated 35,000 Iowa fans attended the season opener against Northern Illinois at Chicago’s Soldier Field, which had an announced attendance of 52,117. Iowa’s first three home games of 2012 (Iowa State, UNI and Central Michigan) were sellouts.

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.

? 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.

All 12 of Iowa’s football games this season are scheduled for television. The last Iowa contest not televised was vs. Minnesota on Nov. 17, 2001. Iowa has appeared on television in 133 consecutive games.

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 will be idle next Saturday before returning to action at Michigan State on Oct. 13 (11 a.m. CT). The contest in East Lansing, Mich., will be the Hawkeyes’ first true road game of the season.