Oct. 11, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa football team scored 38 first-half and a season-high 45 points en route to a 45-29 Homecoming victory over Indiana on Saturday afternoon inside Kinnick Stadium.
“We’re thrilled to get the victory today,” said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. “This was a little bit unusual football game, different than we’re used to being in, especially in the first half, but the biggest thing is we finished it up with a victory.”
The 45 points are the most for the Hawkeyes since 2011, and the 74 combined points are the most total points since Indiana defeated Iowa, 45-33 in 2000.
The first half featured a little bit of everything with big plays, grind-it-out drives, and defensive points en route to a combined 59 points and 547 yards of offensive production. Over the final 30 minutes, the Iowa defense limited the Hoosiers to 132 yards of total offense to propel the Hawkeyes to a 5-1 record and a 2-0 Big Ten start.
Iowa finished with a 426 yards of total offense with a 207 yards coming on the ground and 219 through the air. Junior Jake Rudock completed 19-of-27 attempts for 210 yards and two touchdowns in his return to the starting lineup, while senior Mark Weisman had 25 carries for 89 yards and two scores.
Ten different Hawkeyes had a reception with juniors Tevaun Smith (four catches, 69 yards) and Jake Duzey (four catches, 23 yards, one touchdown) leading the way. Senior Damond Powell caught three passes for 85 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown.
Indiana finished with 316 rushing yards with 219 coming on 15 carries from running back Tevin Coleman, including touchdown runs of 83, 45, and 63 yards. For the final three quarters, Iowa was able to slow down the Hoosiers rushing attack after starter quarterback Nate Sudfeld went down with a shoulder injury.
Sudfeld finished 4-of-9 for 85 yards with a touchdown and interception before leaving the game early in the second quarter. True freshman Chad Covington was 3-of-12 for 31 yards with two interceptions.
The Iowa defense forced three turnovers — interceptions by Desmond King, Bo Bower, and Jordan Lomax. The first two picks led to 14 points, and the final pick sealed the Hawkeye victory, coming with 1:16 left in the game. Junior Nate Meier had a career-high 10 tackles, and senior Louis Trinca-Pasat six stops, including a game-high three tackles for loss.
The Hawkeyes scored seven of their 28 first-quarter points after grinding out 15-play, 80-yard drive on its second series. Iowa moved into Hoosiers’ territory when Rudock found Smith for a 14-yard gain on third-and-6, and the drive churned on when Weisman bull-dozed his way for 3 yards on fourth-and-2 from the Indiana 19.
Two plays later, Rudock burned the Hoosiers in man coverage, connecting with Duzey for a 12-yard touchdown, putting Iowa up 7-0 with 7:13 left in the opening quarter.
Iowa’s defense accounted for the second touchdown courtesy of a 35-yard interception return for a score by King. On third-and-6, King jumped a Sudfeld pass intended for Dominique Booth, broke a tackle and scored, giving the Hawkeyes a 14-0 lead. It was the first interception of King’s career.
The next 52 seconds were a blur with Iowa and Indiana scoring 21 points on four offensive plays.
Following an Indiana three-and-out, the Hawkeyes needed a single play — a 72-yard strike from Rudock to Powell off play action to make the score 21-0. On the second play of Indiana’s ensuing possession, Coleman took a sweep 83 yards for a touchdown before Iowa pushed the lead to 28-7 when Jonathan Parkertook off for 60 yards on a jet sweep. The Parker score came one play after Indiana recovered an on-side kick, but it was nullified due to an offsides penalty.
Indiana followed with two touchdown drives to cut the lead to 28-21 with 10:33 left in the first half. The Hoosiers covered 86 yards over six plays, which culminated in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Sudfeld to Nick Stoner on a mix-up in Iowa’s coverage. Coleman then broke loose for a second score, taking a pitch off a read option and going 45-yard to make the score 28-21.
Iowa answered and took control of the game by scoring the final 10 points of the half to take a 38-21 lead into the locker room.
After taking over at its own 37 with 8:15 left in the quarter, Rudock opened the drive with a 31-yard completion to Smith to the IU 32 before Weisman rushed three times for 22 yards to the 10. Indiana limited Iowa inside the 10, but the Hawkeyes got points when Marshall Koehn drilled a 22-yard field goal.
Iowa defense set up the final scoring drive when Bower made a diving interception on a Covington pass attempt on a third-and-5 from the IU 30. The Hawkeyes needed eight plays to cover 37 yards, which ended with a 1-yard Weisman touchdown run on fourth-and-goal with one second remaining in the half.
“They’re a team that makes you nervous from the start of the game to the end of the game,” said Ferentz. “To stop things for a little bit and for us to turn it into a positive right before half was important.”
Following a third quarter that had five three-and-outs, Iowa scored its lone second-half touchdown, using a nine-play, 55-yard drive with sophomore C.J. Beathard under center. The Hawkeyes took advantage of two 15-yard Hoosier penalties and got a 20-yard rush from Beathard on a third-and-9 from the IU 39. Weisman scored from 1-yard out with 13:17 left, pushing the Hawkeye lead to 45-21.
Indiana scored its only second-half touchdown on the ensuing possession when Coleman got in space again. On third-and-4 from its own 31, Coleman broke off a 69-yard touchdown run, and the Hoosiers were successful on its two-point conversion, when Shane Wynn scored on a reverse, cutting the lead to 45-29.
Indiana moved deep into Iowa territory in the final two minutes before Lomas intercepted Covington in the end zone with 1:16 remaining. The pick was the first of Lomax’s career.
Iowa returns to action Oct. 18, heading to College Park for its first-ever Big Ten meeting against Maryland. Game time is set for 11:01 a.m. (CT).