Nov. 2, 2014
- Hawkeye Football Game Day
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- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — One goal for the University of Iowa football team Saturday was keeping its foot on the gas if it got a lead against Northwestern.
The Hawkeyes led 24-0 after the first quarter and went on to post a 48-7 victory over Northwestern, the most points Iowa has scored in a Big Ten game since defeating Minnesota 55-0 in 2008.
“We talked to our guys last week about the last two ball games we were (ahead) 21-0 in one (Indiana) and 14-0 in the second (Maryland),” UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said Sunday during an exclusive interview with hawkeyesports.com. “The 21-0 ended up being a shootout with Indiana, and we ended up losing the lead and the ball game with a 14-0 lead. We talked about if we could get a lead, then doing a better job of keeping our foot on the gas to get distance between us and our opponent. It worked out that way yesterday, so it was a good thing to see.”
The Hawkeyes won the yardage battle 483-180 and Ferentz said both statistics are credit to play by the lines.
“It all started up front,” he said. “The offensive and defensive lines helped set the tempo of the game.”
Another aspect that pleased Ferentz was kickoff coverage. The Wildcats returned five kicks for an average of 18.6 yards per return.
“We had to cover a few and our team coverage was about as good as we could remember,” Ferentz said. “The guys did a good job of not giving the opponent good field position. The little things add up to helping you win ball games.”
Iowa is tied for second place in the Big Ten Conference West Division with a record of 6-2 overall, 3-1 in the league. Its opponent Nov. 8 — Minnesota — has an identical record. The Hawkeyes have won the last two meetings in the series — 31-13 in 2012 and 23-7 in 2013. Saturday’s game will be played at TCF Bank for the fourth time in five seasons.
“Ironically, Minnesota was our first Big Ten away game last year and it was a big day for us,” Ferentz said. “It’s another test of this team’s maturity, their ability to focus in different circumstances. If they keep their mindset on the right thing, (playing on the road) shouldn’t be a factor, but it is a little more challenging.”