Game Notes: No. 17 Iowa at No. 20 N'Western

Oct. 12, 2015

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Iowa is 6-0, 2-0, with wins over Illinois State (31-14), at Iowa State (31-17), Pittsburgh (27-24), North Texas (62-16), at Wisconsin (10-6), and Illinois (29-20). Northwestern (5-1, 1-1) began the season with five straight wins before a 38-0 loss at Michigan last weekend. The Wildcats have defeated Stanford (16-6), Eastern Illinois (41-0), Duke (19-10), Ball State (24-19) and Minnesota (27-0).

Iowa holds a 49-24-3 advantage in the series that began with a 12-6 Iowa win in Evanston in 1897. Iowa has won three of the last four meetings, including a 48-7 decision a year ago in Kinnick Stadium. Iowa holds a 23-15-3 advantage in Evanston, but has not played at Ryan Field since 2012. Iowa has lost on its last two visits to Ryan Field, with its last victory in Evanston coming by a 28-17 score in 2007.

Kirk Ferentz is in his 20th year as a college head coach and his 17th year as Iowa’s head coach. His career record is 133-106 and he is 121-85 at Iowa. He ranks ninth in the Big Ten Conference in coaching wins. Pat Fitzgerald is in his 10th season as a head coach, all at Northwestern, his alma mater. Fitzgerald holds a record of 65-54. He ranks second to Ferentz in longevity among Big Ten head football coaches.

Date Oct. 17, 2015 | 11 a.m. (CT)
Location Evanston, Illinois | Ryan Field (47,330)
Radio Learfield Communications
Online Hawkeye All-Access
Live Stats Stat Broadcast | Twitter Game Updates

• Iowa (17/17) and Northwestern (20/21) are meeting as ranked teams for the first time since 1996, when #18 Northwestern defeated #23 Iowa, 40-13, at Kinnick Stadium. Northwestern shared the Big Ten title in 1996 behind the play of Nagurski and Bednarik award winner Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern’s current head coach.
• Iowa has won three of the last four meetings, but has not won in Evanston since 2007 (28-17).
• Iowa averages 31.7 points per game, the second best scoring offense in the Big Ten. Northwestern allows only 12.2 points per game, third best in the conference.
• Northwestern ranks second in the league in rushing offense (213 ypg), while Iowa ranks second in the league in rush defense (78 ypg).
• Iowa and Northwestern are tied for second in the league in red zone defense. Both teams have allowed nine scores on 13 trips to the red zone (69.2 percent). Iowa has allowed six touchdowns, while Northwestern has surrendered four.
• Northwestern is the least penalized team in the Big Ten.
• Iowa and Northwestern ranks fourth and fifth, respectively, in turnover margin. The Hawkeyes are plus-five with a Big Ten-best eight interceptions. Northwestern is plus-three.
• Northwestern has no Iowa natives on its roster. Iowa’s roster includes 14 Illinois natives, more than any other outside state.

RB Jordan Canzeri was named Big Ten Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Iowa’s 29-20 win over Illinois. The Big Ten honor is the first for Canzeri, and the fourth for Iowa this season. QB C.J. Beathard earned the offensive award following Iowa’s win at Iowa State, PK Marshall Koehn was the special teams winner following Iowa’s last-second victory over Pittsburgh, and DB Desmond King earned co-defensive honors for his play in Iowa’s win at Wisconsin.

Canzeri led Iowa’s offense in the win over Illinois with 256 rushing yards on 43 attempts. He also had two receptions for 15 yards. He scored twice, including a 17-yard reception in the second quarter and a 75-yard run in the third period. Canzeri was at his best in the fourth quarter against Illinois, rushing on 11 consecutive plays for 59 yards. Iowa used 6:53 of the quarter to set up a Marshall Koehn field goal after Illinois pulled within 23-20. Following a fumble recovery, Canzeri added three additional rushing attempts before Koehn sealed the victory with his third field goal of the game. Canzeri established an Iowa record for rushing attempts in a game, passing the previous mark of 42, which was held by Sedrick Shaw (at Michigan State, 1995). The 256 rushing yards ranks third best for a single game at Iowa.

Canzeri leads Iowa’s rushing attack through six games with 132 attempts for 697 yards and nine touchdowns. His 10 total touchdowns lead the Big Ten and rank seventh nationally. He is 20th in the nation in rushing yards per game (116.2), rushing for over 100 yards in four of six games.

FROM 6-0 to 7-0
Iowa is 6-0 for the seventh time in school history, and is aiming to start the season 7-0 for the fifth time in program history. Iowa started 9-0 in 2009, its best start in school history. The Hawkeyes were 7-0 in 1985, 1922, and 1921.

These are Iowa’s most recent wins vs. nationally-ranked opponents:
24-16 over #13 Michigan, 11/5/11
37-6 over #5 Michigan State, 10/30/10
24-3 over #20 Penn State, 10/02/10
10-6 over #18 Wisconsin, 10/3/15
38-28 over #24 Michigan, 10/16/10
27-24 over #12 Missouri, Insight Bowl, 12/28/10
24-14 over #9 Georgia Tech, Orange Bowl, 1/5/10
30-25 over #11 LSU, Capital One Bowl, 1/1/05

Head coach Kirk Ferentz has 121 wins as a member of the Big Ten Conference, the ninth most in conference history. Ferentz is one win shy of tying Lloyd Carr for eighth all-time (122). Ferentz has 70 Big Ten wins, tied for the ninth most in conference history (John Cooper, Ohio State). Only eight coaches rank in the top 10 in both categories: overall wins as a member of the Big Ten, and conference wins. The others include Woody Hayes (OSU), Amos Alonzo Stagg (CHI), Bo Schembechler (MICH), Hayden Fry (IOWA), Robert Zuppke (ILL), Lloyd Carr (MICH), and Barry Alvarez (WIS). Ferentz also has six bowl wins as a member of the Big Ten, tying Fry and Carr for No. 2 all-time. Only Alvarez has more (9).

Iowa received the opening kickoff in five of six games this season, and has outscored its opponents 33-13 in the first quarter. In 17 seasons as Iowa’s head coach, Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes received the opening kickoff in 167-of-206 games (100-67). Iowa has started the game on defense in 39-of-206 games under Ferentz (21-18).

QB C.J. Beathard and the Hawkeyes’ rush defense have dominated the fourth quarter in 2015. Iowa’s rush defense, the No. 2 defense in the conference, has yielded 81 total rushing yards in the fourth quarter this season. That includes a 55-yard effort from North Texas against Iowa reserves.

Beathard is 16-of-22 passing for 211 yards and one touchdown. He has also rushed nine times for 28 yards and one touchdown in the fourth quarter this season. He has engineered game-winning drives in the fourth quarter two times this season (Iowa State and Pitt). He was 4-of-4 for 46 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State, and he rushed for 27 yards on three carries to set up K Marshall Koehn‘s 57-yard game winning field goal against Pitt.

In Iowa’s last seven games, including the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl, Beathard’s fourth quarter numbers include 23-of-29 passing for 306 yards and three touchdowns, and 11 carries for 66 yards and one touchdown. Beathard did not play in the fourth quarter against North Texas.

The Hawkeyes are 6-0 for the second time under Kirk Ferentz. A win Saturday would be Iowa’s second 7-0 start in the Ferentz era (2009). The 2009 Hawkeyes won their first nine games, finished 11-2 overall, and won the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl.

Iowa allowed a rushing touchdown for the first time this season in Week 6 against Illinois. Boston College and Florida State are the only other two schools in the country to allow only a single rushing touchdown. The Hawkeyes yield an average of 78.0 rushing yards per game, second best in the Big Ten and fifth nationally. Iowa limits its opponents to 2.5 yards per carry (185 attempts, 468 yards), fourth best in the country. Iowa has held five of six opponents to under 100 yards rushing. Against Illinois in Week 6, the Hawkeye rush defense was led by DT Jaleel Johnson and DT Nathan Bazata. Johnson made a career-high six tackles, and Bazata matched his career best with four tackles. Both players had a quarterback sack.

6 WITH 6, 3 WITH 4
The Hawkeyes are one of six schools in the country with six wins (6-0). The others include Ohio State, TCU, Michigan State, Florida, and Oklahoma State. Only Iowa, TCU and Florida have four wins this season against Power 5 schools. The Hawkeyes opened the conference season with wins at No. 18 Wisconsin and at home against Illinois, and earned two wins against Power 5 schools during the nonconference schedule: Iowa State, 31-17, and Pitt, 27-24.

Iowa ties for the league lead with eight interceptions (Ohio State). The Hawkeyes returned two interceptions for touchdowns in Week 4 against North Texas. LB Josey Jewell recorded the first interception of his career, returning it 34 yards for a touchdown. LB Bo Bower returned an interception 88 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It is the seventh longest interception return in school history. Iowa has at least one interception returned for a touchdown in each of the last eight seasons, and 13 of the last 15 seasons. The last time Iowa returned two interceptions for touchdowns was 2013 against Western Michigan (both by B.J. Lowery).

The Hawkeyes have started three offensive tackles that entered the season with one combined career start. Starting tackles LT Boone Myers and RT Ike Boettger entered 2015 with one combined career start (Boettger started as a second tight end against Wisconsin in 2014), and after Myers was injured in Week 4, junior LT Cole Croston stepped into the starting left tackle position against Wisconsin and Illinois. They are the first two starts of Croston’s career. Boettger left the Illinois game last week with an injury and was replaced at right tackle by true freshman James Daniels. Iowa’s offensive-tackle-by-committee is being asked to replace a pair of NFL lineman — 2014 Outland Trophy winner LT Brandon Scherff (Washington Redskins) and RT Andrew Donnal (St. Louis Rams). Myers joined the program as a walk-on and was put on scholarship prior to the 2014 season. He saw action in four games last season. Boettger joined the team as a tight end but was moved to offensive line in 2013. He saw action in seven games as a redshirt freshman in 2014. Croston joined the team as a walk-on in 2012, and had played primarily on special teams prior to this season. Daniels was a highly recruited senior at Harding High School in Warren, Ohio. He joined the program for the 2015 spring practice season.

Iowa has played 1,199 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 619-541-39 (.533). That includes a 390-213-16 (.641) record in home games, a 229-328-23 (.413) record in games away from Iowa City, a 308-366-25 (.457) mark in Big Ten games and a 273-177-15 (.600) record in Kinnick Stadium.

Iowa has appeared in 28 bowl games with a record of 14-13-1 (.518). The Hawkeyes have competed in the Rose (five times), Outback (four), Alamo (four), Holiday (three), Orange (two), Peach (two), Sun (two), Insight (two), Gator/TaxSlayer (two), and the Capital One, and Freedom bowls once. Iowa has played 12 bowl games under Kirk Ferentz (6-6).
• Iowa has been bowl eligible 14 of the last 15 seasons under head coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff.
• Iowa ranks third in Big Ten bowl appearances. Ohio State has received a conference-best 45 bowl bids, followed by Michigan (43), Iowa (28) and Wisconsin (26).
• During the BCS bowl era (1998-2013), the Big Ten qualified 27 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. Eight different Big Ten programs played in BCS bowl games, including two appearances by Iowa (1-1).
• For just the second time in league history, 10 Big Ten Conference teams competed in bowl games in 2014 (2011). Ohio State won the inaugural College Football Playoff, while Michigan State won the Cotton Bowl, another College Football Playoff bowl.

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 6:30 p.m. from Carlos O’Kelly’s in Iowa City.

Tickets remain for all three Iowa home games. Tickets can be ordered online at, by calling 1-800-IAHAWKS, or in person at the UI athletics ticket office located in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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