Feb. 10, 2016
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• The Hawkeyes finished the season ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press poll. It is the fifth time since 2002 Iowa has finished the season ranked in the top 10 (7th in 2009, 8th in 2004, 8th in 2003, 8th in 2002), and the 13th time in program history.
• Iowa opened the season 12-0 for the first time in school history. The 12 wins are a program record, and the 12-game winning streak ranked fourth all-time (20, 1920-23; 14, 1899-00; 13, 2008-09).
• Iowa completed an undefeated regular season (12-0) for the fifth time in school history, and first time since 1922: (1899, 8-0-1; 1900, 8-0-1; 1921, 7-0; 1922, 7-0).
• Head coach Kirk Ferentz was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career (2002, 2004, 2009, 2015). Only Michigan’s Bo Schembechler (6) has more conference coach of the year awards. Ferentz was also named Eddie Robionson and Woody Hayes national Coach of the Year and earned the Bobby Dodd Award.
• The Hawkeyes were 5-0 in true road games with a pair of wins over ranked opponents (#18 Wisconsin; #20 Northwestern). Iowa was one of only five schools with multiple road wins over ranked opponents: Alabama (3), Michigan State (2), Ole Miss (2), and UCLA (2).
• Iowa ranked 11th nationally with a plus-11 turnover margin. Iowa scored 93 points off turnovers and led the Big Ten with 19 interceptions.
• Junior QB C.J. Beathard improved to 13-0 as a starter after leading Iowa to a 12-0 start to the season. He became the only quarterback in school history to win his first 13 career starts, and one of only three Power 5 quarterbacks to win each of their first 13 career starts since 2010 (Cam Newton and Jameis Winston).
• Junior DB Desmond King became the 23rd consensus All-American in school history and the eighth different Hawkeye under Kirk Ferentz to earn consensus All-America honors. King tied the single-season school record (Lou King, 1981; Nile Kinnick, 1939) with eight interceptions. He also earned the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the top defensive back in the nation.
• Iowa was 4-0 in rivalry trophy games. Iowa defeated Iowa State (Cy-Hawk: W, 31-17), Wisconsin (Heartland: W, 10-6), Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale: W, 40-35), and Nebraska (Heroes: W, 28-20). The Hawkeyes also won the Big Ten West Division trophy.
• Jordan Canzeri (256 vs. Illinois), Akrum Wadley (204 at Northwestern), and LeShun Daniels (195 vs. Minnesota) each rushed for at least 195 yards in a single game, making Iowa the first FBS team since LSU in 1997 to have at least three different players rush for 195-plus yards in a single game in the same season.
• The Hawkeyes graduate five starters on offense, four on defense, and both the primary punter and placekicker.
FERENTZ, HAWKEYES EARN BIG TEN HONORS
Head coach Kirk Ferentz was named Dave McClain and Hayes-Schembechler Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career (2002, 2004, 2009, 2015), being recognized by both league coaches and media. Only Michigan’s Bo Schembechler (6) has more conference coach of the year awards. Iowa’s Hayden Fry and Penn State’s Joe Paterno both won the award three times. Ferentz led Iowa to a school record 12 wins to start the season. The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten West Division title (8-0) and advanced to the Big Ten title game for the first time in the game’s five-year history. The Hawkeyes reclaimed all four of their rivalry trophies in 2015, and reached as high as third in the Associated Press poll. Fifteen Hawkeyes were recognized with 2015 All-Big Ten honors. DB Desmond King was named Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year. King and OL Jordan Walsh earned first team All-Big Ten honors, and QB C.J. Beathard, C Austin Blythe, LB Josey Jewell, and K Marshall Koehn were named to the second team. RB Jordan Canzeri, FS Jordan Lomax, and DE Nate Meier earned third team honors. Six more Hawkeyes earned honorable mention, including LB Cole Fisher, DT Jaleel Johnson, P Dillon Kidd, LB Ben Niemann, WR Matt VandeBerg, and OL Sean Welsh.
Iowa has played 1,207 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 625-543-39 (.533). That includes a 393-213-16 (.641) record in home games, a 232-330-23 (.413) record in games away from Iowa City, a 314-366-25 (.457) mark in Big Ten games and a 276-177-15 (.600) record in Kinnick Stadium.
IOWA BOWL NOTES
Iowa made its 29th Bowl game appearance (14-14-1) at the 102nd Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California. The Hawkeyes have competed in the Rose (six 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.
• The Hawkeyes made their first Rose Bowl appearance in 25 years (1991).
• Iowa has played 13 bowl games under Kirk Ferentz (6-7), including nine January bowl games (4-5).
• Iowa has been bowl eligible 14 of the last 15 seasons under head coach Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes have played in 13 bowl games since 2001, only 10 other schools have appeared in more.
• Iowa ranks third in Big Ten bowl appearances. Ohio State has received a conference-best 46 bowl bids, followed by Michigan (44), Iowa (29), and Wisconsin (27).
• 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).
• The Big Ten Conference was represented in 10 bowl games for the second year in a row. Three schools, Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State competed in College Football Playoff (CFP) bowls. No other conference had three teams playing in CFP bowls.
GLANCE AT THE SCHEDULE
• Iowa won all four trophy games on its schedule in 2015: Iowa State (Cy-Hawk: W, 31-17), Wisconsin (Heartland; W, 10-6), Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale: W, 40-35), and Nebraska (Heroes: W, 28-20).
• The Hawkeyes finished 5-0 on the road with a pair of wins over ranked opponents (#18 Wisconsin; #20 Northwestern). Iowa was one of only five schools with multiple road wins over ranked opponents: Alabama (3), Michigan State (2), Ole Miss (2), and UCLA (2).
• Iowa was 4-0 in the month of November for the first time since 1991.
• The Hawkeyes did not face Big Ten opponents Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers during the regular season. The Hawkeyes lost to Michigan State, 16-13, in the Big Ten title game.
• Eight of Iowa’s 13 opponents played in the postseason. Six Big Ten opponents (3-3) and nonconference foe Pitt (0-1) participated in bowl competition. Illinois State advanced to the FBS quarterfinals.
NATION’S TOP DEFENSIVE BACK RETURNS FOR SENIOR SEASON
DB Desmond King, the Jim Thorpe Award winner and consensus All-American, announced on Jan. 4 he would return to Iowa for his senior season. He had until Jan. 18 to declare for the NFL Draft. King led the Big Ten and ranked second in the country with eight interceptions, tying a school record. He was named the Big Ten Conference Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year.
THREE PHASES OF @HawkeyeFootball
Iowa won a school-record 12 games due to excelling in all three phases of the game.
• Iowa’s balanced offense totaled 2,544 yards rushing and 2,862 yards passing.
• Iowa had 35 rushing touchdowns, second most in the Big Ten and 12th nationally.
• The Hawkeyes scored 30-plus points in five straight Big Ten games for the first time in school history.
• Iowa allowed 11 rushing touchdowns; tied for seventh in the country.
• Iowa led the Big Ten in interceptions (19), and ranked second in takeaways (27), and turnover margin (+11).
• Limiting big plays: Iowa allowed 16 scrimmage plays of 30-plus yards, third fewest in the Big Ten.
• Marshall Koehn‘s 57-yard game-winning field goal vs. Pitt is the second longest in school history and was the second longest in FBS this season. Kohn was 8-of-10 on field attempts 40-plus yards.
• In 2014, Iowa averaged 5.1 yards per punt return, last in the Big Ten. In 2015, the Hawkeyes average 13.9 yards per punt return, second best in the conference.
• Desmond King ranked second in the Big Ten in punt returns (14.2), and fourth in kickoff returns (24.4).
PROVEN ROAD TOUGH
The Hawkeyes were 5-0 on the road with a pair of wins over ranked opponents (#18 Wisconsin; #20 Northwestern). Iowa was one of only five schools with multiple road wins over ranked opponents: Alabama (3), Michigan State (2), Ole Miss (2), and UCLA (2). Iowa won five road games for the fourth time in school history (1982, 1991, 2002). Iowa ranked 15th in the country allowing 20.1 points per game on the road or at a neutral site.
Iowa reclaimed possession of all four of its rivalry trophies in 2015. It is the first time in program history (the Heroes Trophy was introduced in 2011) that Iowa has owned all four trophies. The Hawkeyes won trophy games against Iowa State (Cy-Hawk Trophy), Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale) Wisconsin (Heartland Trophy), and Nebraska (Heroes). Iowa is also first-time owner of the Big Ten West Division championship trophy.
FIND THE NFL-ER
Since 1999, Kirk Ferentz‘s first year as UI head coach, the Hawkeyes have had a future NFL player start on the offensive line in every season. Two starters in 2015 — C Austin Blythe, G Jordan Walsh — are eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft. From 2007-14, an eventual NFL first-round draft pick started on the offensive line. Brandon Scherff, selected by the Washington Redskins fifth overall in 2015, was Iowa’s left tackle from 2012-14. Riley Reiff, selected 23rd overall by the Detroit Lions in 2012, started at left tackle from 2010-11. Bryan Bulaga, selected 23rd overall by the Green Bay Packers in 2010, started at left guard in 2007 before moving to left tackle in 2008-09. From 2005-06, Baltimore Ravens All-Pro Marshal Yanda shared time at tackle and guard for the Hawkeyes. Mike Elgin, a seventh round selection of New England, was Iowa’s starting center in 2004. Pete McMahon, drafted by Oakland in 2005, was Iowa’s right guard in 2003. Oakland’s first round pick in 2004, Robert Gallery, was Iowa’s left tackle from 2001-03. Eric Steinbach (Cincinnati) started at guard for Iowa from 2000-02, and Bruce Nelson (Carolina) was a four-year starter from 1999-02. Both players were second round draft picks in 2003.
FERENTZ CAPTURES NATIONAL AWARDS SEASON
Head coach Kirk Ferentz was named Woody Hayes Coach of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, the Eddie Robinson National of the Year by the FWAA, and winner of the 2015 Dodd Trophy presented annually by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. He was named American Football Coaches Association Region 3 Coach of the Year, and was a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year and George Munger Coach of the Year awards. Ferentz was one of five recipients of the AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year. The others included Stanford’s David Shaw (Region 5), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (Region 1), Florida’s Jim McElwain (Region 2), and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (Region 4). Ferentz led Iowa to a school record 12 wins to start the season. The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten West Division title (8-0) and advanced to the Big Ten title game for the first time in the game’s five-year history. The Hawkeyes reclaimed all four of their rivalry trophies in 2015, and reached as high as third in the Associated Press poll.
FERENTZ TOPS IN LONGEVITY
Kirk Ferentz completed his 17th season as Iowa’s head football coach, and is tied with Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops as the longest active FBS head coaches. Ferentz was named Iowa head coach on Dec. 2, 1998, one day after Stoops was named head coach at Oklahoma.
JOE MOORE AWARD COMES KNOCKING
Iowa’s offensive line was one of six finalists for the Joe Moore Award, which honors offensive line units that display a high level of toughness, effort, teamwork, physicality, tone setting and finishing. Alabama won the national award. Other finalists included Arkansas, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Stanford. Iowa rushed for over 200 yards in seven games. The Hawkeye offense had six touchdown drives over 90 yards and 19 touchdown drives over 75 yards. Iowa scored over 30 points in five straight Big Ten games for the first time ever. Iowa’s offensive line included center Austin Blythe, tackles Cole Croston, Boone Myers and Ike Boettger, and guards Sean Welsh and Jordan Walsh. Blythe and Walsh are seniors, while Myers, Boettger and Welsh are sophomores. True freshman James Daniels rotated in at the guard positions, and started at Northwestern and in the Rose Bowl. The Joe Moore Award is named after Joe Moore, widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history, and is the only major college football award to honor a unit.
THE FOURTH QUARTER
QB C.J. Beathard and the Hawkeyes’ rush defense dominated the fourth quarter in 2015. Iowa’s rush defense, the 15th best rush defense in the country, yielded 345 total rushing yards in the fourth quarter this season (24.6 yards per game). Beathard was 44-of-63 passing for 706 yards and six touchdowns in the fourth quarter this season. He also rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He engineered two game-winning drives in the fourth quarter (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. Beathard threw an 85-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter in the Big Ten title game. The pass gave Iowa a 13-9 lead that held up until Michigan State scored with 27 seconds left. In Iowa’s last 15 games, including the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl, Beathard’s fourth quarter numbers include 51-of-70 passing for 801 yards and eight touchdowns.
DO NOT ENTER
Iowa allowed 11 rushing touchdowns this season, the seventh lowest total in the country. The Hawkeyes yielded an average of 121.4 rushing yards per game, 15th nationally. Iowa limited its opponents to 3.6 yards per carry – 24th best in the country. The Hawkeyes allowed just one rushing touchdown through the first eight weeks, but surrendered 10 over the last six weeks (2 at Indiana, 3 vs. Minnesota, 1 vs. Purdue, 1 at Nebraska, 1 vs. Michigan State, 1 vs. Stanford).
6 THE OTHER WAY
Iowa returned four interceptions for touchdowns, more than any team in the Big Ten and tied for third in the nation. Iowa led the Big Ten and ranked 10th in the country with 19 interceptions. Iowa’s four interceptions returned for touchdowns belong to Josey Jewell, 34; Bo Bower, 88; Desmond King, 88, and Parker Hesse, 4. The 88-yard interception returns by Bower and King tie for the seventh longest interception returns in school history. Iowa has at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of the last eight seasons, and 13 of the last 15 seasons.
POWER OF THREE
Three Hawkeyes (Jordan Canzeri, 256, Akrum Wadley, 204; LeShun Daniels, 195) combined for nine 100-yard rushing games in 2015: Canzeri (5x), Wadley (twice), and Daniels (twice). The last time the Hawkeyes had three different players rush for over 100 yards in a game in the same season was 2005: Albert Young (8x), and Shonn Greene and Damian Sims once each. The Hawkeyes also had three receivers record 100-yard receiving games: Matt VandeBerg (1), Tevaun Smith (2), and Jerminic Smith (1). It is the first time since 1995 three different Hawkeyes recorded 100-yard receiving games: Tim Dwight (2x), Demo Odems (1), Scott Slutzker (1).
For the first time in school history, Iowa had a different running back rush for 200 yards in consecutive games (Akrum Wadley at Northwestern and Jordan Canzeri vs. Illinois). Wadley recorded career highs in carries (26), rushing yards (204), and touchdowns (4) against the Wildcats on Oct. 17. Canzeri amassed 256 yards rushing on a school-record 43 attempts against the Fighting Illini on Oct. 10. The feat is the first time an FBS school had two different running backs eclipse 200 yards rushing in a game since 1996.
Marshall Koehn kicked a 57-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Pitt, 27-24, on Sept. 19. The game-winning field goal is the second longest in school history and tied the Kinnick Stadium record (Arizona’s Lee Pistor in 1977). After Pitt tied the game, 24-24, with 0:52 left in the fourth quarter, Iowa DB Desmond King picked up a squib kick at the 3-yard line and returned it 27 yards to the Iowa 30. QB C.J. Beathard picked up two rushing first downs to move the ball into Pitt territory, and after a pair of sideline routes to WR Tevaun Smith fell incomplete, Beathard scrambled for eight yards to the Pitt 39-yard line. Iowa then used its final timeout to stop the clock with two seconds left. On fourth-and-2, Pitt called a timeout to freeze Koehn. Koehn let a kick sail anyway, but it landed far short of the goal post. On the next attempt, Dillon Kidd placed a snap from Tyler Kluver on the Pitt 47-yard line, and Koehn split the uprights, giving Iowa its first walk-off field goal since 1986 (Holiday Bowl).
IOWA PROGRAM NOTES
• Iowa and Ohio State are the only teams in the Big Ten to win their first nine games to start a season more than once since 2000 (Ohio State six times; Iowa twice).
• Iowa posted its first 4-0 record in November since 1991.
• The Hawkeyes have earned bowl eligibility in 14 of the last 15 seasons.
• Iowa played in the Big Ten title game for the first time in program history on Dec. 5. Iowa earned Big Ten Conference championships in 2002 and 2004 and placed second in 2009. Iowa (8-0, 2002; 8-0, 2015) is one of three Big Ten teams to post a perfect mark in conference play since 1998 (BCS era). Michigan State has done it one time, and Ohio State has done it five times.
• Iowa has ranked in the top 10 in the final Associated Press and CNN/USA Today coaches polls five times since 2002, including a ranking of seventh in both polls at the conclusion of the 2009 season. Iowa ranked eighth in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The Hawkeyes finished 2015 ranked ninth in the AP poll and 10th in the USA Today coaches poll. Only Ohio State has more top 10 finishes since 2002.
• Since 1936 when the first AP poll was released, Iowa has appeared in the poll 308 times, the fifth highest total in the Big Ten (Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and MSU). Iowa has been the top-ranked team in the country 11 times.
• Iowa set a school record with 12 wins in 2015. The Hawkeyes won 11 games in 2002 (11-2), and 2009 (11-2). In 2009, Iowa started 9-0 and 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 the first time in school history.
• Kirk Ferentz has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year four times (2002, 2004, 2009, 2015) and was named National Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2015. Only Michigan’s Bo Schembechler (6) has more conference coach of the year. Iowa’s Hayden Fry and Penn State’s Joe Paterno both won the award three times.
• Desmong King became the seventh Hawkeye to earn a national player of the year award in 2015. He won the Jim Thorpe award, honoring the nation’s top defensive back. 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); Brandon Scherff (2014 Outland, Top Lineman), Desmond King (2015 Jim Thorpe).
• 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 Hawkeyes’ long term success is due to the stability in the program. 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 17th season. Ferentz also served as Iowa’s offensive line coach from 1981-89 under Fry.
The Hawkeyes started four different offensive tackles in 2015. Three of them — LT Boone Myers, RT Ike Boettger, LT Cole Croston — entered the season with one combined career start (Boettger started as a second tight end against Wisconsin in 2014). OL Sean Welsh had 13 career starts at left guard before sliding out to right tackle at Northwestern. Myers joined the program as a walk-on and was put on scholarship prior to the 2014 season. He saw action in four games in 2014. 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 2015. Welsh was a high school All-American in Springboro, Ohio, and was named first team freshman All-Big Ten by BTN in 2014. True freshman James Daniels also saw time at the tackle position. He played left tackle against Illinois when Boettger left the game with an injury in the third quarter. Daniels also started two games at guard (at Northwestern, Rose Bowl), becoming the first true freshman to start on the offensive line since Bryan Bulaga in 2007. Daniels joined the program for the 2015 spring practice season.
The Hawkeyes open 2016 with three straight home games against Miami, Ohio (Sept, 3), Iowa State (Sept. 10), and North Dakota State (Sept. 17). The nine-game conference schedule begins Sept. 24 at Rutgers. Iowa plays five Big Ten road games and hosts four conference schools, including Northwestern (Homecoming, Oct. 1), Wisconsin (Oct. 22), Michigan (Nov. 12) and Nebraska (Nov. 25).