|IOWA VS. WYOMING|
|DATE||Saturday, Sept. 2 | 11:01 a.m. CT|
|LOCATION||Iowa City, Iowa | Kinnick Stadium (70,585)|
|RADIO | LISTEN||Hawkeye Radio Network | KRUI | Hawkeye All-Access|
|TELEVISION||BTN | BTN2Go|
1st and 10
1: Senior LB Josey Jewell is a preseason first team All-American by the Associated Press; he’s on the Big Ten Conference Preseason Players to Watch List, and is named on five national award watch lists: Lott Impact, Bednarik, Butkus, Nagurski, and Wuerffel.
2: Iowa is the only FBS team with two players that rushed for 1,000-plus yards in 2016. Senior RB Akrum Wadley led the Hawkeyes in rushing yards (1,081), and senior graduate transfer RB James Butler rushed for 1,336 yards at Nevada in 2016.
3: RB Akrum Wadley, who rushed for 1,081 yards in 2016, could become the fourth Hawkeye in program history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and the first since Fred Russell went back-to-back in 2002 (1,355) and 2003 (1,264).
4: Iowa’s quarterbacks have a combined 13 career pass attempts, and its receiving corps has only one player (Matt VandeBerg) with a career reception as a Hawkeye.
5: Since Ferentz’s first season in 1999, Iowa has had more AP top-10 finishes than Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Tennessee.
6: Kinnick Stadium’s playing surface is new in 2017, and for the first time in the field’s 89-year history, a Tigerhawk is featured at midfield.
7: Ferentz teams have finished in the Associated Press top-10 on five occasions, and in four of those seasons the Hawkeyes were led by a first-year starter — Banks in 2002, Nathan Chandler in 2003, Drew Tate in 2004, and C.J. Beathard in 2015.
8: Iowa’s offensive line has a combined 117 starts.
9: Seniors Ike Boettger, Boone Myers, and Sean Welsh; juniors James Daniels, Lucas LeGrand, and Keegan Render, and sophomore Levi Paulsen, all started at least one game for an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award in 2016.
10: Iowa is 15-3 in season openers since 1999 and 15-1 since 2001.The Hawkeyes average 35.9 ppg in the 14 wins, and 11.3 ppg in the three losses.
Iowa has played 1,220 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 633-548-39 (.535). That includes a 397-216-16 (.641) record in home games, a 236-332-23 (.418) record in games away from Iowa City, a 320-369-25 (.464) mark in Big Ten games and a 280-180-15 (.600) record in Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa is undefeated in two previous meetings with Wyoming. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cowboys, 21-7, at Kinnick Stadium in 1953, and 20-19 at the 1987 Holiday Bowl in San Diego, California.
LAST MEETING – Dec. 30, 1987 – Holiday Bowl – San Diego, California
Iowa’s defense and special teams scored two touchdowns and FB David Hudson scored on a short run in the fourth period to rally the Hawkeyes to a 20-19 triumph over Wyoming in the 10th Holiday Bowl. Merton Hanks deflected a second-period punt, the first of his two blocked kicks, and Jay Hess covered it in the end zone for a score. Anthony Wright cut the deficit to 19-13 with a 33-yard interception return. Greg Worker’s 52-yard FG attempt was blocked by Hanks with 46 seconds left to preserve the victory. Wright, who had six tackles, was Iowa’s game MVP. Wyoming had a 12-0 lead before Hess got the Hawkeyes on the scoreboard, but Iowa still trailed 19-7 at halftime before pitching a shutout in the second half.
Kinnick Stadium’s playing surface is new in 2017, and for the first time in the field’s 89-year history, a Tigerhawk is featured at midfield. The stadium surface featured a block “I” at midfield from 1972-80, but that university logo was removed when a new surface was installed prior to the 1981 season. Midfield has been without a logo since.
The new playing surface is the first of the three-phase Kinnick Edge project, which will see the entire north end zone stands replaced following the 2017 season. Visit kinnickedge.org for more information.
RUN AFTER HANDOFF, RUN AFTER CATCH, RETURN FOR SENIOR SEASON
Senior RB Akrum Wadley announced on Jan. 5 he would return to Iowa for his senior season. Wadley led the Hawkeyes in rushing yards (1,081) and all-purpose yards (1,396), and ranked second in receptions (36) in 2016. All three totals were career highs. He scored 13 touchdowns, tied for sixth in the Big Ten, and was named third team All-Big Ten by league coaches. He ranks 18th in career rushing yards (1,763) and 20th in career scoring (132 points).
He combined for 25 catches, 199 yards receiving, and two receiving touchdowns the final six weeks of 2016. He posted career bests in receptions (7) and receiving yards (72) in Week 8 against Wisconsin, and shared the team lead with five receptions in Week 9 at Penn State (32 yards, TD). He led Iowa with five catches, 52 receiving yards, and scored the team’s only touchdown (3-yard reception) against Michigan.
Wadley rushed 22 times for 115 yards against Florida at the 2017 Outback Bowl, exceeding the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. He became the 47th Hawkeye in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
The Hawkeyes are the only FBS team with two players that rushed for 1,000-plus yards in 2016. Senior RB Akrum Wadley led the Hawkeyes in rushing yards (1,081) and all-purpose yards (1,396), and ranked second in receptions (36) in 2016. All three totals were career highs.
Senior RB James Butler rushed for 1,336 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior at Nevada in 2016. He added three more receiving touchdowns to go along with 381 receiving yards. He is a two-time All-Mountain West honorable mention selection.
WADLEY PURSUES RARE FEAT
Senior RB Akrum Wadley, who rushed for 1,081 yards in 2016, could become the fourth Hawkeye in program history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and the first since Fred Russell went back-to-back in 2002 (1,355) and 2003 (1,264). The other Hawkeyes with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons include Sedrick Shaw (1,002 in 1994, 1,477 in 1995, 1,116 in 1996) and Ladell Betts (1,090 in 2000 and 1,060 in 2001).
FRESH ARMS, FRESH LEGS
Iowa’s quarterbacks have a combined 13 career pass attempts, and its receiving corps has only one player with a career reception as a Hawkeye. That leads to an inexperienced group, but it also means many fresh faces can build on last year’s 153.2 passing yards per game. That number that ranked 118th nationally and 13th in the Big Ten.
Sophomore Nathan Stanley was the only Hawkeye quarterback not named C.J. Beathard to attempt a pass in 2016. Stanley was 5-for-9 passing for 62 yards in seven games. He was the first true freshman to play quarterback since Drew Tate in 2003.
Junior Tyler Wiegers was Iowa’s No. 2 quarterback in 2015, but sat behind Beathard and Stanley in 2016. He did not see any action last year, but was 3-for-4 passing for 32 yards in four appearances in 2015.
The Hawkeye quarterbacks will benefit from the return of senior WR Matt VandeBerg, who was granted a fifth-year medical redshirt after missing the final nine games in 2016 with an injury. VandeBerg led the Hawkeyes in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns (19-285-3) before his injury. He is the only wide receiver on the team with a career reception at the University of Iowa. Senior Akrum Wadley, Iowa’s starting running back, is Iowa’s top returning receiver. Wadley had a career-best 36 receptions for 315 yards in 2016, both ranked second on the team.
Junior wide receiver Matt Quarells also joins the rotation. The graduate transfer from New Mexico had 13 career receptions and 203 yards receiving in two seasons with the Lobos.
A PLEASANT RESOLUTION TO THE CASE OF THE UNKNOWN
Iowa’s quarterback position has a combined 11 NCAA football appearances (Nathan Stanley appeared in seven games in 2016, Tyler Wiegers appeared in four games in 2015). Neither player has a career start. Iowa is one of eight schools entering 2017 with zero career starts at the quarterback position. The 11 combined appearances tie for the sixth fewest in FBS.
No matter who lines up under center, that person will be a first-year starter. The good news is that since 1999, both of Kirk Ferentz’s Big Ten championships have been with a first-year starting quarterback. Brad Banks led Iowa to a share of the conference title in 2002, and Drew Tate did the same in 2004. In 2015, first-year starter C.J. Beathard was given the keys to the offense and drove Iowa to the Big Ten championship game and Rose Bowl.
Ferentz teams have also finished in the Associated Press top-10 on five occasions, and in four of those seasons the Hawkeyes were led by a first-year starter — Banks in 2002, Nathan Chandler in 2003, Tate in 2004, and Beathard in 2015.
HAWKEYES RETURN NATION’S TOP OFFENSIVE LINE UNIT
Seniors Ike Boettger (LT, LG, RT), Boone Myers (LT, LG), and Sean Welsh (RG, RT); juniors James Daniels (C), Lucas LeGrand (C), and Keegan Render (LG, RG); and sophomore Levi Paulsen (RG) all started at least one game for an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award in 2016. The Joe Moore Award honors offensive line units that display a high level of toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique, and “finishing”. It is the only major college football award to honor a unit.
The Hawkeyes were selected over national runner-up Alabama and third-ranked Ohio State. Iowa was selected by a voting committee comprised solely of people who played or coached the offensive line position, including all of the current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level as well as former players, coaches and colleagues of Coach Moore, and select media. Iowa’s offense averaged 171.8 rushing yards per game — averaging 4.5 yards per carry, and more than two yards before contact — and 325 yards total offense per game.
FERENTZ CLOSES ON B1G, HAWKEYE LEGENDS
Kirk Ferentz has 135 overall wins and 82 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 82 conference wins rank sixth among the conference’s all-time winningest coaches in Big Ten games.
Ferentz’s 135 wins in all games coached as a member of the Big Ten Conference rank seventh in league history and second all-time at Iowa. He is one victory from equaling Henry Williams of Minnesota, who won 136 games, and eight wins from tying Hayden Fry as the Hawkeyes’ all-time winningest football coach.
Both Ferentz (135, 82) and Fry (143, 96) rank in the top seven in overall wins and Big Ten wins. Only Iowa and Michigan have two coaches ranked in the top 10 of both win categories (Bo Schembechler 194, 143; and Lloyd Carr 122, 81).
FERENTZ TOPS IN LONGEVITY
Kirk Ferentz enters his 19th season as Iowa’s head football coach. He is the longest tenured active head coach in college football. Ferentz was named Iowa head coach on Dec. 2, 1998. Gary Patterson of TCU is No. 2 in coaching tenure. Patterson’s first year with the Horned Frogs was 2001. Among Big Ten coaches, only Pat Fitzgerald (2006) and Mark Dantonio (2007) have been at their current schools for 10 seasons or more.
2017 HALL OF FAME CLASS
The University of Iowa Athletic Department’s 29th Hall of Fame class — Tom Dunn, Kris (Fillat) Buchanan, Robert Gallery, Marty Kistler, Toni (Neykova) Bickford, Barb (Willis) Randall, and Andre Woolridge — will be inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.
All former Hawkeye athletes who have won at least one major letter are eligible for the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame. Athletes must have completed their eligibility at least 10 years and coaches/administrators at least five years prior to their selection.
The UI Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m. (CT) inside the Grand Coral Ballroom at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. A hors d’oeuvres and cocktail reception precedes the induction ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
FRYfest is in its ninth year of celebrating all that is Hawkeye. The event, named after legendary UI football coach Hayden Fry, kicks off the UI football season each year at Coralville’s Iowa River Landing.
Events include the World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow, panel discussions/autograph sessions with former Hawkeyes, Tailgate Row, Hawkeye Fashion Show, pep rally, fireworks, and an outdoor concert.
For more information on FRYfest: A Celebration of All that is Hawkeye, please visit FRYfest.com.