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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — For a second consecutive season, Kinnick Stadium turned into a celebratory mob at the expense of a top-five team.
Sophomore Nate Stanley threw for five touchdowns and the University of Iowa defense had four interceptions in a 55-24 rout of No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday afternoon inside Kinnick Stadium.
The 55 points are the most surrendered by an Urban Meyer-coached Buckeye team and are the most points by the Hawkeyes in the all-time series dating back to 1922 (65 meetings). The previous best was 35 points in 1995. Iowa’s 31-point margin of victory is the largest in the all-time series.
Iowa improves to 6-3 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten and is bowl eligible for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons. Ohio State falls to 7-2, 6-1.
The Hawkeyes piled up 487 yards of offense with 244 coming through the air and 243 on the ground. Iowa had 24 first downs and had a nearly nine minute advantage in time of possession (34:51-25:09).
Stanley completed 20-of-31 attempts for 226 yards and five touchdowns, while senior running back Akrum Wadley finished with 118 yards on 20 attempts. Senior James Butler had 10 carries for 74 yards and redshirt freshman Toren Young had five attempts for 47 yards and one touchdown.
Eight different players had a reception with Iowa’s tight end duo of T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant finishing with nine catches for 125 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively, Iowa gave up 241 yards over the game’s first 20 minutes before surrendering 131 the rest of the way. After Ohio State went 77 yards to tie the game at 17, the Buckeyes gained just 34 yards over their next five possessions.
The Hawkeyes held the Buckeyes to 24 points — 22 below their season average — and 371 yards — 200 below their season average. Senior Josey Jewell led the team with nine tackles (five solo) and one pass breakup. Junior Josh Jackson tied a school record with three interceptions and three solo tackles.
With the score tied at 17 in the second quarter, the Hawkeyes scored twice in the final 6:38 to take a 31-17 lead into the break. The first came when Stanley hit Fant for a 25-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone, one play after Ohio State’s Nick Bosa was ejected for targeting.
Junior Josh Jackson gave Iowa a short field when he intercepted Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett at midfield and returned it 19 yards to the Buckeye 22. Iowa needed just three plays to take a 14-point lead into the locker room. Stanley found his safety valve in Wadley in the flat and he made a play for a 21-yard gain to the 3. On the next play, Stanley underthrew Fant, but he adjusted and made a scooping catch for the touchdown.
WHEN IT WAS OVER
After trading punts during the first four possessions of the second half, the Hawkeyes made it a three-possession game with a nine-play, 78-yard scoring drive. Iowa lined up to attempt a 37-yard field goal on fourth-and-3 from the OSU 20, but instead, Iowa rolled the dice with a fake field goal.
It paid off.
After motioning players every which way, junior Colton Rastetter took the snap and lofted a pass to deep snapper Tyler Kluver. Kluver made the catch for 18 yards before tripping up at the 2. On the next play with defensive end Sam Hubbard draped to his leg, Stanley fired a touchdown pass to Hockenson for a touchdown, extending the Hawkeye lead to 38-17.
Stanley had a breakout game, leading Iowa to its fourth win in its last five games against top-five teams inside Kinnick Stadium. The sophomore completed 20-of-31 attempts for 226 yards with five touchdowns. Eight different players made a reception.
Stanley is one of two Hawkeyes in program history to throw five touchdowns in a single game twice (Chuck Long had two six-touchdown games). He has 22 touchdown passes this season. He is first Hawkeye quarterback with 20 or more touchdown passes in a season since James Vandenberg in 2011 (25).
Junior Josh Jackson displayed while he is being touted as a potential first-round NFL Draft pick come April. The Texan tied a school record held by Tyler Sash and Grant Steen with three interceptions to go along with making three solo tackles.
QUOTING COACH FERENTZ
“I am really proud of our football team. It was an outstanding effort by all of our guys. We came into this game heavy underdogs, and for good reason. Ohio State is a tremendous football team, but the big thing is our guys believed in themselves all week long. They had a good week of preparation, and then most importantly, came out and played with great energy, effort, a lot of grit, and played opportunistic football. That’s important in a game like this.
“I thought we grew up a little bit today, and that’s kind of ironic. Nate Kaeding was our honorary captain. Just thinking about that out there, one of the things I told the team yesterday about Nate, it was up at the Penn State game, which was a big game of growth for our entire program in 2000. Nate had three field goals in that game, over 45 yards, and then nailed a 26-yarder, I think, in overtime, double overtime for the victory.
“Up until then he was wobbling around a little bit, but that was really a turnaround game for him. I think that’s what we saw from our team tonight.
“We did a good job in the basic areas that you have to to win, turnover takeaway margin was good. We blocked for the first time like you need to if you’re going to be on the varsity, and then defensively, it was a rocky beginning for us against an explosive team, but we settled down and finished that off.
“Those things were all positive, and the biggest factors in the game and the biggest thing is our guys finished the fight. I am proud of them and just want to thank our fans again. What another great environment in Kinnick. We were fortunate and they were there start to finish.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Iowa couldn’t have asked for a better start than what it got from its defense against Ohio State. J.T. Barrett, who entered the game with 16 straight completions and 190 attempts without an interception, had both streaks end on the game’s first play when he targeted wide receiver Binjimen Victor. Sophomore Amani Hooker jumped the route for the interception and returned it 30 yards for his first career pick six, giving the Hawkeyes a 7-0 lead just eight seconds in.
- From there a shootout ensued — Iowa and Ohio State scored on the next five offensive possessions.
- Ohio State needed just six plays to finish off an 80-yard, game-tying touchdown drive. The Buckeyes had consecutive 29-yard completions, including a 29-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to Terry McLaurin.
- The Hawkeyes answered with a 63-yard scoring drive to take a 10-7 lead. Wadley had a 30-yard run on the first play of the series before back-to-back penalties moved Iowa to the OSU 25. The Hawkeyes moved to the 12 before settling on Miguel Recinos’ 30-yard field goal.
- The Buckeyes ran their way to a field goal, rushing for 64 yards on their ensuing possession — a 74-yard scoring drive. Ohio State moved to the 10 before a pair of Barrett attempts sailed incomplete. Sean Nuernberger’s 27-yard field goal tied the game at 10.
- Iowa took a 17-10 lead with an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Stanley went 5-for-5 during the series, which ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Hockenson.
- Ohio State tied the game on the next possession. After moving to midfield via the ground attack, Barrett hit Johnnie Dixon for a 44-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 17.
- After scoring following the fake field goal in the third quarter, the Hawkeyes put the game away in the fourth quarter with a 17-point outburst. A 53-yard run by James Butler set up a 2-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to Drake Kulick and Recinos had a 30-yard field goal to make the score 48-17.
- After Rastetter was stopped for a 7-yard gain on a fake punt at the Iowa 22, Barrett tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Johnnie Dixon. The Hawkeyes recovered the onside kick before Toren Young ran five times for 47 yards and scored from 2-yards out to account for the final touchdown, giving Iowa the 55-24 victory.
- Iowa’s win is the first over a top 10 Ohio State team since defeating No. 3 OSU, 20-14, in 1983.
- Iowa scored 31 points in the first half, a season high and its most since scoring 35 against Purdue on Oct. 15, 2016. It was the most first-half points allowed by Ohio State since allowing 34 to Florida in the BCS Championship Game.
- Iowa has won four of its last five games vs. top five teams at home (W, 55-24 vs. No. 3 Ohio State; L, 21-19 vs. No. 4 Penn State in 2017; W, 14-13 vs. No. 2 Michigan in 2016; W, 37-6 vs. No. 5 Michigan State in 2010; W, 24-23 vs. No. 3 Penn State in 2007).
- Iowa held Ohio State to 24 points, 22 points below the Buckeyes’ season average. Iowa has held 8-of-9 nine opponents below their scoring average this season.
- Iowa intercepted quarterback J.T. Barrett four times. He had thrown just one interception in the first eight games of 2017.
- Iowa handed Ohio State just its second road loss under Urban Meyer (26-2).
- Todays’ win was Iowa’s 400th home victory. The Hawkeyes have won 400 games at home since becoming a varsity football team in 1889. The Hawkeyes are 400-218-16 at home, including a 116-35-1 mark at Iowa Field and a 283-183-15 record at Kinnick Stadium.
- The 55 points scored are the most by an Iowa team since scoring 62 vs. North Texas in 2015. It is the most points against a Big Ten opponent since scoring 55 against Minnesota in 2008.
- Sophomore Noah Fant had two touchdown receptions on a career-high four catches. He has seven touchdown receptions this season — the most by a Hawkeyes since Marvin McNutt caught 12 touchdown passes in 2012.
- Redshirt freshman T.J. Hockenson set career-bests in receptions (5), receiving yards (71), and touchdowns (2). Hockenson has 19 catches this season, three touchdowns, and 14 first downs.
- Sophomore Amani Hooker intercepted Barrett on the first play of the game and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. It was Hooker’s second career interception and first career touchdown. It was Iowa’s second pick-six of the season (Brandon Snyder 89-yards vs. Illinois, 10/7/17).
- Senior Akrum Wadley rushed 20 times for 118 yards. It is his 13th career 100-yard rushing game. He added 40 yards receiving on three receptions. Wadley has 3,340 career all-purpose yards — 11th-most in program history (2,524 rush, 716 receiving, 100 kickoff returns).
The Hawkeyes return to action Nov. 11, traveling to Madison for a road contest at play at No. 4 Wisconsin. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ABC or ESPN.