|IOWA vs. NORTHERN IOWA|
|DATE||Saturday, Sept. 15 | 6:30 p.m. CT|
|LOCATION||Iowa City, Iowa | Kinnick Stadium (69,250)|
|RADIO | LISTEN||Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access|
1st and 10
1: DE A.J. Epenesa was named Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week after recording career highs in tackles (5), sacks (2), and holding Iowa State to 19 yards rushing in Week 2. He also added one breakup and one quarterback hurry. Epenesa is tied for the Big Ten lead and second in the NCAA with three sacks. He is celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday.
2: TE Noah Fant has 13 career touchdown receptions, tying Quinn Early and Mike Flagg for 10th all-time in program history. The 13 touchdown receptions tie Flagg for most by a tight end in program history. Twelve of Fant’s touchdown receptions have come from QB Nate Stanley over the Hawkeyes’ last 14 games. His 13 career touchdowns have come from near and far, listed in chronological order: 5, 2, 27, 23, 7, 45, 25, 3, 6, 4, 69, 8, 1.
3: The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten and rank second in the country in scoring defense (5.0). Iowa has allowed just 10 points in the first two weeks of the season, fewer than any other team that has played at least two games. The Hawkeyes are one of just four teams to allow just one touchdown through two games.
4: QB Nate Stanley threw a 1-yard touchdown to TE Noah Fant in the season opener. It was Stanley’s 27th career touchdown pass. He is three shy of tying Brad Banks for 10th all-time in program history. Stanley and Fant have connected for touchdowns 12 times over the last 14 games.
5: Iowa leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in the country in total defense (199.5 yards per game). Iowa is third in the Big Ten in rushing defense and (62.5) and fourth in passing defense (139.5). The Hawkeyes have nine sacks in the first two weeks of the season, more than any other team in the Big Ten and tied for second in the country (Arizona State, 11). Iowa has allowed just 26 first downs, fewer than any other Big Ten team.
6: In the first two games of the season, five different Hawkeye linebackers have made their first career starts. Amani Jones, Kristian Welch, and Nick Niemann started for the first time in their careers in Iowa’s 33-7 win over Northern Illinois in Week 1. Niemann started Week 2 alongside Jack Hockaday and Djimon Colbert in Iowa’s 13-3 win over Iowa State in Week 2. The five linebackers entered the season with a combined 40 career tackles, 832 fewer career tackles than Iowa’s three starting linebackers in 2017 (Josey Jewell 437; Bo Bower, 234; Ben Niemann, 201).
7: QB Nate Stanley is 10-5 as Iowa’s starter. He has won four straight, is 6-0 against nonconference teams, and owns a 7-2 record at Kinnick Stadium. He numbers at home include 18 TDs, 5 INTs, and 1,626 yards passing.
8: The Hawkeyes do not have a junior or senior at the running back position group. Sophomores Ivory Kelly-Martin, Mekhi Sargent, and Toren Young are the elder statesmen of the group. The trio has combined for 279 yards and three rushing touchdowns (one by each player).
9: In its last three regular season games, Iowa has outscored its opponents 82-7 in the second half (42-0 at Nebraska, 30-7 vs. Northern Illinois, 10-0 vs. Iowa State).
10: Iowa has won its last six games against nonconference teams. That includes two nonconference games (Northern Illinois, Iowa State) in 2018, a 3-0 start to the season against nonconference teams (Wyoming, Iowa State, North Texas) in 2017, and a victory over Boston College at the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl.
PAT GREEN TO PERFORM ‘WAVE ON WAVE’ IN KINNICK STADIUM
Three-time Grammy nominee Pat Green will perform during halftime of the Northern Iowa at Iowa football game in Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 15. Green joins the Hawkeye Marching Band and the Northern Iowa Panther Marching Band to perform “Wave on Wave,” the anthem of the Iowa Wave to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Green has sold more than two million albums and released a string of 15 hits on the Billboard Top Country Singles Chart.
The marching bands will have a traditional performance of one number before they join Green in “Wave on Wave.” Green will perform from the stands near the south end zone with 50 members of each band. The combined remaining Hawkeye and Panther band members will create images on the field for the children to view during the performance.
Iowa has played 1,234 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 643-553-39 (.535). That includes a 402-219-16 (.643) record in home games, a 241-334-23 (.421) record in games away from Iowa City, a 324-374-25 (.465) mark in Big Ten games and a 286-184-15 (.607) record in Kinnick Stadium.
6 THROUGH THE AIR
QB Nate Stanley threw a 1-yard touchdown to TE Noah Fant in the season opener. It was Stanley’s 27th career touchdown pass. He is three shy of tying Brad Banks for 10th all-time in program history. Stanley and Fant have connected for touchdowns 12 times over the last 14 games.
Stanley threw 26 touchdowns last year, one shy of tying the single-season record held by Chuck Long (27, 1985). Of those 26 touchdown passes, TE Noah Fant caught a team-high 11 touchdown passes last year, followed by WR Nick Easley (4). In total, 20 of Stanley’s 26 touchdown targets return in 2018. TE T.J. Hockenson caught three touchdowns from Stanley in 2017, and WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette pulled in two touchdown receptions.
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN IN FRONT
The Hawkeyes have nine sacks in the first two weeks of the season, more than any other team in the Big Ten and tied for second in the country (Arizona State, 11).
DE A.J. Epenesa leads the team with three sacks. He is tied for the Big Ten lead and is second in the NCAA. Epenesa is one of six Hawkeyes with sacks. DE Parker Hesse has two, and DE Anthony Nelson, DT Matt Nelson, LB Nick Niemann, and LB Kristian Welch each have one.
NO POINTS FOR YOU
The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten and rank second in the country in scoring defense (5.0). Iowa has allowed just 10 points in the first two weeks of the season, fewer than any other team that has played at least two games. The Hawkeyes are one of just four teams to allow just one touchdown through two games.
In its last three regular season games, Iowa has outscored its opponents 82-7 in the second half (42-0 at Nebraska, 30-7 vs. Northern Illinois, 10-0 vs. Iowa State).
NO YARDS FOR YOU
Iowa leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in the country in total defense (199.5 yards per game). Iowa is third in the Big Ten in rushing defense and (62.5) and fourth passing defense (139.5). The Hawkeyes limited Iowa State to just 19 yards rushing in Week 2. It ties for the fifth fewest rushing yards allowed under Ferentz.
Iowa has allowed just 26 first downs, fewer than any other Big Ten team.
FOSTER INHERITS FRESH LEGS
Running backs coach Derrick Foster is in his first season on Iowa’s staff in charge of a position group that graduated 75 percent of its rushing yards in 2017, and entered 2018 with one combined career start (Toren Young).
RB Ivory Kelly-Martin made his first career-start and had a team and career-high 16 carries for 62 yards and one touchdown in Week 1. He missed Week 2 with an injury.
Young got the start Week 2, the second of his career, and rushed for a team and game-high 68 yards on a career-high 21 carries.
Sargent rushed 12 times Week 1, and 11 times Week 2. He has 23 carries for 65 yards. Both totals rank second on the team behind Young (29-152).
The committee has combined for three rushing touchdowns, one each by Kelly-Martin (2), Sargent (2), and Young (6).
The Hawkeye do not have a junior or senior among the position group. Sophomores Kelly-Martin, Sargent, and Young are the elder statesmen of the group. Henry Geil is a true freshman (5 carries, 13 yards).
Iowa graduated running backs Akrum Wadley (1,109 yards) and James Butler (396 yards) in 2017. The duo combined for 1,505 rushing yards in 2017.
NEW FACES IN THE CROWD
In the first two games of the season, five different Hawkeye linebackers have made their first career starts.
Week 1 starting linebackers Amani Jones, Kristian Welch, and Nick Niemann started for the first time in their careers in Iowa’s 33-7 win over Northern Illinois.
Niemann started Week 2 alongside Jack Hockaday and Djimon Colbert in Iowa’s 13-3 win over Iowa State.
The 2018 season is the first in Kirk Ferentz’s 20 years that the Hawkeyes opened the season without a linebacker with a single career start.
The five linebackers entered the season with a combined 40 career tackles, 832 fewer career tackles than Iowa’s three starting linebackers in 2017 (Josey Jewell 437; Bo Bower, 234; Ben Niemann, 201).
The last time Ferentz had this little starting experience at the linebacker position was in 2014. That year, Quinton Alston, Bo Bower, and Reggie Spearman were Iowa’s starting linebackers in the season opener. Only Alston had a previous career start (2012 at Michigan).
In Ferentz’s first season in 1999, the opening day starting linebackers — LeVar Woods, Aaron Kampman, and Derrick Davison — had two career starts combined. Both starts belonged to Kampman, who started the final two games in 1998.
FERENTZ BECOMES IOWA’S ALL-TIME WINNINGEST COACH, MOVES UP BIG TEN CHARTS
Head coach Kirk Ferentz (145-97) became Iowa’s all-time winningest coach on Sept. 1, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated Northern Illinois, 33-7. It was Ferentz’s 144th win as Iowa’s head coach, one more than his predecessor, Hayden Fry (143-89-6). Fry coach Iowa for 20 years (1979-98). Ferentz is in his 20th season.
Ferentz’s 145 wins in all games coached as a member of the Big Ten Conference rank fifth in league history. Iowa has at least eight wins in three straight seasons and owns a 29-12 mark from 2015-17.
Ferentz has 86 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 86 conference wins rank sixth among the conference’s all-time winningest coaches in Big Ten games.
Both Ferentz (145, 86) and Fry (143, 96) rank in the top six 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).
Iowa is the only school in the country to have just two head football coaches since 1979.
FERENTZ TOPS IN LONGEVITY
Kirk Ferentz is in his 20th 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. Iowa is the only school to have just two head football coaches since 1979.
Defensive coordinator Phil Parker and strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle are also in their 20th seasons on Iowa’s staff. Defensive line coach Reese Morgan joined the staff in 1999 and is in his 19th season. Quarterbacks coach Ken O’Keefe was on Ferentz’s original coaching staff before he left for the NFL following the 2011 season. He returned to Iowa in 2017 to coach Iowa’s quarterbacks.
Ferentz is the only Division I coach to coach three sons. Brian Ferentz, a former Hawkeye letterman and captain (2003-05), is in his seventh season on Iowa’s coaching staff. James Ferentz was a three-year starter on the Hawkeye offensive line and a team captain before graduating in 2013. Steven was an offensive lineman and letterwinner in 2015 and 2016.
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE
TE Noah Fant has 13 career touchdown receptions, tying Quinn Early and Mike Flagg for 10th all-time in program history. The 13 touchdowns receptions tie Flagg for most by a tight end in program history.
Twelve of Fant’s touchdown receptions have come from QB Nate Stanley over the Hawkeyes’ last 15 games. His first career touchdown reception came from QB C.J. Beathard (5 yards, at Purdue on Oct. 15, 2016).
His 13 career touchdowns have come from near and far, listed in chronological order: 5, 2, 27, 23, 7, 45, 25, 3, 6, 4, 69, 8, 1.
Fant was one of 10 conference players named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List. He had 30 receptions last season, including a team-high 11 touchdowns, tied for most in the country among FBS tight ends and the most by a Hawkeye since Marvin McNutt caught 12 touchdown passes in 2012. Fant led Iowa and all FBS tight ends with 16.5 yards per catch in 2017.
Iowa leads the all-time series 16-1. Ten of the 14 meetings occurred before 1915. The Hawkeyes hold a perfect 16-0 advantage in games played in Iowa City. UNI’s only victory came in 1898 at Cedar Falls (11-5) in the first meeting between the two teams.
The team’s last met in the 2014 season-opener, a 31-23 Iowa victory. The 23 points scored by UNI marked the most points the Panthers have scored against Iowa. The Hawkeyes average 36.1 points per game in the series.
FILLING HOLES IN TAKEAWAYS
Iowa had one interception in its 33-7 win against Northern Illinois Week 1 (Amani Hooker). The Hawkeyes led the nation with 21 interceptions in 2017. The Hawkeyes return nine of the 21 thefts, led by safeties Jake Gervase (3) and Hooker (2). Returners DE Parker Hesse, S Geno Stone, LB Kristian Welch, and DL Brady Reiff also recorded interceptions last season. Iowa lost the nation’s leader in interceptions, Josh Jackson (8), and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Josey Jewell (2), to the NFL. Both players were consensus All-Americans.
Iowa has at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of the last 10 seasons, and 15 of the last 17 seasons.
IOWA LEADERSHIP GROUP
The University of Iowa football program has 12 players among its 2018 Leadership Group. The group includes six seniors, five juniors, and one sophomore. The Leadership Group votes on the weekly game day captains, is involved in team decision-making throughout the season, and provides feedback to the head coach. Players were selected by team vote.
The group consists of seniors WR Nick Easley, DB Jake Gervase, DE Parker Hesse, LB Aaron Mends, DL Matt Nelson, and OL Keegan Renders, juniors DB Amani Hooker, LB Amani Jones, DL Anthony Nelson, FB Brady Ross, and QB Nate Stanley, and sophomore RB Toren Young.
BACK ON CAMPUS
Four former players are on the University of Iowa football staff in 2018. Brian Ferentz, a three-year letterman from 2003-05, is in his seventh year on staff, his second as offensive coordinator.
LeVar Woods, a three-year letterman from 1998-2000, enters his 11th year on the Iowa staff. Woods was named Special Teams Coordinator in 2017. He coached tight ends from 2015-17 and linebackers from 2012-14. He rejoined the program as an administrative assistant in 2008.
Kelvin Bell joined the Iowa program as a defensive lineman in 2000, but had his career cut short due to injury. He returned to the program as a graduate assistant and served as director of on-campus recruiting from 2012-13, before being named recruiting coordinator and defensive assistant coach in February, 2016.
Broderick Binns, a four-year letterman from 2008-11, was named director of player development in April, 2016. Binns previously served as a graduate assistant in 2014 and 2015, working with Hawkeye special teams.
Iowa has six players on its roster whose father played for the Hawkeyes: TE Drew Cook (Marv in 1985-88), DL A.J. Epenesa (Epenesa in 1997), WR Henry Marchese (John in 1985), DE Anthony Nelson and DE Nathan Nelson (Jeff in 1990-92), and QB Ryan Schmidt (Rick 1984-85).
Iowa has four sets of the brothers on the team: DL Jack Kallenberger and OL Mark Kallenberger, DL Anthony Nelson and DL Nathan Nelson, OL Landan Paulsen and OL Levi Paulsen, and TE Ben Subbert and LS Jackson Subbert.
Iowa has two players whose brothers played at Iowa: LB Nick Niemann (Ben in 2014-17) and DL Brady Reiff (Riley in 2008-11). Both older brothers are currently playing in the NFL.
LS Austin Spiewak is the grandson of Gary Grouwinkel, who played for Iowa in the 1957 and 1959 Rose Bowl Games.
OL Trey Winters is the son of James Winters, a former All-Big Ten basketball player who led the Hawkeyes in scoring in 1994.
LB Dillon Doyle is the son of head strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.
Junior offensive linemen Landan and Levi Paulsen are the sixth set of twins to play football at the University of Iowa. The offensive linemen from Woodbury High School in Northwest Iowa join the company of Leo and Lloyd Jensvold (1929-30), Harold and Herbert Shoener (1946-47), Kent and Kevin Ellis (1977-80), Aaron and Evan Kooiker (1992), and Shane and Shaun Prater (2008).
The last brothers to start in the same game for the Hawkeyes weere James and LeShun Daniels. James was Iowa’s starting center in the 2016 season opener against Miami (Ohio), and LeShun was Iowa’s starting running back.
The last twins to start for the Hawkeyes were SS Kent Ellis and CB Kevin Ellis in 1980.
HAWKEYES AT NIGHT
The Hawkeyes host at least one night game in 2018. Northern Iowa visits Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 15 for a 6:30 p.m. (CT) kickoff. Iowa has hosted 16 night games in Kinnick Stadium’s history, holding an 11-5 record in those contests. Below is a list of night games in Kinnick Stadium:
Date Opponent Result Start Time
Sept. 5, 1992 #1 Miami, FL L, 24-7 7 p.m.
Sept. 18, 1999 N. Illinois W, 24-0 5 p.m.
Sept. 14, 2002 Iowa State L, 36-31 5 p.m.
Sept. 20, 2003 #16 Arizona St. W, 21-2 5 p.m.
Sept. 30, 2006 #1 Ohio State L, 38-17 7 p.m.
Sept. 8, 2007 Syracuse W, 35-0 7 p.m.
Oct. 10, 2009 Michigan W, 30-28 7 p.m.
Oct. 2, 2010 #20 Penn State W, 24-3 7 p.m.
Oct. 15, 2011 Northwestern W, 41-31 6 p.m.
Oct. 20, 2012 Penn State L, 38-14 7 p.m.
Sept. 19, 2015 Pittsburgh W, 27-24 7 p.m.
Nov. 14, 2015 Minnesota W, 40-35 7 p.m.
Sept. 10, 2016 Iowa State W, 42-3 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 12, 2016 #2 Michigan W, 14-13 7 p.m.
Sept. 23, 2017 #4 Penn State L, 21-19 6:42 p.m.
Oct. 28, 2017 Minnesota W, 17-10 5:35 p.m.
ALL ABOARD TO KINNICK STADIUM!
The Hawkeye Express, the passenger train that transports fans from Coralville to Kinnick Stadium, is in its 15th season in 2018.
Adults can ride the train for $15, round trip, while children (12-and-under) ride for free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UI Ticket Office or on game day (cash only on game day) at the Hawkeye Express depot located near the boarding ramp. The trip to Kinnick Stadium is approximately 10 minutes. Media credentials are accepted, as well.
Free parking is located in lots near the Comfort Suites and Coral Ridge Mall. Fans can begin boarding the train three hours prior to kickoff. Return trips begin at the start of the fourth period and run 90 minutes after the game.
The Hawkeye Express is owned by the Iowa Northern Railway Company and operates on the Iowa Interstate Railroad.
REINVENTING THE STADIUM WAVE
The University of Iowa football program received the prestigious 2017 Disney Sports Spirit Award after launching a heart-warming tradition at its home games last season that touched the lives of scores of young patients at the University’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
In a tradition that started at the 2017 season opener, fans inside Kinnick Stadium and patients and families inside the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital exchange waves at the end of the first quarter of each home game.
The UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital opened in 2017. It is connected to the south end of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and overlooks Kinnick Stadium from the southeast grandstands. During Iowa football home games, patients and their families can watch the game from the top floor (Level 12), one of the highest vantage points in Iowa City.
HAWK TALK WITH KIRK FERENTZ
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz is featured on “Hawk Talk with Kirk Ferentz” each week during the regular season. The radio call-in show is hosted by Gary Dolphin, the play-by-play voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The show airs live each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. from Carlos O’Kelly’s in Iowa City. The first show is Aug. 29. There is no show during the Hawkeyes’ by week (Wednesday, Sept. 26).