|IOWA at PURDUE|
|DATE||Saturday, Nov. 3 | 2:30 p.m. CT|
|LOCATION||West Lafayette, Indiana | Ross-Ade Stadium (57,236)|
|RADIO | LISTEN||Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access|
1st and 10
1: With one more win, Kirk Ferentz becomes the fifth coach in conference history to win 150 games as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The top five includes Woody Hayes (202), Amos Alonza Stagg (199), Bo Schembechler (194), Joe Paterno (162), and Ferentz (149).
2: Iowa has had a different running back rush for a career high in yards in each of the last three weeks. RB Mekhi Sargent set career bests in carries (16) and yards (91) Week 8 at Penn State. RB Ivory Kelly-Martin rushed for a career-high 98 yards Week 7 against Maryland, and RB Toren Young rushed for a career-best 96 yards Week 6 at Indiana.
3: Iowa scored 40 points or more in its first two road games and averages 38.0 points per game in three road contests (2-1). The Hawkeyes put up 48 points at Minnesota Week 5 and 42 points at Indiana Week 6. The 40-plus points scored at Minnesota and Indiana marked the first time in program history Iowa has scored 40 points or more in consecutive road Big Ten games in the same season.
4: Iowa leads the country averaging 31.8 yards per kickoff return. WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette averages 33.7 yards on nine returns, best in the Big Ten and second in the country.
5: QB Nate Stanley has 16 touchdown passes this season, second in the Big Ten. He has 42 career touchdowns passes, fifth all-time in program history. He is one shy of tying Matt Sherman for fourth all-time. He is 86 yards shy of entering Iowa’s all-time top 10 in passing yards.
6: TE Noah Fant and TE T.J. Hockenson have combined for 855 receiving yards on 59 catches, including nine receiving touchdowns. Hockenson leads the team with 424 yards receiving. Fant has six touchdowns, tied for sixth in the Big Ten and tied for the most among all FBS tight ends (Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M). He leads the team with 31 receptions.
7: The Hawkeyes rank second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (16.1), rushing defense (84.4), passing defense (180.5), and total defense (264.9). The Hawkeyes are the only team to rank in the top two in all four categories.
8: Senior C Keegan Render leads an offensive line that has allowed nine QB sacks, fewest in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes start two sophomore offensive tackles (LT Alaric Jackson and RT Tristan Wirfs), and guards Ross Reynolds, Dalton Ferguson, and Cole Banwart. Reynolds has started every game at LG, Banwart and Ferguson rotate at RG.
9: The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten with 25 sacks. DE Anthony Nelson leads the team and ranks second in the Big Ten with 6.5 sacks. DE A.J. Epenesa is tied for third in the Big Ten with 6.0 sacks.
10: Iowa’s defense allows 2.8 yards per carry, tied for seventh in the country, and has allowed only five rushing touchdowns, tied for fourth in the country. Iowa has allowed 124 first downs, second fewest in the Big Ten and tied for sixth in the country.
Purdue holds a 47-38-3 advantage in the series that began with a 16-0 Iowa win in 1910. The Hawkeyes have won four of the last five meetings. Purdue won last year in Iowa City to snap Iowa’s four-game winning streak in the series.
Iowa has won on its last four visits to Purdue. The Hawkeyes last loss at Purdue was in 2007. Iowa has won nine of the last 12, and 21 of the last 29 meetings. Iowa is 17-27-1 in games played in West Lafayette.
Iowa and the Boilermakers battled to a 21-21 tie at West Lafayette in 1994. That game marks the last tie game for Iowa before the college football tie-breaker system was put in place.
Iowa has played 1,241 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 647-555-39 (.537). That includes a 404-220-16 (.643) record in home games, a 243-335-23 (.421) record in games away from Iowa City, a 327-376-25 (.465) mark in Big Ten games and a 288-185-15 (.607) record in Kinnick Stadium.
6 THROUGH THE AIR
QB Nate Stanley has 16 touchdown passes, second in the Big Ten. He is on pace to throw 26 touchdown passes this season (including bowl game). In 2017, Stanley threw 26 touchdown passes, one shy of tying Chuck Long (1985) for most in a single season in school history.
Stanley has 42 career touchdowns passes, fifth most in program history. He is one shy of tying Matt Sherman (43) for fourth all-time.
Stanley set a career high with six touchdown passes Week 6 at Indiana. He threw the six touchdowns to five different players, marking just the second time in program history five different Hawkeyes had a receiving touchdown in the same game. He also had 320 yards passing, the fourth 300-yard passing game of his career (third in the last four weeks). His performance earned him Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors.
Stanley had 14 touchdowns combined from Weeks 3-6. That touchdown total tied for the most ever over a four-game stretch in school history (Chuck Long threw 14 touchdowns over a four-game stretch in 1985). He has four multi-touchdown games this season, and 11 in his career.
Six of Stanley’s 16 touchdown passes this season have gone to TE Noah Fant. He and Fant have connected for touchdowns 17 times over the last 20 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, Fant caught a team-high 11 touchdown passes, followed by 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.
Stanley threw for a season-high 314 yards (third career 300-yard game) and four touchdowns in Week 5’s win at Minnesota. His 4,263 career passing yards rank 11th all-time.
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN IN FRONT
The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten with 25 sacks. DE Anthony Nelson leads the team and ranks second in the Big Ten with 6.5 sacks. DE A.J. Epenesa is tied for third in the Big Ten with 6.0 sacks.
Nelson recorded a career-best three sacks Week 5 at Minnesota. Epenesa has recorded at least one sack in five of eight games.
Ten Hawkeyes have contributed to the sack total. DE Parker Hesse has four, DE Chauncey Golston has 2.5, and LB Amani Jones, DT Cedrick Lattimore, DT Brady Reiff, DT Matt Nelson, LB Nick Niemann, and LB Kristian Welch each have one.
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE
The Hawkeyes rank second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (16.1), rushing defense (84.4), passing defense (180.5), and total defense (264.9). The Hawkeyes are the only team to rank in the top two in all four categories.
Iowa is 11th in the country in scoring defense. The Hawkeyes have held four of their opponents to a season-low in points (Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Indiana, Maryland).
In Week 7 against Maryland, the Hawkeyes recorded the 10th shutout of the Ferentz era, holding the Terps to 115 yards of total offense, the fewest ever allowed to a Big Ten opponent under Ferentz.
Iowa’s rushing defense and total defense both rank fourth in the country.
Iowa allows 2.8 yards per carry, tied for seventh in the country, and has allowed only five rushing touchdowns, tied for fourth in the country.
The Hawkeyes limited Iowa State to just 19 yards rushing in Week 2, and held Northern Iowa to six rushing yards in Week 3 – a total that ranks second all-time in the Ferentz era (20 years). Iowa has held five of its seven opponents to below 100 yards rushing.
Iowa has allowed 124 first downs, second fewest in the Big Ten and tied for sixth in the country.
NUMBER ONE IN THE LAND
The Hawkeyes lead the country averaging 31.8 yards per kickoff return. WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette ranks No. 2 in the country, averaging 33.7 yards on nine returns. Iowa has returned 12 kickoffs this season. Kyle Groeneweg averages 27.0 yards on two returns. Devonte Young has one return for 24 yards.
Senior C Keegan Render leads an offensive line that has allowed nine quarterback sacks, fewest in the Big Ten. The next closest teams have surrendered 12 sacks. Iowa had allowed just six sacks in Weeks 1-7 before surrendering three sacks at Penn State.
The Hawkeyes start two sophomore offensive tackles (LT Alaric Jackson and RT Tristan Wirfs), and guards Ross Reynolds, Dalton Ferguson, and Cole Banwart. Reynolds has started every game at left guard, Banwart and Ferguson have shared starts at right guard.
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE
TE Noah Fant has 18 career touchdown receptions, more than any other tight end in program history and enough for fourth all-time in program history. He has six touchdowns in 2018, tied for sixth in the Big Ten and tied for the most among all FBS tight ends (Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M). He leads the team with 31 receptions.
Fant’s 18 touchdown receptions rank third all-time in Big Ten history by a tight end (Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin).
Fant had two touchdown receptions against No. 18 Wisconsin in Week 4. It was the fourth multi-touchdown game of his career. Since 2000, the only Big Ten tight ends with four multi-touchdown games are Fant (4) and former Penn State TE Mike Gesicki (4).
Seventeen of Fant’s touchdown receptions have come from QB Nate Stanley. His first career touchdown reception came from QB C.J. Beathard (5 yards, at Purdue on Oct. 15, 2016).
His 18 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, 5, 20, 1, 5, 28.
Fant had 102 yards receiving at Indiana in Week 6. It was his second career 100-yard receiving game (Nebraska, 2017).
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.
THE OTHER HALF OF THE TWO-HEADED MONSTER
TE T.J. Hockenson has hauled in a team-high 487 receiving yards on 28 catches, both career highs. His three touchodwns match his single-season career best (2017).
Hockenson added a rushing touchdown to his career stats at Minnesota, taking a direct snap on a fake field goal and rushing four yards for the score. Hockenson has led or shared the team lead in receptions in Weeks 1, 2, 4, and 6. His 17.4 yards per reception rank second on the team (Sargent 18.0).
Hockenson and TE Noah Fant rank 1-2 on the team in receptions, and have combined for 855 receiving yards on 59 catches, including nine receiving touchdowns.
PRETTY SPECIAL TEAMS
Iowa leads the country averaging 31.8 yards per kickoff return. WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette averages 33.7 yards on nine returns, best in the Big Ten and second in the country.
K Miguel Recinos connected on a career-best three field goals Week 7 against Maryland, and kicked a career-long 49-yard field goal at Penn State. He has made his last nine field goal attempts, dating back to Week 3.
P Colton Rastetter ranks sixth in the Big Ten, averaging 42.0 yards per punt. He threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to DT Sam Brinks on a fake field goal at Penn State.
KICKING THE TRAVEL BUG
Iowa scored 40 points or more in its first two road games and averages 38.0 points per game in three road contests (2-1).
The Hawkeyes put up 48 points at Minnesota Week 5 and 42 points at Indiana Week 6. The 40-plus points scored at Minnesota and Indiana marked the first time in program history Iowa has scored 40 points or more in consecutive road Big Ten games in the same season.
Iowa scored 24 points at Penn State, though none came from an offensive set. The Hawkeyes recorded two safeties, kicked two field goals, returned one interception for a touchdown, and scored one touchdown via special teams (fake field goal).
RECEIVERS COME ALIVE AT MINNESOTA
WR Nick Easley, WR Brandon Smith, and WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette combined for 14 catches, 198 yards, and two touchdowns in Iowa’s 48-31 win at Minnesota in Week 5. The trio entered the game with a combined 24 catches, 311 yards receiving, and one touchdown).
WR Nick Easley had a team-high six receptions (52 yards, 1 touchdown).
Smith-Marsette finished the game with three catches for a career-high 78 yards. His 60-yard touchdown reception was a career-long reception. It is also Iowa’s longest play from scrimmage this season. Smith-Marsette added two kickoff returns for 83 yards.
Brandon Smith set career highs in receptions (5) and receiving yards (68). He entered the game with five catches for 78 yards.
NEW WEEK, NEW LEGS, NEW CAREER BESTS
Iowa has had a different running back rush for a career high in yards in each of the last three weeks. RB Mekhi Sargent set career bests in carries (16) and yards (91) Week 8 at Penn State. RB Ivory Kelly-Martin rushed for a career-high 98 yards Week 7 against Maryland, and RB Toren Young rushed for a career-best 96 yards Week 6 at Indiana.
The trio of sophomores has combined for 1,102 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns, four by Sargent, two by Young, and one by Kelly-Martin.
Young and Kelly-Martin share the team lead with 89 carries apiece. Young leads the team with 421 yards. He hauled in his first career touchdown reception at Indiana. Kelly-Martin has 293 rushing yards, third on the team.
Sargent has a team-best four rushing touchdowns. The junior college transfer has 79 carries and 388 rushing yards, second on the team.
Kelly-Martin entered the season on top of the depth chart, but missed Weeks 2, 3, and 6 due to injury. He returned to the starting lineup Week 7 against Maryland and set career highs in attempts (24) and yards (98).
The Hawkeye do not have a junior or senior among the position group. 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).
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.
FILLING HOLES IN TAKEAWAYS
Iowa has eight interceptions over the last four games, including a pick-six Week 8 at Penn State. SS Geno Stone intercepted Trace McSorley on the Penn State 24-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. It was Iowa’s first pick-six of the season, and marked the 11th straight year Iowa has returned an interception for a touchdown. The Hawkeyes had four interceptions in Week 5 at Minnesota, a pair of picks at Indiana in Week 6, and one theft in Week 7 against Maryland.
Stone has a team-best three interceptions this season, all in the fourth quarter. Stone intercepted Minnesota inside the five-yard line on Minnesota’s final play of the game, and had a fourth quarter interception against Indiana in the endzone. He has started at strong safety Weeks 5-8, his first career starts. Iowa has eight interceptions since he joined the starting lineup.
True freshman DB Riley Moss and true freshman DB Julius Brents both recorded interceptions in their first career starts at Minnesota. Moss had two interceptions for 36 yards. Brents intercepted one pass (0 yards).
The Hawkeyes have nine interceptions in 2018, tied for third in the Big Ten. 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 Amani Hooker (2). DE Parker Hesse, 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 11 seasons, and 16 of the last 18 seasons.
DE Anthony Nelson recovered a fumble for a touchdown Week 7 against Maryland, marking the 11th straight season Iowa has scored a defensive touchdown.
NEW FACES IN THE CROWD
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. Iowa has used five different starting linebacker combinations this season.
SS Amani Hooker made his first career start at outside linebacker Week 5 at Minnesota, the first of his four consecutive starts at the position. Hooker is the sixth Hawkeye to start at the linebacker position this season. The others include first-time starters LB Djimon Colbert, LB Jack Hockaday, LB Amani Jones, LB Nick Niemann, and LB Kristian Welch.
Week 1 starting linebackers Jones, Welch, and Niemann started for the first time in their careers in Iowa’s 33-7 win over Northern Illinois.
Niemann started Week 2 alongside first-time starters Hockaday and Colbert in Iowa’s 13-3 win over Iowa State.
Welch returned to the lineup in Week 3, starting alongside Niemann and Hockaday. The same trio started Week 4.
Colbert, Hockaday, and Hooker got the start in Week 5.
Colbert, Welch, and Hooker got the start in Weeks 6-8.
Niemann had not missed a start until Week 5. He suffered an injury in the fourth quarter against Wisconsin and did not play at Minnesota or at Indiana. He returned to action Week 7 against Maryland.
Hockaday was the team leader in tackles before exiting Week 5 with an injury. He did not play in Weeks 6-7, but returned to action Week 8 at Penn State.
Welch ranks second on the team in tackles (43), despite missing Week 2 and seeing limited time in Week 5 due to injury.
The five linebackers (not including Hooker) 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 (149-99) 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 coached Iowa for 20 years (1979-98). Ferentz is in his 20th season.
Ferentz’s 149 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 34-13 mark since 2015.
Ferentz has 89 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 89 conference wins rank sixth among the conference’s all-time winningest coaches in Big Ten games.
Both Ferentz (149, 89) 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.
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 Nov. 21 show has been rescheduled for Nov. 19 to avoid a conflict with an Iowa men’s basketball game.