|IOWA vs. MIAMI, OHIO|
|DATE||Saturday, Aug. 31 | 6:40 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 is named to four preseason All-America first teams, is listed on six preseason watch lists, and is preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com. The junior led the Big Ten and ranked ninth in the country with 10.5 sacks last season. (page 7)
2: QB Nate Stanley is named to six preseason watch lists and listed on the preseason Big Ten third team by Phil Steele. Stanley has started the last 26 games at quarterback for the Hawkeyes, and has thrown 26 touchdown passes in each of the last two seasons. (pages 6, 11)
3: WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette has been named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list, an honor bestowed to the most versatile player in college football. Smith-Marsette led the Big Ten and ranked No. 2 in the country last season, averaging 29.5 yards on 24 kickoff returns. (pages 7, 11)
4: The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten and tied for second in the country last season with 20 interceptions. Over the last two seasons, no school has more interceptions than Iowa. The Hawkeyes had 41 combined interceptions in 2017 in 2018.
5: Iowa returns its three primary running backs from last season. Juniors Ivory Kelly-Martin, Mekhi Sargent, and Toren Young combined for 392 carries, 1,723 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns (nine by Sargent, five by Young, and two by Kelly-Martin). Sargent is named on the Doak Walker Award Preseason Watch List. (page 8)
6: The Hawkeyes return three starters – Cole Banwart, Alaric Jackson, Tristan Wirfs — from an offensive line that allowed 16 quarterback sacks last season, tied for fewest in the Big Ten (Rutgers). Jackson and Wirfs are both are named on the Outland Trophy Watch List. (page 7)
7: Iowa is 96-32-2 (.744) in season-opening games, including a 17-3 mark under coach Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes have won five straight season openers and are 17-1 since 2001. Iowa has won eight straight nonconference games over the last two seasons.
8: Iowa opens the season under the lights at Kinnick Stadium for the first time in program history. Iowa has hosted 18 night games in Kinnick Stadium’s history, holding a 12-6 record in those contests. (page 4)
9: Iowa is one of 15 teams to win at least eight games in every season since 2015. The Hawkeyes are 37-16 since 2015. (Alabama, Appalachian State, Boise State, Clemson, Georgia, Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Ohio, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Washington State, Wisconsin).
10: Head coach Kirk Ferentz’s 152 wins in all games coached as a member of the Big Ten Conference rank fifth in league history. The top five includes Woody Hayes (202), Amos Alonza Stagg (199), Bo Schembechler (194), Joe Paterno (162), and Ferentz (152). Ferentz is on the preseason Bobby Dodd Trophy watch list. (page 5)
Iowa has played 1,246 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 650-557-39 (.537). That includes a 405-221-16 (.643) record in home games, a 245-336-23 (.425) record in games away from Iowa City, a 329-378-25 (.465) mark in Big Ten games and a 289-186-15 (.607) record in Kinnick Stadium.
When Iowa hosts Minnesota on Nov. 16, it will mark the 130th anniversary of Iowa football. The Hawkeyes played their first football game on Nov. 16, 1889, against Grinnell.
Iowa is 4-0 all-time against Miami, Ohio. The Hawkeyes won the last meeting, 45-21, in 2016 in Iowa City. Iowa is 3-0 at home against the Red Hawks, and 1-0 on the road. Iowa is 23-4 all-time against teams from the Mid-American Conference.
HAWKEYES AT NIGHT
Iowa opens the 2019 season hosting Miami, Ohio under the lights at Kinnick Stadium. It is the first time in program history Iowa has opened the season under the lights at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa has hosted 18 night games in Kinnick Stadium’s history, holding a 12-6 record in those contests.
WIN, GRADUATE, DO IT RIGHT
Ten Hawkeyes wear a decal on their helmets indicating they have received their undergraduate degrees from the University of Iowa. The graduates include Drew Cook, John Milani, Landan Paulsen, Levi Paulsen, Colton Rastetter, Brady Reiff, Brady Ross, Ryan Schmidt, Jackson Subbert, and Nate Wieting.
STANLEY CLIMBS SCHOOL AND CONFERENCE CHARTS
QB Nate Stanley is named to six preseason watch lists and listed on the preseason Big Ten third team by Phil Steele. Stanley has started the last 26 games at quarterback for the Hawkeyes, and has thrown 26 touchdown passes in each of the last two seasons.
He threw 26 touchdown passes in 2018, second most in the Big Ten, one shy of tying Chuck Long (1985) for the most in single season school history, and tied for second most all-time in single season history. Stanley also threw 26 touchdown passes in 2017. Stanley’s 52 touchdown passes over the last two seasons are the most ever in school history over a two-year span. Long tossed 49 touchdown passes from 1984 (22) to 1985 (27).
Stanley’s 52 career touchdowns passes rank fourth all-time in program history. He trails Long (74), Drew Tate (61), and Ricky Stanzi (56) on the all-time list. His 2.0 touchdowns per start are more than any other quarterback in school history with at least 15 starts.
Stanley threw for a career-high 2,852 yards in 2018, the seventh-highest single-season total in school history. He ranks ninth in career passing yards (5,351) and career total offense (5,240).
The Hawkeyes have averaged 29.7 points per game in Stanley’s 26 career starts. That average ranks fifth in school history, and third among quarterbacks with at least 20 starts. The 29.7 points per game average ranks ninth among active quarterbacks nationally.
Nate Stanley Awards Watch
- Walter Camp Player of the Year Preseason Watch List
- Manning Award Preseason Watch List
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Preseason Watch List
- Maxwell Award Preseason Watch List
- O’Brien Award Preseason Watch List
- CFPA Player of the Year Award Preseason Watch List
- Preseason third-team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele
- Preseason fourth-team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports
BEST IN THE BIG TEN
DE A.J. Epenesa is named to four preseason All-America first teams, is listed on six preseason watch lists, and is preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com. He has not started a game in two seasons.
The junior led the Big Ten and ranked ninth in the country with 10.5 sacks last season. He ranked second in the conference and 16th nationally in forced fumbles (4), and ranked fourth in the Big Ten in tackles for loss. He totaled 37 tackles, four pass breakups, eight QB pressures, and a blocked punt in 2018. He recovered his own forced fumble and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown at Illinois.
Epenesa recorded at least one sack in nine of 13 games last season and was named first-team All-Big Ten by league media, and second-team All-Big Ten by league coaches.
The Hawkeyes ranked third in the Big Ten last season with 35 sacks, the second highest single-season total in the Ferentz era (2002, 40). Eleven Hawkeyes contributed to Iowa’s sack total. DE Parker Hesse had four, DE Chauncey Golston had 3.5, LB Kristian Welch had 1.5, and DB Amani Hooker, LB Amani Jones, DT Cedrick Lattimore, DT Brady Reiff, DT Matt Nelson, and LB Nick Niemann each had one.
A.J. Epenesa Awards Watch
- Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List
- Big Ten Conference Preseason Watch List
- Bednarik Award Preseason Watch List
- Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List
- Polynesian Player of the Year Preseason Watch List
- Hendricks Award Preseason Watch List
- Preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com
- Preseason first team All-America by Associated Press
- Preseason first-team All-America by Sports Illustrated
- Preseason first-team All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com
- Preseason first-team All-America by Athlon Sports
- Preseason second-team All-America by Phil Steele
- Preseason first-team All-Big Ten by CollegeFootballNews.com
- Preseason first-team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele
- Preseason first-team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports
RETURN TO SENDER
WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette has been named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list, an honor bestowed to the most versatile player in college football. Smith-Marsette led the Big Ten and ranked No. 2 in the country last season, averaging 29.5 yards on 24 kickoff returns. He was named Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year in the Big Ten Conference.
In 2018, Smith-Marsette had 23 receptions for 361 yards and three touchdowns. His 15.7 yards per catch led the Hawkeyes (minimum 20 receptions).
Smith-Marsette averages 30.0 yards on 28 career kickoff returns. The Big Ten record of average kickoff return yardage (minimum 40 returns) is 28.8, set by Stan Brown of Purdue (1968-70).
The Hawkeyes return three starters from an offensive line that allowed 16 quarterback sacks last season, tied for fewest in the Big Ten (Rutgers). Then-sophomores Alaric Jackson and Tristan Wirfs started the final 12 games at the tackle positions, and then-sophomore Cole Banwart made seven starts at right guard, including the final five games of the season. Jackson and Wirfs are both named on the Outland Trophy Watch List.
C Keegan Render and LG Ross Reynolds graduated in 2018 and are now playing in the NFL. Render started 26 consecutive games, including the last 13 at center. Iowa opens 2019 with redshirt freshman Tyler Linderbuam starting at center. He is the first freshman to start at center since Raphael Eubanks started nine games in 2006. G Levi Paulsen has three career starts, all Iowa wins.
SARGENT LEADS RUNNING BACK BY COMMITTEE
Iowa returns its three primary running backs from last season. Juniors Ivory Kelly-Martin, Mekhi Sargent, and Toren Young combined for 392 carries, 1,723 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns (nine by Sargent, five by Young, and two by Kelly-Martin). Sargent is named on the Doak Walker Award Preseason Watch List.
The trio shared the workload. Sargent had 40.6 percent of the carries (159-745), Young had 34.7 percent of the attempts (136-637), and Kelly-Martin has 24.7 percent of the carries (97-341).
Sargent rushed for 100-plus yards in each of the last two regular season games. He rushed for a career-high 173 yards on a career-high 26 carries against Nebraska in Week 12. He added a rushing score (15) and touchdown reception (5). In Iowa’s 63-0 win at Illinois in Week 11, Sargent rushed for a then career-high 121 yards, becoming Iowa’s first 100-yard back since RB Akrum Wadley in Week 12 of 2017. Sargent had a pair of touchdowns against the Illini. He led the team with 10 total touchdowns.
GRAND THEFT SECONDARY
The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten and tied for second in the country last season with 20 interceptions. Over the last two seasons, no school has more interceptions than Iowa. The Hawkeyes have 41 interceptions since 2017. Boston College has 36. Appalachian State, Cal, and Troy have 35.
SS Geno Stone tied for the team lead with four interceptions (Amani Hooker and Jake Gervase are now in the NFL). Three of Stone’s four thefts were in the fourth quarter. He intercepted Trace McSorley on the Penn State 24-yard line and returned it for a touchdown in Week 8. He intercepted Minnesota inside the 5-yard line on Minnesota’s final play of the game, and had a fourth quarter interception against Indiana in the end zone. He started at strong safety Weeks 5-13, his first career starts.
Iowa has at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of the last 11 seasons, and 16 of the last 18 seasons.
FERENTZ MOVES UP BIG TEN CHARTS
Head coach Kirk Ferentz’s 152 wins in all games coached as a member of the Big Ten Conference rank fifth in league history. He is one of five coaches in Big Ten Conference history to win at least 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 (152).
Ferentz has 91 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 91 conference wins rank sixth among the conference’s all-time winningest coaches in Big Ten games.
Ferentz (152-101) 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 21st season in 2019.
Both Ferentz (152, 91) 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 enters his 21st 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 also enter their 21st seasons on Iowa’s staff. 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), enters his eighth 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.
IN THE RANKINGS
Iowa is ranked No. 19 in the preseason coaches poll and No. 20 in the AP preseason poll. It is the 24th time Iowa has appeared in the AP preseason poll, and the first time since opening at No. 17 in 2016.
Iowa has five opponents ranked in the AP preseason top 25 (#7 Michigan, #15 Penn State, #19 Wisconsin, #21 Iowa State, #24 Nebraska). A year ago, Iowa was 1-2 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25. The Hawkeyes fell to No. 18 Wisconsin, 27-17, on Sept. 22, lost, 30-24, on Oct. 27 at No. 17 Penn State, and defeated No. 18 Mississippi State, 27-22, on Jan. 1 at the 2019 Outback Bowl.
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 VUE Rooftop at the Hilton Garden Inn in Iowa City. The first show is Aug. 28. There is no show during the Hawkeyes’ bye weeks (Wednesday, Sept. 18 and Wednesday, Oct. 30).
HALL OF FAME
The University of Iowa Athletics Department’s 31st Hall of Fame class — Jeremy Allen, Deb Brickey, Eric Juergens, Marc Long, Diane Pohl, Leroy Smith, and Tangela Smith — will be inducted into the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 30, the evening prior to the season opener against Miami, Ohio.
The UI Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Aug. 30 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. The induction ceremony and reception are open to the public. For more information please call the Iowa Varsity Club office at (319) 335-9438.
All Hawkeye athletes who have earned at least one varsity letter award at Iowa are eligible for the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame. Athletes must have completed their eligibility 10 years, and coaches/administrators five years prior to their induction.
IOWA LEADERSHIP GROUP
The University of Iowa football program includes 19 student-athletes – 18 seniors and one junior. The Leadership Group assists in formulating team policies and is involved in team decision-making throughout the year. Players were selected by team vote.
The group consists of seniors Drew Cook, Wes Dvorak, Amani Jones, Cedrick Lattimore, John Milani, Michael Ojemudia, Landan Paulsen, Levi Paulsen, Colten Rastetter, Brady Reiff, Brady Ross, Ryan Schmidt, Nate Stanley, Jackson Subbert, Nate Vejvoda, Kristian Welch, Nate Wieting, and Devonte Young, and junior Toren Young.
FRYfest is in its 11th 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. This year’s FRYfest is Aug. 30, and includes the World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow, a panel discussion and autograph session with the 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame class, the Hawkeye pep rally, and a “High Porch Block Party” that includes the kids zone, bags tournament, fireworks, and live music by The Spazmatics.
The 2019 FRYfest is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the 2004 Iowa football team with a panel discussion that includes Hawkeyes Warren Holloway, Chad Greenway, Matt Roth, and others.
For more information on FRYfest: A Celebration of All that is Hawkeye, please visit FRYfest.com.