|IOWA vs. ILLINOIS|
|DATE||Saturday, Nov. 23 | 11 a.m. CT|
|LOCATION||Iowa City, Iowa | Kinnick Stadium (69,250)|
|RADIO | LISTEN||Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access|
1: Iowa met Illinois in Week 11 last year and recorded the largest win in the 74-game series, 63-0. The 63-point margin of victory is Iowa’s largest in the Ferentz era and ties for the 12th-biggest in program history.
2. Junior K Keith Duncan leads the country with an Iowa single-season school-record 23 field goals made. His 86.5 field goal percentage is the best ever among Iowa kickers with at least 30 field goal attempts (32-37).
3. Junior DE A.J. Epenesa leads a defense that ranks in the top 20 in scoring, rushing, and total defense. Iowa is fifth in the country in scoring defense (12.4 ppg), 12th in total defense (303.1 ypg), and 16th in rushing defense (106.5 ypg). Epenesa has 7.0 sacks, 9 QBH, and 2 FF. He was named B1G Defensive POW Nov. 18.
4: Iowa’s scoring defense is the lowest total of the Ferentz era (next best is 13.0 in 2008), and the lowest by any Hawkeye team since 1959 (11.1). Iowa has held seven-of-10 opponents to their season-low point total.
5. Freshman RB Tyler Goodson became the first true freshman to start at running back under Ferentz since 2012 (Greg Garmon) in Iowa’s 23-19 win against #8 Minnesota in Week 10. Goodson rushed for 94 yards against the Gophers. The Hawkeyes have three running backs with at least 70 carries, and all three have started at least one game.
6: Senior QB Nate Stanley has started the last 36 games at quarterback (24-12). He ranks second in school history in passing touchdowns (66), and third in passing yards (7,682). He ranks third in the Big Ten in passing yards (2,331) and passing yards per game (233.1).
7: Iowa’s senior class has an overall record of 32-17, including a 19-8 mark at home, a 19-15 record in Big Ten games, and a 13-5 record in trophy games (11-4 in rivalry games, 2-1 in bowl games).
8. Redshirt freshman WR Tyrone Tracy has 16 receptions for 323 yards the last four games. He had 12 receptions for 190 yards in the first six games. Tracy had 130 receiving yardsat Wisconsin. It was his first career 100-yard receiving game, and the most receiving yards by a Hawkeye wide receiver since Marvin McNutt had 8 receptions for 130 yards against Michigan State in 2011.
9: Iowa’s three losses are to #10 Penn State (9-1), #19 Michigan (8-2), and #16 Wisconsin (8-2), who have a combined record of 25-5. All three losses were one possession games.
10: Kirk Ferentz has 95 Big Ten Conference wins, tying Joe Paterno for No. 5 all-time in conference history and one shy of tying Hayden Fry (96) for fourth-all-time.
Saturday will be the 75th meeting between Iowa and Illinois. Iowa trails the all-time series, 34-38-2, but the Hawkeyes have won 13 of the last 16 meetings, 10 of the last 11, and five in a row. Iowa is 18-18-2 against the Illini in games played in Iowa City, and have won the last five at home. Illinois’ last win at Kinnick Stadium was in 1999 (40-24), Kirk Ferentz’s first year as Iowa’s head coach.
Iowa has played 1,256 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 657-560-39 (.539). That includes a 410-222-16 (.645) record in home games, a 247-338-23 (.425) record in games away from Iowa City, a 333-381-25 (.467) mark in Big Ten games and a 294-187-15 (.607) record in Kinnick Stadium. Oct. 5, 2019 marked the 90th anniversary of the first game in Kinnick Stadium, a 46-0 win over Monmouth. Nov. 16 marked the 130th anniversary of Iowa football, a 23-19 win over Minnesota. The Hawkeyes played their first football game on Nov. 16, 1889, against Grinnell.
19 SENIORS PLAY FINAL HOME GAME
Nineteen senior members of the Iowa football program will be recognized during pregame ceremonies Saturday.
Senior members of the Iowa football program include TE Drew Cook, DB Wes Dvorak, DL Amani Jones, DL Cedrick Lattimore, DB John Milani, DB Michael Ojemudia, OL Landan Paulsen, OL Levi Paulsen, P Colten Rastetter, DL Brady Reiff, FB Brady Ross, QB Ryan Schmidt, P Michael Sleep-Dalton, QB Nate Stanley, LS Jackson Subbert, LS Nate Vejvoda, LB Kristian Welch, TE Nate Wieting, DB Devonte Young.
Since the start of the 2016 season the Hawkeyes have won 32 games and qualified for a bowl game every year. The senior class has an overall record of 32-17, including a 19-8 mark at home, a 19-15 record in Big Ten games, and a 13-5 record in trophy games (11-4 in rivalry games, 2-1 in bowl games).
STANLEY CLIMBS SCHOOL AND CONFERENCE CHARTS
QB Nate Stanley ranks third in the Big Ten in passing yards (2,331) and passing yards per game (233.1). He has 14 touchdown passes this season and 66 in his career, second all-time in program history. He trails Chuck Long (74) on the all-time list.
Stanley was one of 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is presented annually to the top senior or fourth-year quarterback in the nation. He was the only Big Ten quarterback on the list. He has started the last 36 games at quarterback (24-12), and the Hawkeyes have averaged 28.1 points per game in those starts. That average ranks seventh in school history. His streak of 36 consecutive starts at quarterback ranks second in history to Long (47).
Stanley has 19 career multi-touchdown games, including five this season. He completed three touchdown passes in the season opener against Miami, Ohio, three more in Week 2 against Rutgers, two against Middle Tennessee in Week 4, two against #16 Wisconsin in Week 9, and two against #7 Minnesota in Week 10. He has 10 career games with at least three passing touchdowns. Only Long has more in program history (11).
Stanley 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 from 2017-18 are the most ever in school history over a two-year span. Long tossed 49 touchdown passes from 1984 (22) to 1985 (27).
Stanley threw for a career-high 2,852 yards in 2018, the seventh-highest single-season total in school history. He ranks third in career passing yards (7,682) and third in career total offense (7,551).
Stanley was named to six preseason watch lists and listed on the preseason Big Ten third team by Phil Steele.
Nate Stanley Awards Watch
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Top 10 Finalist
- Walter Camp Player of the Year Preseason Watch List
- Manning 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
DEFENSE RANKS AMONG NATION’S BEST
DE A.J. Epenesa leads a defense that ranks in the top 20 in scoring, rushing, and total defense. Iowa is fifth in the country in scoring defense (12.4 ppg), 12th in total defense (303.1 ypg), and 16th in rushing defense (106.5 ypg). Iowa’s scoring defense is second in the Big Ten to Ohio State, who leads the country with 9.8 ppg. The Hawkeyes have held seven-of-10 opponents to their season-low point total.
Epenesa was recognized as Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s 23-19 win over seventh-ranked Minnesota on Nov. 16. Epenesa recorded 2.5 of Iowa’s six sacks, three solo tackles and one assisted tackle, forced one fumble and had one quarterback pressure. He leads Iowa with 7.0 sacks and nine quarterback hurries. He led the Big Ten and ranked ninth in the country with 10.5 sacks in 2018. His running mate, DE Chauncey Golston, has a team-high 8.5 tackles-for-loss (23 yards).
Epenesa is a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. He was named to four preseason All-America first teams, listed on six preseason watch lists, and is preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com.
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. 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.
Iowa’s scoring defense is the lowest total of the Ferentz era (next best is 13.0 in 2008), and the lowest by any Hawkeye team since 1959 (11.1). Iowa’s total defense ties for the lowest (303.1 in 2013) by any Hawkeye team since 2009 (276.5). Iowa is performing at that level one year after losing seven defensive starters from 2018. Five of those players are currently with NFL teams, including DB Jake Gervase, DE Parker Hesse, DB Amani Hooker, DE Anthony Nelson, and DT Matt Nelson. Anthony Nelson and Hooker left Iowa following their junior seasons. Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker is a nominee for the Broyles Award, which honors college football’s top assistant coach.
The Hawkeyes have allowed just 158 first downs (15.8 per game), the 11th fewest in the country and third in the Big Ten.
Iowa has allowed 14 touchdowns in 10 games, tied for fourth fewest in the country (Ohio State 11, Georgia 12, Utah 13, Clemson 14). Iowa is one of four schools in the country to allow just four rushing touchdowns or fewer (Georgia 1, Oregon 3, Utah 3).
Iowa’s defense allowed just five first downs against Rutgers in Week 2. That ties for the fewest allowed in the Kirk Ferentz era (Syracuse, 2007). Rutgers’ 125 yards of total offense ranks as the fifth lowest total in the Ferentz era.
In its Week 7 win against Purdue, Iowa allowed 33 yards rushing, its lowest total against a Big Ten opponent since 2013.
In Iowa’s Week 10 win against No. 10 Minnesota, the Hawkeyes recorded six sacks, matching their highest single-game total since 2013 vs. Northwestern.
A.J. Epenesa Awards Watch
- Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Nov. 18
- Lott IMPACT Trophy Quarterfinalist
- Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List
- Big Ten Conference Preseason Watch List
- Bednarik Award Preseason 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
Junior WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette is named on the Paul Hornung Award watch list, an honor bestowed to the most versatile player in college football.
Smith-Marsette averages 27.9 yards on 39 career kickoff returns, the best in school history among players with at least 30 returns. The Big Ten record of average kickoff return yardage (minimum 40 returns) is 28.8, set by Stan Brown of Purdue (1968-70). Smith-Marsette has 1,087 kickoff return yards, eighth all-time in program history.
Smith-Marsette leads the team in receiving yards (533) and all-purpose yards (821). He ranks second on the team with 37 receptions. He rushed for a touchdown (14 yards) in Week 4, and leads the team lead with five touchdowns. He set a career high with 113 receiving yards in Week 2.
Smith-Marsette has 1,081 career receiving yards, 38th all-time in program history. He has 2,341 all-purpose yards. Only 19 players in school history have 2,500 or more.
In 2018, Smith-Marsette led the Big Ten and ranked No. 2 in the country, averaging 29.5 yards on 24 kickoff returns. He was named Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year in the Big Ten Conference. He had 23 receptions for 361 yards and three touchdowns. His 15.7 yards per catch led the Hawkeyes (minimum 20 receptions).
RUNNING BACK BY COMMITTEE
The Hawkeyes have three running backs with at least 70 carries, and all three have started at least one game.
RB Mekhi Sargent started Weeks 1-8 and leads the team in carries (108) and rushing yards (493). He was named on the Doak Walker Award Preseason Watch List.
RB Toren Young, Iowa’s Week 9 starter, ranks third on the team in carries (71) and rushing yards (401). He leads the team and ranks seventh in the Big Ten, averaging 5.6 yards per attempt.
RB Tyler Goodson became the first true freshman to start at running back under Ferentz since 2012 (Greg Garmon) in Iowa’s 23-19 win against #8 Minnesota in Week 10. Goodson rushed for 94 yards against the Gophers, raising his season total to 436, second on the team. He has 82 carries and averages 53 yards per attempt, 11th in the Big Ten. Goodson has 20 receptions for 143 yards. His 102 combined touches ranks second on the team to Sargent (121).
Young has 1,231 career yards on 252 attempts, 33rd all-time. Sargent has 1,227 yards on 267 attempts, 34th on Iowa’s all-time list.
Seven different Hawkeyes have combined to rush for 11 touchdowns. Seven of those touchdowns have come from inside the 2-yard line, eight from inside the 4-yard line. Sargent leads the team with four rushing touchdowns (2, 4, 14, 2). Six more Hawkeyes have at least one rushing touchdown: Goodson (2), Young (2), QB Nate Stanley (1), FB Brady Ross (1), WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette (14), QB Spencer Petras (1).
Young (131) and Goodson (97) rushed for career highs against Middle Tennessee. The Hawkeyes rushed for 351 yards in the game, the fourth highest total in the Ferentz era.
Juniors Ivory Kelly-Martin, Sargent, and Young shared the workload in 2018. The trio combined for 392 carries, 1,723 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns (nine by Sargent, five by Young, and two by Kelly-Martin). 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).
GRAND THEFT SECONDARY
DB Michael Ojemudia and DB Riley Moss are tied for eighth in the Big Ten with two interceptions apiece. Ojemudia intercepted a pass in each of the first two weeks. Moss had an interception Week 7, and another one Week 10 while starting in place of Ojemudia. LB Djimon Colbert recorded the first interception of his career in Week 2. SS Geno Stone had one interception in Week 5. DE Chauncey Golston intercepted a pass in Week 8. DB Matt Hankins recoded his first career interception in Week 9.
The Hawkeyes have eight interceptions this season. Iowa led the Big Ten and tied for second in the country in 2018 with 20 interceptions. Over the last three seasons, no school has more interceptions than Iowa. The Hawkeyes have 49 interceptions since 2017, two more than Boston College, who has the second most over the same period.
Entering this season, Iowa has at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of the last 11 seasons, and 16 of the last 18 seasons.
DUNCAN GETTING HIS KICKS
Junior K Keith Duncan leads the country with 23 field goals made. He is 23-of-26 on field goal attempts and 21-of-21 on PAT attempts. He leads the team and is tied for third in the Big Ten in scoring with 90 points. Duncan has connected on 11-of-13 kicks of at least 40 yards, and is 10-of-11 on the road. He kicked a career-long 49 yard field goal against Middle Tennessee in Week 4. He kicked four field goals at Iowa State and four field goals against Purdue.
Duncan is one of 20 finalist for the Lou Groza Award.
Duncan kicked three field goals at Wisconsin to set Iowa’s single-season school record. Rob Houghtlin (1987), Nate Kaeding (2002), and Kyle Schlicher (2004) shared the previous record with 21 made field goals. His 86.5 field goal percentage is the best ever among Iowa kickers with at least 30 field goal attempts.
Duncan is seeing his first action since 2016, when he made 9-11 field goal attempts and 38-39 PAT attempts (one was blocked). That year he kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired to lift Iowa over #2 Michigan, 14-13.
Duncan was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week and Lou Groza Award Star of the Week on Sept. 16 following his performance at Iowa State. Duncan connected on a career-best four field goals at Iowa State. His final kick from 39 yards provided the margin of victory with 4:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. He also connected from 25 yards on Iowa’s first drive of the game and from 40 yards on the final play of the first half. He nailed a 42-yarder late in the third quarter.
The Big Ten weekly honor was the second of his career. He was previously recognized in 2016, earning the weekly honor following Iowa’s 14-13 win over Michigan. Duncan contributed two field goals in that win, including the game-winner from 33 yards on the final play of the game.
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.
FERENTZ MOVES UP BIG TEN CHARTS
Head coach Kirk Ferentz has 95 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 95 conference wins tie Joe Paterno for fifth place in all-time Big Ten Conference wins. Ferentz is one win shy of tying Hayden Fry (96) for fourth on the all-time list.
Ferentz’s 159 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 (159).
Ferentz (159-103) 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 (159, 95) and Fry (143, 96) rank in the top five 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.
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.
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.
ALL ABOARD TO KINNICK STADIUM!
The Hawkeye Express, the passenger train that transports fans from Coralville to Kinnick Stadium, is in its 16th season in 2019.
Adults can ride the train for $15, round trip, while children (12-and-under) ride for free. All passengers must have a ticket. 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.