|IOWA at NEBRASKA|
|DATE||Friday, Nov. 29 | 1:31 p.m. CT|
|LOCATION||Lincoln, Nebraska | Memorial Stadium (85,458)|
|RADIO | LISTEN||Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access|
1: Iowa and Nebraska will meet on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, for the ninth consecutive season (1:30 p.m., BTN). The schools have played on Black Friday every year since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference in 2011, that streak will end in 2020.
2: The Hawkeyes are 2-1 in three trophy games this season. The Hawkeyes are 15-4 in their last 19 rivalry trophy games (Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin), with all four losses coming to Wisconsin. Iowa has won four straight against Nebraska.
3. Junior K Keith Duncan leads the country with 27 field goals made. The 27 made field goals are a school and Big Ten Conference single-season record. His 83.3 field goal percentage is the best ever among Iowa kickers with at least 30 field goal attempts (35-42).
4. Junior DE A.J. Epenesa leads a defense that ranks in the top 20 in scoring, passing, and total defense. Iowa is fifth in the country in scoring defense (12.2 ppg), 13th in total defense (306.1 ypg), and 20th in passing defense (191.8 ypg). Epenesa has 7.0 sacks, 9 QBH, and 3 FF.
5: 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 eighth-of-11 opponents to their season-low point total.
6. Senior QB Nate Stanley is 10 yards shy of becoming the third player in program history to throw for 8,000 career yards. Stanley (7,990) ranks third in career passing yards, trailing Drew Tate (8,292) and Chuck Long (10,461) on the all-time list. He also ranks third in career total offense (7,667).
7: Senior QB Nate Stanley has started the last 37 games at quarterback (25-12). He ranks second in school history in passing touchdowns (66), and third in passing yards (7,990). He ranks second in the Big Ten in passing yards (2,639) and passing yards per game (239.9).
8. Redshirt freshman WR Tyrone Tracy has 22 receptions for 379 yards the last five games. He had 12 receptions for 190 yards in the first six games. Tracy had 130 receiving yards at Wisconsin. It was his first career 100-yard receiving game, and the most receiving yards by a Hawkeye wide receiver since Kevonte Martin-Manley had 7 receptions for 131 yards at Indiana in 2012.
9: Iowa’s three losses are to #10 Michigan (9-2), #12 Penn State (9-2), and #13 Wisconsin (9-2), who have a combined record of 27-6. All three losses were one possession games.
10: Head coach Kirk Ferentz has 96 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 96 conference wins tie Hayden Fry for fourth place in all-time Big Ten Conference wins. Ferentz has 160 wins as a Big Ten coach, two shy of tying Joe Paterno for fourth place (162).
BATTLE FOR HEROES TROPHY
Iowa and Nebraska are playing “The Hy-Vee Heroes Game” Friday, with the winner claiming the Heroes Trophy. The trophy game between the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers was established in 2011. Since its inception, Iowa leads the series, 5-3. Iowa gained possession of the trophy for the first time with a 38-17 win at Nebraska in 2013. The Hawkeyes reclaimed it in 2015 with a 28-20 win in Lincoln, their first of four straight wins in the series.
The Hawkeyes are 2-1 in three trophy games this season. Iowa defended the Cy-Hawk Trophy against Iowa State and the Floyd of Rosedale trophy against #8 Minnesota. The Hawkeyes fell to #16 Wisconsin in a battle for the Heartland Trophy.
The Hawkeyes are 15-4 in their last 19 rivalry trophy games (Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin), with all four losses coming to Wisconsin.
Trophy Opponent Date Result
Cy-Hawk at Iowa State 9/14 W, 18-17
Heartland at Wisconsin 11/9 L, 22-24
Floyd of Rosedale Minnesota 11/16 W, 23-19
Heroes at Nebraska 11/29
Iowa and Nebraska will meet on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, for the ninth consecutive season (1:30 p.m., BTN). The schools have played on Black Friday every year since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference in 2011, but that streak will end in 2020. The Big Ten Conference announced in 2017 that the teams will move off of their Black Friday date in 2020 and 2021. Iowa will close both seasons against Wisconsin, while Nebraska will close the regular season against Minnesota.
Nebraska holds a 29-17-3 advantage in the series that began with a 22-0 Iowa victory in 1891. Iowa has won four straight and five of the last six meetings. The Hawkeyes have outscored the Huskers 127-52 in the last three meetings. The 56 points scored by the Hawkeyes in 2017 were the most in the series’ 48-game history.
The Hawkeyes have won the last three meetings in Lincoln. Iowa’s 38-17 win in 2013 was its first win at Nebraska since 1943. Nebraska holds a 15-6-1 advantage in games played in Lincoln.
The 1999 Iowa-Nebraska game in Kinnick Stadium marked Coach Kirk Ferentz’s first game as Iowa’s head coach.
The first 10 games in the series were played in either Omaha (eight games) or Council Bluffs (two games). The series was even at 4-4-2 in those 10 meetings.
Iowa has played 1,257 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 658-560-39 (.539). That includes a 411-222-16 (.646) record in home games, a 247-338-23 (.425) record in games away from Iowa City, a 334-381-25 (.468) mark in Big Ten games and a 295-187-15 (.609) 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.
STANLEY CLIMBS SCHOOL AND CONFERENCE CHARTS
QB Nate Stanley ranks second in the Big Ten in passing yards (2,639) and passing yards per game (239.9). 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 is 10 yards shy of becoming the third player in program history to throw for 8,000 career yards. Stanley (7,990) ranks third in career passing yards, trailing Drew Tate (8,292) and Chuck Long (10,461) on the all-time list. He also ranks third in career total offense (7,667).
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 37 games at quarterback (25-12), and the Hawkeyes have averaged 27.9 points per game in those starts. His streak of 37 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 #8 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 was named to six preseason watch lists and listed on the preseason Big Ten third team by Phil Steele.
DEFENSE RANKS AMONG NATION’S BEST
DE A.J. Epenesa leads a defense that ranks in the top 20 in scoring, passing, and total defense. Iowa is fifth in the country in scoring defense (12.2 ppg), 13th in total defense (306.1 ypg), and 20th in passing defense (191.8 ypg). Iowa’s scoring defense is second in the Big Ten to Ohio State, who leads the country with 10.5 ppg. The Hawkeyes have held eight-of-11 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, nine quarterback hurries, and three forced fumbles. He led the Big Ten and ranked ninth in the country with 10.5 sacks in 2018.
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 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 178 first downs (16.2 per game), 10th fewest in the country and third in the Big Ten.
Iowa has allowed 15 touchdowns in 11 games, fifth fewest in the country (Ohio State 13, Georgia 13, Utah 14, Clemson 14). Iowa is one of four schools in the country to allow just four rushing touchdowns or fewer (Georgia 1, Oregon 3, Utah 4).
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.
RETURN TO SENDER
Junior WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette was named on the Paul Hornung Award preseason watch list, an honor bestowed to the most versatile player in college football.
Smith-Marsette averages 27.6 yards on 40 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 1,103 kickoff return yards, eighth all-time in program history.
Smith-Marsette leads the team in receiving yards (654) and all-purpose yards (964), and is tied for the team lead in receptions (41). He rushed for a touchdown (14 yards) in Week 4, and leads the team lead with five touchdowns. He set a career high with 121 receiving yards in Week 11, his second career 100-yard receiving game (Rutgers, 113).
Smith-Marsette has 1,202 career receiving yards, 32nd all-time in program history. He has 2,465 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 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 made his second straight start Week 11 against Illinois. Goodson has 474 rushing yards on 103 carries, both rank second on the team. He has 21 receptions for 146 yards. His 124 combined touches lead the team.
RB Mekhi Sargent started Weeks 1-8 and leads the team in carries (109) and rushing yards (488). 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 (74) and rushing yards (408). He leads the team and ranks seventh in the Big Ten, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt.
Young has 1,238 career yards on 255 attempts, 33rd all-time. Sargent has 1,233 yards on 268 attempts, 34th on Iowa’s all-time list.
Seven different Hawkeyes have combined to rush for 12 touchdowns. Eight of those touchdowns have come from inside the 2-yard line, nine 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, 10, 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).
YOUNG, SARGENT SURPASS 1,000 CAREER RUSHING YARDS
Junior running backs Toren Young and Mekhi Sargent each surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards in Iowa’s win over Middle Tennessee on Sept. 28.
Sargent entered the game with 953 rushing yards and moved past 1,000 for his career on a 12-yard run late in the first period. He ended the contest with 91 rushing yards. His career totals include 1,233 yards on 268 attempts. He was the 48th Iowa running back to surpass 1,000 career yards and currently ranks 34th on the all-time list.
Young entered Week 4 with 950 career yards and surpassed 1,000 on a 15-yard run early in the second quarter, becoming the 49th Iowa running back to surpass the century total. He led the Hawkeyes with a career-high 131 rushing yards against Middle Tennessee. Young now has 1,238 career yards on 255 attempts to rank 33rd on the career list.
Sargent moved over 1,000 career yards on career attempt 207, while Young went past 1,000 yards on career attempt 209.
GRAND THEFT SECONDARY
DB Michael Ojemudia leads the team and is tied for second in the Big Ten with three interceptions. The Hawkeyes have 10 interceptions this season, and 51 interceptions since 2017, more than any other team over the last three years. Iowa led the Big Ten and tied for second in the country in 2018 with 20 interceptions.
The Hawkeyes had two interceptions last week against Illinois. One by Ojemudia, and the second by DB Matt Hankins, who recorded his second theft of the season.
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 27 field goals made. The 27 made field goals are a school and Big Ten Conference single-season record. The NCAA record for single-season field goals made is 31. He is 27-of-32 on field goal attempts and 22-of-22 on PAT attempts. He leads the team and is ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring with 103 points. Duncan has connected on 12-of-16 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, against Purdue, and against Illinois.
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 school record with 21 made field goals. His 83.3 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 has twice been named was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. He earned the honor after a four field goal performance against Illinois on Nov. 23, and was named conference 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 honors are the second and third 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.
PARKER NOMINATED FOR BROYLES AWARD
Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker is a nominee for the Broyles Award, which honors college football’s top assistant coach. One year after losing seven defensive starters from 2018, including five players currently with NFL teams, Iowa’s defense ranks in the top 20 in scoring, passing, and total defense. Iowa is fifth in the country in scoring defense (12.2 ppg), 13th in total defense (306.1 ypg), and 20th in passing defense (191.8 ypg).
Iowa’s scoring defense is second in the Big Ten to Ohio State, who leads the country with 10.5 ppg, 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). The Hawkeyes have held eight-of-11 opponents to their season-low point total.
The five players from Iowa’s 2018 defense now in the NLF include 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.
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 96 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 96 conference wins tie Hayden Fry for fourth place in all-time Big Ten Conference wins.
Ferentz’s 160 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 (160).
Ferentz (160-103) 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 (160, 96) 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.
FERENTZ TOPS IN LONGEVITY
Kirk Ferentz is in 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 are also in 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.
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.