Game Notes: Iowa at Illinois

OPPONENT IOWA at ILLINOIS (Memorial Stadium)
DATE Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020
KICKOFF 2:30 p.m. (CT)

1st and 10

1: Iowa has won its last four games, outscoring its opponents 151-55 and averaging 37.8 points per game during the winning streak. The Hawkeyes points per game during their four-game winning streak is the most over a four-game stretch since 2002, when they scored 161 points (40.1 ppg) in wins against Michigan (34-22), Wisconsin (20-3), Northwestern 62-10) and Minnesota (45-21).

2: Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten with 16 rushing touchdowns: RB Mekhi Sargent (7), Goodson (6), QB Spencer Petras (2), WR Nico Ragaini (1). The Hawkeyes have scored 80-percent of their offensive touchdowns (16/20) on the ground.

3: RB Mekhi Sargent ranks second in the Big with 6.2 yards per carry, and third in the conference with seven rushing touchdowns. Sargent has 20 career rushing touchdowns, 11th most in school history.

4: RB Tyler Goodson leads the Hawkeyes and ranks second in the Big Ten with 564 rushing yards. Goodson has started the last 10 games at running back and has 10 rushing touchdowns during that stretch. He has three 100-yard rushing games this season. He rushed for 113 yards against Michigan State and a career-high 142 yards against Minnesota. He set a career high with 30 carries against Nebraska, rushing for 111 yards.

5: The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten with 10 interceptions (Indiana 16; Northwestern 11). Iowa has 63 interceptions since 2017, the most by any team in the country.

6: WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette is the top kickoff returner in Big Ten history. Smith-Marsette averages 29.3 yards on 50 career kickoff returns. Smith-Marsette had a career-high 121 receiving yards against Illinois in 2019.

7: Junior DT Daviyon Nixon leads an Iowa defensive front that includes three players ranked in the top five in tackles for loss. Nixon leads the Big Ten with 5.0 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. DE Chauncey Golston ranks fourth with 7.0 tackles, for loss, and DE Zach VanValkenburg is tied for fifth in the conference with 6.5 tackles for loss. Iowa ranks No. 3 in the conference in scoring defense (16.7), rush defense (109.3) and total defense (322.8). The Hawkeyes are ranked fourth in pass defense (213.5)

8: Tory Taylor ranks second in the Big Ten and 16th in the country averaging 45.1 yards per punt. The freshman has downed 15 of his 27 punts inside the 20. He has eight punts of 50-plus yards, with a career-high 61 yard punt Week 3 vs. Michigan State. Only four of Taylor’s 27 punts have been returned (24 yards). Iowa is sixth nationally and No. 1 in the Big Ten in net punting (44.1).

9. Keith Duncan is Iowa’s all-time career leader in field goal percentage (81.4). He has made 48-of-59 career field goal attempts. His 48 career field goals made rank fifth in program history. He is 19-of-19 in his career inside 30 yards, and has made 57 consecutive PATs. Duncan is 10-of-14 on field goal attempts this season.

10. LB Nick Niemann leads the Hawkeyes and ranks second in the Big Ten with 61 tackles. He entered the season with 80 career tackles, including a season-high 43 as a sophomore in 2018. He recorded a career-best 17 tackles Week 5 at Penn State, the most by a Hawkeye since LB Anthony Hitchens made 19 stops against Iowa State in 2012.