EVANSTON, Ill. – Second-string quarterback Alex Padilla threw for 172 yards and junior Tyler Goodson notched his second 100-yard rushing game of the season to lead the 22nd-ranked University of Iowa football team to a 17-12 road victory at Northwestern on Saturday night at Ryan Field.
The win moves the Hawkeyes to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten.
Padilla entered the game late in the first quarter and led the Hawkeyes on touchdown drives on his first two possessions. He finished the game 18-of-28 for 172 yards, completing passes to eight different receivers. Freshman Keagan Johnson had a team-high five receptions for 68 yards.
“It was a confidence boost (to find the end zone on his first drive),” said Padilla. “We were struggling a little bit, but being able to put together a TD drive was really a crucial part of the game.
“We ran the ball well and it opened stuff up in the roll out and play action game. Those two drives were a mix of everything and those guys up front did a great job.”
Goodson ran for 100 yards on 13 carries in the first half and finished with 141 yards on 21 attempts with one touchdown. Redshirt freshman Gavin Williams also had 41 yards on 10 carries.
Iowa finished with 361 yards of total offense, but just 102 came in the second half. The Hawkeyes had a balanced attack with 176 on the ground and 185 through the air.
Iowa’s defense forced three turnovers – interceptions from Dane Belton (2) and Jermari Harris – and the team held the Wildcats to 93 yards on the ground. Northwestern finished with 363 yards of total offense after gaining 102 in the first half.
A pair of picks for @dbelton_ ✌️#Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/bNOu5f4DEp
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) November 7, 2021
“Today was a great illustration of the way we practice and a carry over from a great work week,” said Belton. “Any time a player is able to get an interception, we’re like ‘Welcome to the club.’ I am so glad Jermari could get the interception and we could welcome him to the club.”
Senior Jack Koerner and junior Seth Benson paced the team with eight tackles each. Koerner had eight solo stops, while Benson had five solo and one tackle for loss. Iowa finished with three sacks (from Joe Evans, Noah Shannon and Lukas Van Ness) and had six tackles for loss.
QUOTING COACH FERENTZ
“I am proud of our guys, just how resilient they were. They have been that way all season long and certainly this week and tonight was no exception. I am happy for our football team. We needed a win and the guys did a great job fighting for that. Northwestern, I think about some bad memories up here, especially in the fourth quarter going back to 2005. One thing about them over the years is they show up and play every time you play them, it’s a 60 minute game and tonight was no exception. I am happy for our guys and am proud they made the plays we needed to win.
“The turnover margin is a big thing in college football and tonight’s game it was a big deal. For Dane to get a couple and Jermari in the end zone to get one, that was big. We did a good job of protecting the football. I was happy with the balance offensively for us, run-pass. It was pretty much 50-50 and the guys did a good job. A couple guys of note — Alex coming in and doing a good job off the bench, he prepared well and played well out there. Tyler Goodson did a good job and some of the younger guys contributing as well.
“There were a lot of positives, we’re happy to get the victory. We’ll head back to Iowa and regroup tomorrow.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Iowa made a quarterback change, inserting Padilla on its fourth possession and it provided a spark as the Hawkeyes drove 58 yards over six plays to take a 7-0 lead. Padilla connected with Johnson for two big plays on the drive – a 17-yard completion to the 39 and a 26-yarder on a back shoulder throw to the 13. Two plays later, Goodson followed center Tyler Linderbaum for a 13-yard touchdown run up the middle.
- The Hawkeyes forced the game’s first turnover on the next possession when Andrew Marty when for a home run ball and Belton picked him off at the Iowa 17. Iowa went 83 yards over nine plays to push its lead to 14-0. Padilla completed a 19-yard bullet to Goodson on third-and-7 and Goodson broke free to the outside for 41 yards to the 20. Freshman Arland Bruce IV scored four plays later on a jet sweep from 10-yards out with 10:41 left in the first half.
- Northwestern’s special team unit gave it a spark when Raymond Niro III blocked and recovered a Tory Taylor punt and returned it 10 yards to the 9. Iowa’s defense held, allowing one yard (and five more on an offsides), and it held the Wildcats to a 22-yard Charlie Kuhbander field goal with 2:11 remaining.
- Iowa added to its lead with a nine-play, 48-yard scoring drive on its opening possession of the second half. Padilla had two completions – for 11 and 16 yards – to Bruce VI, moving the Hawkeyes to the Northwestern 24. Iowa had a first-and-10 at the 11 and moved to the 7 before settling on Caleb Shudak’s 25-yard field goal that pushed the lead to 17-3.
- The Wildcats got the three points back with a 12-play, 85-yard scoring drive. Northwestern started the series with a 38-yard pass to Stephon Robinson, Jr., to the NU 41 and the Wildcats converted a fourth-and-6 with a 21-yard yard completion to Malik Washington to the 6. On the first-and-goal, Marty targeted Robinson, Jr., in the back of the end zone, but he and Jermari Harris got their feet tangled. Northwestern’s bench was flagged for an unsportsmanlike personal foul and it cost the Wildcats as they had to settle for three via a Kuhbander 30-yard field goal, making the score 17-6 with 1:58 left in the third quarter.
- Northwestern found the end zone with an eight-play, 85-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. Evan Hull had two big receptions on the drive, a 31-yarder to the Iowa 37 and a 31-yard touchdown that made the score 17-12. The Wildcats missed the two-point conversion.
- After a failed onside kick, Northwestern forced a three-and-out and Iowa punt, where it took over at its own 24 with 1:51 to play. On the first play of the drive, Belton intercepted Marty — his second pick of the day — to clinch the Hawkeye victory.
- Goodson rushed 21 times for 141 yards, his seventh career 100-yard game. Goodson has been Iowa’s leading rusher for 12 straight games, the longest streak by a Hawkeye since Shonn Greene led Iowa in rushing yards in 13 straight games in 2008. Goodson has 2,154 career rushing yards, 13th all-time in program history. He passed Dennis Mosely and Jordan Canzeri on Iowa’s all-time career rushing list.
- Goodson’s 13-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter was his sixth rushing touchdown of the season and first since Week 3 vs. Kent State. Goodson had gone 94 carries without a touchdown, the longest stretch of his career.
- Bruce’s 10-yard touchdown rush in the second quarter was his first career rushing touchdown and second career rushing attempt.
- Johnson had a career-high five receptions.
- Hankins had five tackles, raising his career total to 202. He is the 76th player in program history to reach 200 or more career tackles.
- Belton’s second-quarter interception was his third of the season. His fourth-quarter interception was his fourth of the season.
- Harris recorded his first career interception. He is the 10th different Hawkeye this season to record an interception. The last time Iowa had 10 players with an interception in a single season was 2017.
- Padilla entered the game on Iowa’s fourth drive of the game. Padilla finished the game with career highs in yards (172), completions (18) and attempts (28).
- Petras made his 17th consecutive start but left the game after three drives.
- Williams had a career-high 10 carries for a career-high 41 yards.
- Iowa leads the country in interceptions (19). The Hawkeyes have 83 interception since 2017, more than any team in the country. Nine different Hawkeyes have at least one interception this season. Iowa is plus-18 in turnover margin in its six wins and minus-six in its two losses.
The Hawkeyes return to action hosting Minnesota on Nov. 13 at Kinnick Stadium. Kickoff for that game has not been announced.