IOWA CITY, Iowa– The University of Iowa football team recorded two safeties, for the first time since 2018, in a 7-3 victory over South Dakota State on Saturday afternoon in its season opener on Duke Slater Field inside Kinnick Stadium.
The Hawkeyes took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter and led 5-3 through three quarters before adding two points in the final quarter to claim their first win of the season.
Iowa had a 166-120 advantage in total offense in the game, senior Spencer Petras finished 11-of-25 for 109 yards. Sophomore Arland Bruce IV led the way receiving with five receptions for 68 yards and sophomore Gavin Williams had a team-high 72 yards on 24 carries.
Defensively, senior Jack Campbell finished with 12 tackles (five solo). Junior Logan Lee had six tackles and 1.5 sacks, while senior Joe Evans had a pair of sacks. Junior Quinn Schulte and senior Terry Roberts combined for six pass breakups.
“We are always trying to bring a physical brand of defense,” said Schulte. “Just trying to be tough, smart, physical. That’s kind of our saying. They were a good team. We have a lot of guys that have played here for a long time, guys that have been here and people have been waiting their turn just trying to go out there and do the best that they could.”
Senior Tory Taylor punted 10 times for 479 yards, averaging 47.9 yards, with seven of those ending inside the 20-yard line and five within the 10-yard line.
“At one point I said ‘This kid is a freak’,” said South Dakota State head coach John Stiegelmeier. “I thought he kicked it out of bounds one time and it rolls down to the 2-yard line. That is a powerful weapon.”
The South Dakota State offense committed eight false starts in front of the sold-out crowd.
QUOTING COACH FERENTZ
“Just to start out, the first thing I reminded the team is that we’re 1-0. Good to get the win certainly. Certainly didn’t come easy. But just happy to get the win.
I saw a lot of good things out there. Clearly a lot of things we have to get better at and work on, and we’ll turn our attention to that tomorrow.
Some really good efforts, I think some good play, and at the end of the day we’ve all got to get better. That’s usually the task in Week 2.
I know you talked to some of the players that really performed well. Obviously a really unusual scoring line where you’ve got 3-2-2. I’ve never been around a game like that, but we’ll take it today, and kudos to Tory did a great job. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a punter be so involved in a game, either, so it’s a little unique.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After each team saw their opening drive end in a punt the Hawkeyes took over at the SDSU 27 after a shanked punt by the Jacks. Iowa settled on a field goal attempt, but sophomore Aaron Blom missed it from 33 yards out.
- After again trading punts with the Jacks the Hawkeyes took over at the SDSU 33. Petras connected with Sam LaPorta for a six-yard gain on first down. The Hawkeyes settled for a field goal attempt with Blom connecting from 46-yards out to score the first points of the game.
- After a Hawkeye turnover South Dakota State tied the game following a seven play, 11-yard drive with kicker Hunter Dustman connecting from 44-yards out with 20 seconds remaining in the first half.
- After back-to-back punts from each team to open the second half the Hawkeyes pinned SDSU at the one-yard line. Senior linebacker Jack Campbell tackled the Jacks runner in the end zone to move the score to 5-3 with 4:03 remaining in the third quarter.
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- Iowa got its second safety of the game after a punt from Taylor pinned the Jacks at the 8-yard line. After a one-yard rush to open the drive Joe Evans sacked the quarterback in the end zone to give Iowa a 7-3 lead.
- LB Jack Campbell had a team high 12 tackles (5 solo, 7 assists). It is his sixth career game with 10 or more tackles, which are tied for the most on the team. Campbell now has 189 career tackles.
- Iowa finished with four sacks in the game. DE Joe Evans tied a career high with two sacks and DT Logan Lee had a career-best 1.5 sacks.
- DB Cooper DeJean finished with a career high four tackles in his first career start; DB Quinn Schulte had a career-high four pass breakups in his first career start.
- RB Leshun Williams had a career high 24 carries for 72 yards.
- WR Arland Bruce VI had five catches for a career-high 68 yards. Bruce had a team-high 96 all-purpose yards.
- P Tory Taylor had punts downed at the 1, 2, 6, 8, 8 and 12 yard lines. Taylor had a career-high 10 punts for 479 yards, averaging 47.9 yards per punt. Seven of his 10 punts were downed inside the 20-yard line and three went 50 or more yards.
- K Aaron Blom connected on 1-of-2 field goal attempts (good from 46, miss from 40) for his first career points.
- Iowa’s defense scored four points on two safeties – Jack Campbell had a 1-yard tackle for loss on Isaiah Davis in the third quarter and Joe Evans’ sack accounted for the game’s final points on a safety in the fourth quarter.
- The Hawkeyes have three safeties in their last two regular season games — (Lukas Van Ness sack on an intentional grounding at Nebraska, 11/26/21).
- Iowa’s defense allowed 120 total yards, which are the fewest in a season-opening game since 2004 (110 vs. Kent State). The 120 yards is the fewest surrendered by the Hawkeye defense since 2018 against Maryland (115 yards).
- Iowa is the first Big Ten team to win a game without scoring a touchdown since Nebraska in 2018 (beat Michigan State, 9-6). The Hawkeyes’ last such win? The 6-4 win at Penn State in 2004.
- Iowa had seven first-time starters in the game: Offense: Logan Jones (OL), Beau Stephens (OL), Alec Wick (WR), Leshun Williams (RB); Defense: Cooper DeJean (DB), Joe Evans (DL), Quinn Schulte (DB).
- Five true freshmen saw the first action of their careers. They include: T.J. Hall (DB), Kaleb Johnson (RB), Xavier Nwankpa (DB), Addison Ostrenga (TE) and Drew Stevens (K).
- Iowa is 99-33-2 in season-opening games, including a 20-4 mark under coach Kirk Ferentz.
- Iowa won the toss and elected to receive. The Hawkeyes have played 289 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 215 times (137-78). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 74 times (42-32).
The Hawkeyes host Iowa State on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Kinnick Stadium in the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. The game is televised on BTN beginning at 3 p.m. (CT).