Game Notes: B1G Home Opener vs Michigan

OPPONENT #4 Michigan (4-0, 1-0) at Iowa (3-1, 1-0)
DATE Saturday, Oct. 1
LOCATION Kinnick Stadium (69,250)
KICKOFF 11:05 a.m. (CT)
RADIO Hawkeye Radio Network

1st and 10

1 – The Hawkeyes host No. 4/4 Michigan on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. It is the ninth time in the Kirk Ferentz era that Iowa has hosted a top five team in Iowa City. Iowa is 5-3 against top five opponents in Kinnick under Ferentz, including winning five of its last six games. One of those wins came against No. 2 Michigan in 2016 – a 14-13 victory.

2 – Iowa’s defense has allowed just 23 points in its first four games of the 2022 season – the fewest points allowed in the last 66 years. The Hawkeyes gave up 20 points in the first four games in 1956.  Iowa shut out Nevada (27-0) on Sept. 17 for its sixth shutout since 2016.

3 – D-TD… the Hawkeyes scored two defensive touchdowns at Rutgers, via a 45-yard interception return from DB/CASH Cooper DeJean and a 33-yard scoop-and-score from safety Kaevon Merriweather.  It marked the first career touchdown for both players. Iowa also had two defensive touchdowns in a 2021 win over Indiana.  Merriweather shared B1G Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 26.

4 – DB/CASH Cooper DeJean is leading the Big Ten and is tied for second nationally with three interceptions, with all three coming in consecutive games (ISU, Nevada, Rutgers).  The last Hawkeye to have an INT in three straight games was DB Jermari Harris in 2021.  DeJean has started two games at CASH and two at DB this season.

5 – Iowa earned its third and fourth Big Ten weekly honors on Sept. 26. P Tory Taylor was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for a second time after averaging 42.6 yards on five punts with four pinning Rutgers inside their own 20.  Kaevon Merriweather shared the Defensive Player of the Week honors.  Iowa has earned three Big Ten Special Teams POW honors this season.

6 – From – to +… the Hawkeyes haven’t committed a turnover in each of their past two games. Iowa tied a season high by forcing three turnovers at Rutgers (2 INT, 1 fumble), moving the team to +2 in turnover margin. The Hawkeyes have scored 21 points off turnovers this season.

7 – Senior LB Jack Campbell finished with eight tackles at Rutgers, moving his total to a team-high 39 for the season.  Campbell’s 9.8 average is third in the Big Ten and 17th nationally.  Campbell has two 10+ tackle games this season (7 for his career). He ranks 61st in school history with 216 career tackles – 12 stops outside the top 50 all-time.

8 – Iowa’s defense leads the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 5.8 points per game. The Hawkeyes are fourth in red zone defense (.571), sixth in total defense (236.2), sixth in rushing defense (73.0) and 14th in passing defense (163.2).

9 – Full strength… the Hawkeyes’ rushing attack was at full strength at Rutgers with all three of the top running backs available for the first time this season. Leshon Williams (64), Kaleb Johnson (58) and Gavin Williams (17) combined for 139 yards on 33 attempts against a Rutgers defense that had surrendered 32.3 rushing yards per game entering the contest.

10 – P Tory Taylor is leading the Big Ten and ranks fifth nationally with a 47.3 average. Taylor has 28 punts this season with a long of 63. Twelve of his punts have traveled 50+ yards and 17 have been downed inside the 20. He was the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 3 and Sept. 26 and has twice been named to the Ray’s 8 List.