CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Iowa football team fell at Illinois on Saturday night, 9-6, at Memorial Stadium.
An even first half saw the teams tied, 6-6, before a fourth quarter field goal for Illinois would prove to be decisive.
The Fighting Illini outgained the Hawkeyes in total offense, 316-222, with 200 yards coming on the ground and 116 in the air.
Senior Spencer Petras was 18-for-36 throwing for 170 yards and an interception. Senior Sam LaPorta led the team with nine receptions for 100 yards. Sophomore Leshon Williams had 32 yards on seven carries.
Defensively senior Jack Campbell led the way for the Hawkeyes with 13 tackles (seven solo), and junior Quinn Schulte had nine tackles (three solo) and an interception.
QUOTING COACH FERENTZ
“Obviously, just a tough loss for us. Everyone in the locker room is disappointed right now. Thought our guys played with good effort, overall. Certainly, didn’t play well enough to win, credit goes to Illinois for that. We knew they were a good football team coming in here. Especially on the defensive side and they played an outstanding game. Both defenses played pretty well. Tough to swallow, but we didn’t do enough to win the football game, didn’t make the plays we needed too. Credit to them, they were able to do that. Headed to a bye week, 3 and 3. Reassess things and try to take advantage of that.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- On the opening drive of the game Illinois drove down the field using 17 plays to go 66-yards before kicker Fabrizio Pinton converted on a 27-yard field goal.
- The Hawkeyes answered back with a 10 play 59-yard drive that featured two 30+ yard receptions by Sam LaPorta and ended with Drew Stevens connecting from 32-yards out to tie the game.
- After a three-and-out forced a punt by the Hawkeyes the Illini used nine plays to go 37-yards and set up a 37-yard field goal by Pinton.
- Riley Moss forced a fumble that was recovered by Seth Benson at the five-yard line. The Hawkeyes took advantage of the good field position with Drew Stevens connecting from 27-yards out to tie the game with 2:48 left in the first half.
- After a scoreless third quarter the first points and only points of the second half came with 2:49 remaining in the contest as Illinois connected on 36-yard field goal after a nine play 26-yard drive.
- TE Sam LaPorta made a career-high nine catches for 100 yards. It is his second career 100-yard receiving game (7-122-1 TD vs. Kentucky in Citrus Bowl).
- WR Nico Ragaini made his 100th career catch with a 15-yard completion in the second quarter. Ragaini made seven catches for 46 yards in the game, giving him 104 career receptions for 1,125 yards.
- RB Leshon Williams tied a career-long with a 21-yard rush in the third quarter. He was Iowa’s leading rusher with 32 yards on seven attempts.
- LB Jack Campbell had 13 tackles, his fourth game with 10+ tackles this season and the ninth of his career. He has had eight or more tackles in all six games this season. Campbell is now tied for 38th place on the all-time tackles list with 240.
- DB Quinn Schulte tied a career high with nine tackles and had his second career interception.
- DL Noah Shannon finished with a career-high eight tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, and DL Logan Lee tied a career-high with eight tackles.
- K Drew Stevens went 2-for-3 on field goal attempts, converting from 32 and 27 yards (and missing from 45 – his first career miss). Stevens is 6-for-7 on field goal attempts this season.
- OL Tyler Elsbury made his first career start.
- The Hawkeyes drove 59 yards over 10 plays on their first drive, leading to Drew Stevens’ 33-yard field goal. It is the team’s longest game-opening drive of the season, and it is the second time Iowa scored points on its first drive (Iowa State).
- Iowa forced three turnovers in the game – on consecutive possessions in the second quarter and a fourth-quarter interception. They were the team’s eighth, ninth and 10th forced turnovers this season.
- Illinois muffed a punt and Jack Campbell recovered the fumble (his third career fumble recovery.)
- DB Riley Moss forced a fumble on WR Isaiah Williams (his second career forced fumble) and LB Seth Benson recovered (his first career fumble recovery) at the Illinois 5.
- DB Quinn Schulte notched his second career interception (at Maryland, ’21) on second-and-goal from the 4.
- Iowa turned the three turnovers into three points.
- Iowa’s fourth quarter interception was the team’s first turnover since Week 2 against Iowa State.
- Iowa won the toss and elected to defer. The Hawkeyes have played 294 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 216 times (138-78). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 78 times (43-35).
The Hawkeyes are idle on Oct. 15. Iowa returns to action Oct. 22 at Ohio State.