A Happy Hawkeye Homecoming

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa football team defeated Northwestern on Saturday afternoon, 33-13, on Duke Slater Field inside Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeyes outgained the Wildcats in total offense, 393-177, with 220 yards coming in the air and 173 on the ground. The Hawkeyes sacked the Northwestern quarterback a season-high seven times.

Senior Spencer Petras was 21-for-30 throwing for 220 yards and a touchdown. Senior Sam LaPorta led the team with five receptions for 53 yards while senior Nico Ragaini had four receptions for 66 yards. Freshman Kaleb Johnson had 88 yards on 14 carries, sophomore Leshon Williams had 43 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively junior Jay Higgins led the team with 12 tackles (seven solo) and senior Jack Campbell had 9 tackles (two solo), and senior Kaevon Merriweather had an interception.



“They’ve been competitive in each and every game despite their record. And they played hard. And we’ve had our times with them as well. Nobody expected us to control all three phases the way we did. Credit goes to our players on that. Good to get in the win column. Offensively, we were balanced. A lot of guys made contributions statistically.

And then overall, defensively, they had a good day. We had seven different guys get sacks. That’s a real credit to the guys, too. They were working hard and glad we were able to contain their back. He’s been really productive this year. Quarterback’s given them a little bit of a lift. So thought our guys really played well there.

And then special teams, some good things out there obviously, minus that one punt. And credit to Drew, especially for the field goals. The 54-yarder was right where LeVar said his line was, and Drew had a really nice kick.

So again, really happy for our guys, proud of our guys. Happy with the way they pushed forward and went back to work last week. Did a good job.

Good to get a win, obviously. Just one thing that never changes in football, losing stinks, and winning is a really good feeling. So our guys needed to experience that. So we’re right back. We have four weeks left in conference play. But the biggest thing is we’re moving in November. And November is about playing your best football. That’s what it’s all about. So that has to be our goal.

We’ll look at the tape tomorrow, learn from it and then turn our sights to our next opponent. But hopefully we’re playing our best football as we move forward.”

  • The Hawkeyes received the opening kickoff and drove down the field going 63-yards on nine plays to set up a 29-yard field goal by Drew Stevens.
  • On the Hawkeyes’ second possession of the game, the offense drove 59-yards over 14 plays including a one-yard QB sneak by Spencer Petras to extend the Iowa lead to 10-0.

  • Drew Stevens capped off a 15 play, 85-yard drive that lasted 6:43 with a 24-yard field goal.
  • Iowa used 1:07 to drive 50 yards over six-plays to set up a six-yard touchdown pass from Petras to Luke Lachey with 0:22 remaining in the first half.
  • The Wildcats got into the endzone for the first time in the third quarter. They drove eight plays going 34-yards over 3:24 which was capped by a one-yard touchdown by Duke Ogles.
  • After starting on the 25-yard line, Iowa drove 39-yards over ten plays and Drew Stevens connected on a career-long 54-yard field goal.
  • Drew Stevens connected on his fourth field goal of the game from 25 yards out to cap a 10-play 64-yard drive.
  • The Hawkeyes found the endzone again with 5:13 remaining on a 23-yard rush on the jet sweep by Arland Bruce IV to finish off a three play 36-yard drive that lasted 1:30.

  • Northwestern scored a touchdown as time expired on a seven-yard reception by Raymond Niro III.
  • RB Kaleb Johnson rushed for a team-high 88 yards on 14 attempts, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. It is the second time Johnson has led the team in rushing this season.
  • QB Spencer Petras completed 21-of-30 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown – his third of the season. The 220 yards are his second-most this season.
    • Petras also had a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter – his first of the season and ninth of his career.
  • TE Sam LaPorta had a team-high five receptions for 53 yards, moving him past the 1,500-yard mark into the top 20 in program history in career receiving yards. He has 136 receptions for 1,516 yards.
  • TE Luke Lachey had a 6-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter. It was his second career touchdown catch.
  • WR Arland Bruce IV had a career-high 27 rushing yards, including a 23-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. It was a career-long rush and his fourth career rushing touchdown.
  • LB Jay Higgins had a career-high 12 tackles, including seven solo stops (also a career-high). Higgins is the fourth player this season to have 10 or more tackles (Seth Benson, Jack Campbell, Cooper DeJean).  The four players have eight 10+ tackle games.
  • LB Jack Campbell finished with nine tackles; he has had eight or more tackles in all eight games. He is now 31st in program history with 257 career tackles.
  • DB Kaevon Merriweather had his second interception of the season (third of his career) on the final play of the first half. It was Iowa’s eighth interception this season.
  • K Drew Stevens made a career-high four field goals, connecting from 29, 24, 54 and 25 yards. The 54-yarder is tied for the seventh-longest in program history and is the longest by a Hawkeye since 2015 (Marshall Koehn, 57 yards).
  • Stevens is 11-of-12 on field goal attempts this season, the most field goals by a true freshman kicker since Mike Meyer in 2010 (14 FG).
  • The Hawkeyes scored a season-high 33 points and finished with a season-high 393 yards of total offense. Iowa had a season-high 173 rushing yards and 220 passing yards – second-most this season.
    • The 393 yards of total offense are the most since gaining 428 yards at Maryland (W, 51-14) in 2021.
    • Iowa had 173 rushing yards last season against Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl.
  • Iowa scored on its opening drive for the third time this season, going 63 yards over nine plays to start the game. K Drew Stevens connected on a 29-yard field goal, giving Iowa a 3-0 lead.
  • The Hawkeyes scored on their first four possessions to start the game (FG, TD, FG, TD). It is the first time since the game at Maryland during the 2021 season that Iowa has scored on four straight possessions. (Iowa scored on nine straight possessions in College Park.)
    • Iowa drove 85 yards on 15 plays before Stevens made a 24-yard field goal to make the score 13-0. The 15-play drive was the longest of the season, while the 85 yards were second-most.
  • Iowa did not commit a turnover for the fourth game this season. The Hawkeyes are 3-1 when they don’t commit a turnover.
  • The Hawkeyes limited Northwestern to 177 yards of total offense. Iowa’s defense has held three opponents under 200 yards this season.
  • Iowa’s defense allowed 13 points. The Hawkeyes have allowed 13 or fewer points in six games.
  • Iowa registered a season-high seven sacks (by Lukas Van Ness, Deontae Craig, Ethan Hurkett, Logan Lee, Noah Shannon, Seth Benson and Joe Evans.)
    • The seven sacks are the most against a Big Ten team since tallying seven sacks against Northwestern in 2000. Iowa also had seven sacks last season against Kent State.
  • The Hawkeyes finished with 10 tackles for loss – its second game with 10+ TFL (11 vs. Nevada). Van Ness tied a career-high and paced the team with 2.5 TFL.
  • Northwestern won the toss and elected to defer; Iowa chose to receive. The Hawkeyes have played 296 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 218 times (139-79). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 78 times (43-35).

The Hawkeyes return to action Nov. 5, traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face Purdue.  The game time has not yet been announced.