Heartland Trophy is Home

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa football team defeated Wisconsin, 24-10, on Saturday evening on Duke Slater Field inside Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeyes outgained the Badgers, 52-51, on the ground. The Hawkeyes forced three Wisconsin turnovers, and held a 33:37-26:23 advantage in time of possession.

Senior Spencer Petras was 14-for-23 throwing for 94 yards. Senior Sam LaPorta led the team with five receptions for 48 yards. Freshman Kaleb Johnson had 57 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.

Defensively senior Jack Campbell led the team with 11 tackles (six solo) and sophomore Cooper DeJean had 10 tackles (seven solo) and an interception returned for a touchdown. Deontae Craig had 1.5 sacks for the Hawkeyes to go along with a blocked punt.



“I told the team, we’ve talked about November football, and for me it was a classic example of November football in our conference. Tough conditions weather-wise, and a couple things we really thought coming into the game, we’d have to play tough because Wisconsin is a really tough option. Playing clean football is huge for us and huge for them, and it’s been that way historically in this series, and it’s been that way for both teams really this year, if you look back in the stats for both teams.

Then the other thing is you have to make plays when they do present themselves, and our guys did a good job of that. It wasn’t easy, wasn’t clean, but overall did a really nice job. Just really proud of our players for getting the victory, proud of them for getting the trophy back and having that in our building for a while.

Defense played really well. Good job stopping the run. Outside of a bust we had in the coverage, pretty good job on pass defense, as well. That was good to see.

Had some ups and downs, but more ups on special teams. Obviously, the blocked punt was a big play in the game, and then really the sequence where we were able to kill the ball down on their 1-yard line, give them a long field and then Cooper followed it up with a punt return and then we were able to finish that drive off, that was a really big swing in the game.

Offensively, we have a lot of work to do still. I was kind of disappointed up front. It didn’t look real good for the most part, but a couple positives there when we did get the ball inside the red zone. We finished, put the ball in the end zone instead of field goals, so that was a positive, and then the end of the game, to hold the ball and make them burn their timeouts, I’m not sure I saw that coming, so that was encouraging, too.

They’re a good group. They need more experience, more work, and we’ll get back to work on Monday with them.

Those guys don’t give up, so we’ll be okay there.

Just encouraged the team to enjoy this one. They earned it, it was hard fought and they earned it, so proud of their effort, proud of the staff and the plan they put together, and we’ll enjoy this one and turn the page tomorrow.”

  • Wisconsin opened the scoring with 4:14 left in the first quarter with Nate Van Zelst connecting on a 32-yard field goal to cap a 10 play 37-yard drive that lasted 5:01.
  • Deonte Craig blocked a Wisconsin punt that was recovered by Jay Higgins at the 17-yard line. Two plays later the Iowa offense punched the ball into the end zone on a four-yard rush by Kaleb Johnson.

  • Cooper DeJean picked off a Graham Mertz pass and returned it 32-yards with 1:58 left in the first half for the Hawkeye touchdown.

  • Wisconsin responded with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Mertz to Keontez Lewis to cap a seven play 75-yard drive that lasted 1:06.
  • After a 41-yard punt return by DeJean the Hawkeyes scored on a one-yard QB sneak by Spencer Petras to put the finishing touch on a five play 18-yard drive that lasted 1:58.
  • With 3:24 remaining in the game Drew Stevens connected on a 44-yard field goal to finish an 11 play 27-yard drive that lasted 4:57.
  • RB Kaleb Johnson had a 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give Iowa a 7-3 lead. It was Johnson’s second straight game with a touchdown run and team-leading fifth of the season.
    • Johnson had a team-high 57 rushing yards. It is the fourth game this season he has led the team in rushing.
  • QB Spencer Petras had a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter – his second rushing touchdown of the season and 10th of his career. Petras finished 14-of-23 for 94 yards through the air.
  • TE Sam LaPorta had a team-high five catches for 48 yards. LaPorta has had at least one reception in 13 straight games and in 22 of his last 23 contests.  He has been Iowa’s top receiver in nine of 10 games this season.
  • DB Cooper DeJean had a 32-yard pick six in the second quarter, giving Iowa a 14-3 lead. It was DeJean’s fourth interception of the season and second touchdown (45-yard INT at Rutgers).
    • DeJean also had 10 tackles, his second career game with double-digit tackles.
    • LB Jack Campbell (INT, Fumble) and DB Riley Moss (2 INT) both had two defensive touchdowns during the 2021 season.
  • DeJean had a career-long 41-yard punt return in the third quarter that set up the team’s third touchdown. DeJean had a career-high four returns for 82 yards in the game.
    • He had a team-best 114 all-purpose yards in the game.
  • DB Riley Moss had his first interception of the season, corralling a Kaevon Merriweather pass breakup on Wisconsin’s first drive of the second half.
    • It is Moss’ 12th career interception, tied for the seventh-most in school history.

  • Campbell finished with 11 tackles, his sixth 10+ tackle game this season and 11th of his career.
    • Campbell now has 100 tackles this season, moving over the century mark for a second straight season. He is the first Hawkeye since Josey Jewell to have 100 or more tackles in consecutive season (Jewell had three straight from 2015-17).
    • Campbell moved into 20th place on Iowa’s all-time tackles list with 277.
  • DL Deonte Craig blocked a Wisconsin punt in the second quarter – his first career block – and LB Jay Higgins returned it 3 yards to the UW 17 to set up Iowa’s first touchdown. It was the team’s third block of the season.
    • Craig tied a career-high with five tackles and had a career-high 1.5 sacks.
  • DL Joe Evans had sack and forced fumble in the fourth quarter. It is his second forced fumble (at Ohio State) of the season.
    • Evans has had at least one sack in Iowa’s last four games. He has six sacks, which are second-most on the team.
  • K Drew Stevens made a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter – his fifth make from 40 or more yards this season. Stevens is 13-of-15 in field goal attempts this season – the most makes by a freshman since Mike Meyer’s 14 in 2010.
  • Freshman Koen Entringer made his season debut. He is the eighth true freshman to play this season.
  • Iowa scored its fourth defensive touchdown in the second quarter, courtesy of DB Cooper DeJean’s 32-yard pick six. The Hawkeyes have scored 28 points via four touchdowns and two safeties.
    • Iowa entered the game fourth nationally with three defensive touchdowns.
  • Iowa had two interceptions (Cooper DeJean/Riley Moss) for the second straight game and for the third time this season. The Hawkeyes have 12 interceptions this season and have four games with two picks.
    • Iowa forced three turnovers (2 INT, 1 Fumble) and blocked a punt, tying a season high for the fourth time. The team has a 48-30 advantage in points off turnovers this season.
  • The Hawkeyes held Wisconsin to 10 points. The defense has held seven opponents to 10 or fewer points and eight opponents to 13 points or less.
    • It is the first time since 1991 that the defense has held seven opponents under 10 points and eight opponents under 13 points. The 1991 team finished 10-1-1 and played in the Holiday Bowl.
  • Iowa has held nine of its 10 opponents below their season scoring average and all 10 opponents under their season yardage average.
  • Wisconsin won the toss and elected to defer; Iowa chose to receive. The Hawkeyes have played 298 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 219 times (140-79). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 79 times (44-35).

The Hawkeyes return to action Nov. 19, traveling to Minneapolis to face Minnesota in a battle for the Floyd of Rosedale. The game time has yet to be announced.