IOWA CITY, Iowa – The No. 25/24 ranked University of Iowa football team defeated Western Michigan, 41-10, on Saturday afternoon on Duke Slater Field at Kinnick Stadium.
Cade McNamara went 9-of-19 on passing attempts for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Deacon Hill was 2-for-3 for 30 yards.
Leshon Williams led the team with 145 yards rushing on 12 attempts. Kamari Moulton rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns on eight attempts. Max White also found the end zone on the ground for the Hawkeyes.
“We have a lot of backs in the room, as you all can see,” said Williams. “We have a real stable, and we are stacked in there with a lot of talent. With the next man up, anything can happen at any moment, so we have to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Erick All led the Hawkeyes in receiving with 34-yards on one reception. Steven Stilianos had 29 yards receiving. Diante Vines and Williams each had a touchdown reception.
Defensively, Nick Jackson and Jay Higgins led the way with nine tackles a piece, both Hawkeye linebackers also forced a fumble. Jackson and Joe Evans both recorded a sack and Anterio Thompson blocked a punt.
“They came out and competed well,” said Higgins. “They ran some good concepts against us. I don’t think anything changed, but we just kept doing our job. We got in a rut and were trying to do too much. Then, everyone figured out that maybe Coach Parker knows what he’s doing, so if we just do what we’re supposed to do, we will be alright. We understood that it was us beating ourselves at that point. When problems are extremely solvable, anxiety never got high, guys never pointed fingers, so we were in a good spot mentally.”
QUOTING KIRK FERENTZ
“Certainly, I am happy for our football team to get the win. It was hard fought. Our guys worked hard.
Obviously, it was a slow start for us and credit goes to Western Michigan. They came in here with a good plan. They were competing hard, so credit goes to them on that.
I am happy the way our guys responded. It was not the kind of start we had hoped for certainly, but they fought through some things. One thing about football, it’s a full 60-minute game, always has been, always will be, sometimes more than that. That’s why you play the full 60. You never know what’s going to happen.
Hopefully it’s a good step for our guys to be forced in a situation of a little bit of adversity and have to fight through that. That’s what the season’s all about. A lot of different scenarios, things that you experience.
It’s a great opportunity for guys to learn, the whole team to learn. Hopefully we learned some good lessons today. Several positions that we got a little spark from. It was good to see some newcomers involved. I’ll start with Anterio with the punt block; a guy who’s really doing some good things behind the scenes. I think he has a good future here. To see him involved, that was probably not the position you would figure him being opportunistic in. So that was great to see.
Pleased with both the young backs. Kamari jumped in there and did a good job, as did T.J. Washington. We got a couple guys nicked up there, and those guys got called on and did a good job. Then Max White, to get a touchdown at the end, that was a good moment, too.
If you go back and look at the first half, the things we did in the first half or were victim to are the things that, if we’re going to win football games and have one football games, we’re good at typically, ball security, then check that box.
Then we gave up way too many big plays. It’s one thing to give up yards, but when you’re uncontested, that’s not good. Credit goes to them again. Their execution above those cases was good.
We missed a field goal. It wasn’t a chip shot, but Drew’s done a great job too. Seemed like nothing was going well. Again, credit to our guys for fighting back, so happy about that.
Unfortunately, I hate to lose Luke (Lachey) to an injury. It’s fairly significant, so we’ll know more about that in a couple days. They’re assessing that. That’s the one downside right there.
That aside, happy to be 3-0. Looking forward to moving into Big Ten play.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Western Michigan got on the board first with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter as the Broncos needed only four plays to cover 96-yards and reach the endzone. Anthony Sambucci scored on a 64-yard pass from Treyson Bourguet to cap the drive.
- After a 42-minute lightning delay the Hawkeyes drove 44-yards over eight plays to set up a 41-yard field goal by Drew Stevens. The kick was wide left.
- Leshon Williams broke open a 53-yard rush to set up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Cade McNamara to Diante Vines to end a five play 66-yard drive with 8:26 left in the first half.
- Following the Hawkeye score the Broncos drove 66-yards over nine plays. The drive started with a 43-yard pass from Treyson Borguet that ultimately set up a 27-yard field goal for Palmer Domscke.
- After an 18-yard punt return by Cooper DeJean that put Iowa on the WMU 25-yard line. McNamara completed a screen pass to Williams for a one play score to give the Hawkeyes a lead with 1:37 remaining in the first half.
- After the Iowa defense forced a punt from Western Michigan on their own 25-yard line, Anterio Thompson broke through the line and blocked the punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
- Following the safety punt Iowa took the ball and drove 53-yards over six plays and 3:21 ending with Kamari Moulton’s first career touchdown rush from three yards out. McNamara connected with Erick All for the two-point conversion.
- Jay Higgins forced a fumble for the Hawkeye defense at the WMU 17 to set up a three-play drive that ended with a Kamari Moulton one yard touchdown rush.
- Stevens connected on a 31-yard field goal attempt. The field goal capped a nine play 56-yard drive that elapsed 4:12.
- Max White put an exclamation point on the Hawkeye win scoring his first carrer touchdown with 30 seconds remaining in the contest reaching the end zone on a 2-yard rush that ended a six play 33-yard drive.
- RB Leshon Williams recorded his first career 100-yard game, finishing with 145 yards on 12 attempts. Williams also had a 25-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter – his first career receiving touchdown (and third TD overall). He finished the game with 172 all-purpose yards.
- Williams had a career-long 53-yard run in the second quarter to set up Iowa’s first touchdown. It is Iowa’s second rush of 50+ yards this season. (The Hawkeyes had two 50+ yard runs in 13 games in 2022.)
- Williams’ 25-yard reception was a career long.
- WR Diante Vines had a 3-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. It was Vines’ first career touchdown.
- True freshman RB Kamari Moulton had two touchdowns – one from 3-yards out and a second from 1-yard out — in his first collegiate game. Moulton rushed for 50 yards on eight attempts.
- The last Hawkeye freshman to have two rushing touchdowns was Kaleb Johnson vs. Nevada in 2022.
- Moulton is the first Hawkeye with two or more touchdowns in his collegiate debut since Jewell Hampton in the 2008 season opener against Maine.
- QB Cade McNamara completed 9-of-19 attempts for 103 yards and two touchdowns, tying a season high. McNamara has four touchdowns (to three interceptions) this season.
- DT Anterio Thompson blocked a WMU punt in the third quarter – his first career punt block – that resulted in a safety. It was Thompson’s first career game as a Hawkeye.
- It is the first safety of the season and the first for the program since recording two safeties against South Dakota State in the 2022 season opener.
- Iowa has blocked two kicks this season (one punt, one field goal) and the defense/special teams have scored eight points.
- LB Jay Higgins and LB Nick Jackson combined for 18 total tackles.
- Higgins forced a fumble – the first of his career — in the third quarter and DL Jeremiah Pittman recovered, giving Iowa possession at the WMU 17. It was Pittman’s first career fumble recovery.
- Jackson finished with a team and season high nine tackles and the forced fumble. It is Jackson’s 21st double digit tackle game of his career and his first as a Hawkeye.
- RB Jaziun Patterson made his first career start.
- WR Jarriett Buie, RB Kamari Moulton and RB Terrell Washington, Jr., became the first three Hawkeye freshmen to appear in a game this season.
- The Hawkeyes rushed for 254 yards – a season high – and the most by the offense since 2021 vs. Kent State (206).
- Iowa converted a 2-point conversion (from Cade McNamara to Erick All) in the third quarter to make the score 24-10. It is Iowa’s first 2-point conversion since 2020 against Wisconsin.
- Iowa’s defense has allowed one touchdown or less in 12 of its last 16 games, dating back to the start of the 2022 season.
- Since the start of the 2015 season, Iowa is now 66-2 when leading by eight points at any point in a game.
- Iowa won the toss and elected to receive. The Hawkeyes have played 304 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 222 times (142-80). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 82 times (47-35).
The Hawkeyes return to action Sept. 23, traveling to University Park, Pennsylvania, for their Big Ten Conference opener at nationally ranked Penn State. The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. (CT) and be televised live on CBS