INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Iowa football team was defeated in the Big Ten Championship game, 26-0, by the University of Michigan on Saturday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Wolverines outgained the Hawkeyes 213-155 yards, and Michigan capitalized on three Iowa turnovers that led to 10 points.
Deacon Hill was 18-for-32 on passing attempts for 120 yards. Leshon Williams led the team with 25 rushing yards on nine attempts. Addison Ostrenga had a team-best 50 yards receiving on seven catches.
Jay Higgins led the Hawkeyes defensively with 14 tackles (five solo) and Sebastian Castro tallied nine tackles (six solo). The Iowa defense got to the Michigan quarterback four times as four different Hawkeyes recorded a sack.
QUOTING KIRK FERENTZ
“Somebody pointed out to me, it was 25 years ago when I started in this position, and I feel very fortunate about that. During that time we’ve had a lot of really good teams, and I’ve had the privilege to work with a lot of outstanding players. A lot of those guys were here tonight actually, so appreciate that.
But this group that we’ve worked with this year is about as good as we’ve had. Certainly amongst the most outstanding group that we’ve had. A lot of tremendous players, like Jay and a bunch of other guys in that locker room. Gotten great leadership, made great improvements, stuck together.
Tonight certainly wasn’t our night. We knew we came in here needing to play pretty much a flawless game. Obviously didn’t do that. Didn’t do a great job protecting the football, and a couple of other situations.
But disappointing tonight. To me that doesn’t overshadow the job that this group has done for the last 10, 11 months now.
Proud to be part of it. Proud to be their coach, and proud of the effort tonight. We’ll go back to Iowa City, take a couple of days off and regroup and start figuring out a way to win our next football game.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Michigan got on the board on their opening series as they connected on a 35-yard field goal. It capped a 13-play, 52 yard drive that elapsed 7:35.
- After an 87-yard punt return to the five yard line Michigan’s Blake Corum punched in the first touchdown of the game with 1:07 remaining in the first quarter.
- Early in the second half, an Iowa turnover gave Michigan the ball at the six yard line the Wolverines capitalized on the field position and Corum recorded his second touchdown of the day with 9:09 remaining in the third quarter.
- With 5:08 left in the third quarter Michigan extended its lead with a 46-yard field goal that ended a nine play, 28 yard drive that lasted 4:46.
- A pair of Michigan field goals in the fourth quarter would push the Wolverine lead to 26 as they connected from 36 yards out and 50 yards out.
- LB Jay Higgins had 14 tackles – his ninth game this season with 10 or more tackles (10th of his career).
- Higgins has led or tied for the team lead in tackles in 11 of Iowa’s 13 games.
- Higgins has 155 tackles this season – the fourth-most in a single season in program history, trailing only Andre Jackson (171), Abdul Hodge (158) and Chad Greenway (156).
- DB Sebastian Castro had a career-high nine tackles.
- TE Addison Ostrenga had a team-high seven catches for 50 yards. It was his third game with five or more receptions this season.
- WR Kaleb Brown had five catches for 34 yards – his third straight game with three or more receptions.
- WR Nico Ragaini had three catches for 25 yards, moving him into fifth place in career receptions (154) and 20th in career receiving yards (1,594).
- Punter Tory Taylor had seven punts for 353 yards, including four over 50 yards and a season-long 67-yarder in the second quarter.
- Taylor’s 67-yard punt is the second-longest in Big Ten Championship Game history.
- His 353 yards are the second-most in BTCG history, his seven punts are tied for third and his 50.4 average is fourth.
- Iowa’s defense limited Michigan to 213 yards of total offense – 182 below its season average.
- The Hawkeyes held the Wolverines to 66 rushing yards. Michigan entered the game averaging 169.8 yards on the ground.
- It is the 27th consecutive game Iowa’s defense has allowed fewer than 400 yards — the longest active streak nationally.
- Michigan drove 52 yards over 13 plays, spanning 7:35 en route to a field goal. The three points were the first the Hawkeyes have allowed on an opening possession this season.
- The Wolverines had 46 yards of total offense on their four other scoring drives in the game.
- Michigan’s Semaj Morgan had an 87-yard punt return to set up the Wolverines’ first touchdown. The return was the longest play against Iowa this season and the longest return in Big Ten Championship Game history.
- Michigan won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Iowa received. The Hawkeyes have played 314 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 231 times (149-82). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 83 times (47-36).
The Hawkeyes will learn their bowl destination on Sunday afternoon.