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Iowa Squeezes Out 14-7 Big Ten Win At Rutgers (09/24/16)
It’s a good thing that pretty doesn’t count in the standings - because this game was not a thing of beauty for the most part - on either offense or defense. But the Hawkeyes ultimately prevailed and grabbed their first Big Ten win of the season in Piscataway, New Jersey. These two teams have played a combined 2487 college football games but had never faced off against each other before.
Rutgers stymied Iowa’s Offense for much of the game. The Hawkeyes scored once near the end of each Half, then sealed the victory at the end by running seven plays and eating the last 4:40 on the clock when Rutgers had no timeouts left.
On Defense, Iowa was in a classic bend but don’t break mode, surrendering 383 yards of total offense but making huge plays inside the red-zone to stiffle several Scarlet Knight drives. Rutgers was able to run up the middle pretty much all day which has to be a growing concern for Iowa’s Defense.
Iowa found its running game again after woeful production against NDSU the previous Saturday. The Hawkeyes finished with 193 yards on the ground - Akrum Wadley returned home to get 84 yards and a touchdown while LeShun Daniels added 77 yards. Wadley also had 38 receiving yards. Balance returned to Iowa’s Offense, unlike last week, as Quarterback C.J. Beathard passed for 162 yards and one touchdown. This was far from Beathard’s best game though, as he finished 12-23 for 162 yards but didn’t look comfortable in the pocket for much of the game. Nevertheless, Beathard remains perfect in B1G regular season road games and he’s now 7-0 in those contests.
Iowa’s special teams play excelled again for the fourth week in a row - especially punter and kickoff specialist Ron Coluzzi. The Hawkeyes were able to contain Rutgers’ outstanding kick and punt returner Janarion Grant until he was injured late in the first half - he did not return to finish the game.
The Hawkeyes had zebra issues in this game, finishing with seven penalties for 57 yards including a questionable one that called back a 75 yard TD run by LeShun Daniels on the opening play in the 2nd Half. For that matter, this was far from the best officiated game that you will likely see in Big Ten play this year.
With the Big Ten’s new nine-game conference schedule, Iowa plays just four games at Kinnick Stadium and five on the road - so picking up a victory in any B1G road game is a huge plus.
Iowa (3-1, 1-0) returns home next Saturday to face Big Ten West foe Northwestern in the annual Homecoming game. Rutgers goes on the road to play Ohio State.
You can listen to the audio of Kirk Ferentz's complete post-game press conference here.
Links to the Pre-and-Post-Game Notes and Stats, Season Stats, Ferentz Presser transcripts, and B1G Notes are on the left side of this page.
You can also access additional stories, stats, information, and links at HawkeyesMic.Medium.com.