Iowa Hawkeyes Start Fast and Dominate Northwestern Wildcats 48-7
Like last game the Iowa Hawkeyes started out fast. Unlike last game Iowa won, scoring 24 first quarter points en route to a season high 48 points, in a 48-7 stomping of the Northwestern Wildcats at Nile Kinnick Stadium Saturday.
"I thought this would be a really even football game, they got a good football team," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said after playing Northwestern.
The game was not close to even at any point.
Mark Weisman scored two rushing touchdowns and Marshall Koehn kicked a field goal before Ben Niemann blocked a Northwestern punt and scoped it off the turf on the 1-yard line and into the end zone for the Hawkeyes 24 first quarter points.
Iowa played to full potential today and showed what they are capable of as Coach Kirk Feretnz pointed out, "...we did some things we hadn't done real consistently this year, so that was positive."
They have been inconsistent all season, but they were anything but today, really just one bad punt attempt and under throw away from a perfect game.
In fact, Iowa is a mere 10 points away from a perfect record.
Despite the inconsistent play Iowa became bowl eligible with this win and has control of its own destiny as co-leader in the Big Ten West Division. They will face each of those teams tied with them in three of the remaining four games.
Iowa had not had a 100 yard rusher in 10 straight games, tying the longest such streak in Ferentz' 16 years at Iowa. It wasn't Weisman that broke the streak.
Red-shirt Freshman Akrum Wadley saw his first two career carries for 24 yards in the first half. He added 86 second half yards and a touchdown to break the 100-yard mark. The speed he possess was evident and it was obvious why Iowa believes he has a very bright Hawkeye future.
Weisman had 43 yards in the first quarter with the two touchdowns on his way to 94 yards on 20 carries, almost all of it coming in the first half.
Iowa didn't attempt a pass over 10 yards in their last game until the very end of each half.
Their second pass of this game traveled 17 yards. Tevaun Smith added six yards after the catch for a gain of 23 yards. That was followed by a 42-yard flea flicker on the next play.
Quarterback Jake Rudock went on to complete three more passes of 15 yards or more including a 43-yard touchdown to Smith in the second quarter.
Rudock had 118 yards in just the first quarter. He ended up 12-of-19 for 239 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. By far his best yards-per-attempt game of 2014.
The defense did its part, forcing Northwestern into 3rd-and-double digits on each of its first four positions, led by two sacks on two different drives by Iowa's third leading tackler defensive end Louis-Trinca Pasat.
Pasat has worked his way into the conversation as the best defensive end in the Big Ten this season.
The Wildcats could only muster 38 first half yards and would have been shut out from scoring if not for a botched punt attempt, setting them up at the Iowa 18-yard line.
Rising Wildcat star, freshman running back, Justin Jackson ran it in from 1-yard for the only Northwestern touchdown of the game.
Jackson was the lone bright spot on this day for Northwestern, accounting for 106 of the Wildcats 180 offensive yards, gaining 96 on the ground and 10 via pass catch.
It was total Iowa domination. They gained 483 yards to the 180 for Northwestern, gaining 4.8 yards-per-rush and 10.5 per pass, easily surpassing their season averages.
Matt Vandenberg led all receivers with 90 yards on five grabs.
Smith caught four balls for 76 yards and the touchdown.
Mike McHugh led Northwestern with 24 receiving yards on one catch.
Kyle Prater added 3 catches for 22 yards.
Quarterback Travis Siemian had another poor game 8-of-18 for 68 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT.
Iowa, (6-2, 3-1), hosts Big Ten West co-division leader Minnesota, (6-2, 2-1), coming off a bye and an upset loss at the hands of Illinois. Northwestern, (3-5, 2-3), goes to Michigan, (3-5, 1-3) next week.