Saturday, September 5, 2015

Iowa kicks off the 2015 season with a 31-14 win over FCS #2 Illinois State

Iowa City, IA -- The University of Iowa was happy to finally get out and play someone other than the Black & Gold teammate on the other side of the football, as they kicked off the 2015 College Football season at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.

The preparation paid off, as the Iowa Hawkeyes open the 2015
season with a solid 31-14 win over Illinois State at Kinnick.
The Hawkeyes wore down Illinois State in the First Half
Iowa scored 17 unanswered points in the first half on route to a 31-14 win over Illinois State to open the season. The Hawkeyes scored on back to back opening possessions to take a 14-0 lead. The Hawkeyes lead 17-0, after a Marshall Koehn, senior PK, 40 yard field goal to close out the first half. The Iowa defense completely bottled up the Redbirds offense in the first half, holding the Redbirds to zero yards rushing and 36 yards passing.

In his first career start at Kinnick Stadium, C.J. Beathard lead the Iowa offense,
contributing 15-24, 211 yards, 1 TD passing, along with 2 rushing TDs for Iowa.
The Hawkeyes nearly doubled up the Redbirds in total offense, finishing with a 423-231 advantage. Iowa eclipsed the 200-yard mark on the ground, finishing with 202 yards on 43 carries, while finishing with 221 yards through the air.

Iowa senior DE 95 Drew Ott recorded two sacks, while
junior DT 67 Jaleel Johnson played very solid as a new starter.
Iowa’s defense stifled the 2014 FCS runner-up, limiting the Redbirds to 79 yards through the first three quarters. Illinois State scored all 14 of its points in the fourth quarter, where it nearly doubled its offensive output, piling up 152 yards. Illinois State redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Kolbe replaced a dinged Tre Roberson.

The Hawkeyes scored 31 points to open the scoring in the Iowa-Illinois
season opener, as junior WR 89 Matt VandeBerg finished Iowa's scoring on
the day, on this nine yard TD pass to complete a perfect day in the Redzone.
The Hawkeyes have won 14-of-17 season openers under Kirk Ferentz, averaging 35.3 ppg in the 14 wins. Iowa is 95-29-2 (.762) in home openers.

Oh Nellie!
Iowa's 99-yard scoring drive on its second possession was its first 99-yard scoring drive since 2002 at Miami (OH). 
Iowa DE 95 Drew Ott recording one of his two QB sacks against former IU,
present Illinois State QB 5 Tre Robeson, who made his first career start as a
QB at Kinnick Stadium, back during the 2011 season.
Iowa finished the game with five sacks, all in the opening half. Senior DE Drew Ott had two sacks. Redshirt freshman DE Parker Hesse, senior DE Nate Meier, and sophomore LB Ben Niemann each had one. It was the first career sack for Hesse and Niemann. 

The coin toss was important strategy for Iowa, since it gave Iowa's physical offensive game strategy an early boost winning the toss. In 17 seasons as Iowa's head coach, Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes received the opening kickoff in 163-201 games (96-67). Iowa has started the game on defense in 38-of-201 games under Ferentz (20-18).
Junior Iowa RB 29 LeShun Daniels, Jr. made his first career start.
Junior RB LeShun Daniels, Jr., carried Iowa's rushing attack with career-highs in yards (123) and carries (26). Junior QB C.J. Beathard finished 15-of-24 for 211 yards with a touchdown. Senior RB Jordan Canzeri had four catches for 90 yards, also a rushing touchdown; while junior WR Matt VandeBerg had six receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown. 
Senior RB 33 Jordan Canzeri reacts after scoring a rushing TD, after leading 2014
College Football rushers, without a rushing TD during the season.
On defense, senior WLB Cole Fisher had a career-high eight tackles in his first career start, while Iowa's senior DEs Ott (two sacks) and Meier (three tackles for loss) combined for five tackles for loss.

True freshmen WR Jerminic Smith, WR Adrian Falconer, and OL James Daniels played today. Daniels is the first true freshman to play offensive line since Bryan Bulaga in 2007.

The Hawkeyes have played 57 consecutive games without a missed or blocked PAT, the longest streak of any school in the nation. Iowa has converted on 172 consecutive PATs during the streak.

Instant replay was not used today. The NCAA has a new booth replay system and it off to a very effective start, as witnessed over the course of three days of the first five day weekend opening the 2015 College Football season.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, dean of B1G coaches, in his 17th
season at the helm. Illinois State Brock Spack, a former Purdue
player and two-time assistant coach speak before kickoff.
Spack was very positive about Iowa ahead and after today's game.
Both programs have a lot to play for in 2015.
The Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) return to action Sept. 12, traveling to Ames, Iowa, for the Cy-Hawk Game against Iowa State. Game time is 3:45 p.m. (CT) on Fox Sports from Jack Trice Stadium, in Ames. Iowa State (0-0) kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight against Northern Iowa (0-0) in Ames. Illinois State (0-1) and UNI will play each other in Missouri Valley Football Conference play, later this season.

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