The final score (31-14) shows a 17-point margin, but getting there wasn’t as easy as expected for the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0) at home Saturday against North Texas (1-2).
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The tone for a game full of penalties and reviews was set in the first quarter when two Iowa touchdowns were taken off the board, first on a Nick Easley fumble at the goal line, then on an Akrum Wadley unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for high-stepping on his way to the end zone.
Iowa ended up with 435 yards, but averaged 5.1 per play and rarely looked fluid. Wadley (ankle) and James Butler (elbow) both left the game with injuries, but others filled in. Ivory Kelly-Martin scored the final two touchdowns and finished with 74 yards on 11 carries as the Hawkeyes wore down UNT late. Toren Young added 79 yards on 18 attempts.
After trailing 14-10 at halftime, Iowa went 76 yards on 14 plays to take the lead on Nate Stanley’s 23-yard toss to Noah Fant. Stanley was 16 of 27 for 197 yards, two touchdowns and zero picks.
The Hawkeyes had a 40:45-19:15 time of possession advantage, running on 59 of 86 plays.
North Texas’ Air Raid attack gave Iowa fits in the first half. Backup QB Quinn Shanbour even completed two passes, including a 13-yard TD to Jalen Guyton late in the first half.
Iowa had three tackles for loss and one sack, but got the Mean Green off the field in the second half. North Texas ran just 19 plays for 78 yards in the last 30 minutes and was 0 of 6 on third downs.
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Mason Fine was 16 of 26 for 167 yards and a late interception to Josh Jackson. Jeffery Wilson rushed for 95 yards, including a 41-yard TD run to put UNT up 7-0.
Miguel Recinos booted a 42-yard field goal and was 4 of 4 on extra points to remain perfect this season.
Josh Jackson blocked a North Texas field goal attempt to keep the game tied at 7 in the first half.
Kelly-Martin averaged 22 yards on a pair of punt returns.