116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A closer look at Iowa’s 27-10 win over Rutgers Saturday night at SHI Stadium.
Rutgers had the ball and a 3-0 lead with under six minutes left in the first quarter. On third-and-8 at the Rutgers 18, quarterback Evan Simon had defensive tackle Lukas Van Ness charging at him.
Simon’s long pass overshot receiver Joshua Youngblood and was intercepted in a rather athletic over-the-shoulder way by Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean at the Rutgers 45.
DeJean eluded would-be tackler Aron Cruickshank (who ended up on the seat of his pants) at the 35, ran behind nice blocks by Jestin Jacobs and Quinn Schulte, was untouched by Simon in the quarterback’s hopeless tackling effort at the 12, and went the rest of the way to the end zone for Iowa’s first defensive touchdown of the season.
The pick was great. The return may have been a little better.
The lead not only held up, but grew to 17-3 by halftime thanks largely to a 30-yard touchdown return of a fumble by Kaevon Merriweather after safety Sebastian Castro’s smash dislodged the ball from Rutgers receiver Younglood.
By the Numbers
0 — Iowa has never lost to Rutgers, or any New Jersey team.
3 — DeJean has interceptions in its last three games.
15 — Iowa has interception returns for touchdowns in each of the last 15 seasons.
20 — It was Rutgers’ 20th-straight home Big Ten loss.
53,117 — A sellout crowd of 53,117 came for Rutgers’ first night home game with fans since 2017.
* Rutgers came in allowing only 32.3 yards per game, second-best in the nation. Iowa rushed for 129.
* Rookie defensive back Dane Belton of the New York Giants via Iowa made the short trip from his new home to Piscataway Saturday and was on the Hawkeyes’ sideline. He recovered a fumble on his first career NFL play last Sunday..
* Scarlet Knight fans bring their Saturday night dinner table recipes to the stadium.
Pizzas and pastas galore could be seen. I saw Penne alla Vodka pasta. I saw garlic shrimp. I saw tomatillos, which look like green, unripe tomatoes, used in a salad.
One food truck sold rice balls with all sorts of ingredients to fill them with, and Italian ice. The line was 25-deep an hour before the game. The line was 40-deep for Chank’s Pizza Cones, which looked just like it sounds. Pizza in a cone.
Another truck sold truffle parmesan tots, fire-roasted tomato soup and caprese melts.
As food goes, put Rutgers in the Top 25.
Hawkeye cornerback/punt-coverage savant Terry Roberts warmed up, but didn’t play.
Wide receiver Keagan Johnson was counted on to be one of Iowa’s primary playmakers this season, but a hamstring issue is denying that from happening. He made his season debut the week before when he played 15 snaps and caught two short passes against Nevada.
Linebacker Jacobs returned after missing the last two games with a soft tissue issue, but was injured in the first half and didn’t return. Defensive tackle Noah Shannon was back in the lineup after being dinged up last week. Running back Leshon Williams was back after a one-game absence.
Defensive tackle Yahya Black has a broken foot and will be out indefinitely..
Iowa hosts No. 4 Michigan (4-0 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) Saturday at 11 a.m. (FOX).