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Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz has 143 wins under his belt at the University of Iowa, one away from the all-time record.

The Gazette will count down each win, as ranked by writer Marc Morehouse.

128

Dear officials, please no more 19-penalty games, that's F-minus game management

Iowa 31, North Texas 14 | Sept. 16, 2017

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley runs for the end zone and an apparent touchdown during the first half against North Texas at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. The the touchdown was nullified by a unsportsmanlike penalty for excessive celebration as Wadley appeared to high step near the end zone. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa running back Akrum Wadley runs for the end zone and an apparent touchdown during the first half against North Texas at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. The the touchdown was nullified by a unsportsmanlike penalty for excessive celebration as Wadley appeared to high step near the end zone. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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Three cool things:

1. North Texas backup QB Quinn Shanbour had an unforgettable moment. He threw a TD pass to give the Mean Green a 14-10 halftime lead.

That was really great for Quinn Shanbour. The Hawkeyes weren’t too pumped about that moment, but they got it together and dispatched Seth Littrell’s team with relative ease in the second half. (I think Littrell is a coach who’s going to go places.)

Sometimes, the cool thing happened to the other team. And hey, this was a Sun Belt team in a Big Ten stadium. Let’s see if there are two more cool things.

2. Here’s one: OK, this isn’t really cool, but the officiating in this game was ... active. The officiating crew was from the Big Ten and Mid-American Conference and Missouri Valley Conference consortium and it was out of pace, calling 19 penalties and sitting through maybe five reviews.

Officials require the freedom and ability to call what needs to be called. Of course, it doesn’t work that way. Game management dictates that, no, you can’t call every holding penalty. The worst tweets I get are ones pointing out an uncalled penalty. They didn’t call it, it’s not a penalty and you pointing it out now doesn’t change the non-call. Really, that’s it.

I’d love to call for more accountability from officiating. What we’re really talking about here is the conferences being proactive, knowing when there’s a questionable call and getting in front of it with a statement from officials and citations from the rule book.

It always amazes me how much officials get right. That’s not an accident. Game mechanics, being in the right place at the right time to make the right call, is a huge part of what they do. Conferences need to serve as a mouthpiece instead of pretending it didn’t see the play happening and then issuing a toothless statement on the next Wednesday.

Yeah, I’m talking about you, Big Ten. Act like a major conference, will ya? I had a question once, emailed the league and eight hours later I got a link to the rule book.

That’s not even “good job, good effort.”

3. Nice little beginning for running backs Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin. The freshmen combined for 30 carries, 152 yards and two TDs. You’re really going to get to know them this season.

Quote: This is the game RB Akrum Wadley got busted for high-stepping into the end zone. It ended up costing Wadley a piece of Iowa’s career rushing TD record.

Wadley always walked that line with his TD celebrations, but this really was just a horse bleep call.

“I just told him he’s too good of a player to do that,” Ferentz said. “Close, not close, but why give anybody an opportunity to have to make that decision? He’s too good of a player for that.”

Note: Iowa ran 43 plays in the second half and passed just eight times. That’s what it looks like a lot of times when Iowa wins, a headlock.

Why No. 128? — Every game can’t be mega, but Iowa should lose UNT’s cell number for a while.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME

Game story from 2017

IOWA CITY — Nobody ever really says exactly what they mean in these postgames. So Parker Hesse’s tone said a lot.

The junior defensive lineman still had the game eyes going when he stepped to the lectern after the Hawkeyes’ 31-14 victory over North Texas before 65,668 fans Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.

His eyes were as wide as plates. His tone was just inside of a bark. Hesse was very matter of fact with zero inflection that said the Hawkeyes are 3-0 and go into the Big Ten season with an undefeated non-conference record for the fifth time in head coach Kirk Ferentz’s 19 seasons.

Iowa allowed the Mean Green (1-2) to score a TD and take a 14-10 lead with 11 seconds left before halftime. Two personal foul penalties fueled the drive and North Texas’ No. 2 quarterback, Quinn Shanbour, zipped a TD pass to wide-open Jalen Guyton for the lead.

Second-string QB and a Conference USA team not only taking a halftime lead, but taking what Iowa gave it and looking good doing it.

The Hawkeyes picked up on this.

“At halftime it was more of an attitude change,” Hesse said. “We had to look ourselves in the mirror and just decide are we going to ride the wave? Are we going to be up and down all year? Or are we going to play Iowa football?”

Let the record show, Hesse was the first person to bring up No. 5 Penn State (3-0), Iowa’s Big Ten opener at Kinnick next Saturday night on ABC.

Last year, it was 41-14 at Penn State with the Nittany Lions running up the second-most total offense against an Iowa team in the Ferentz era.

“I’m going to revisit last year’s game,” Hesse said. “That’s one that still stings. It’s something we’re going to look to and try to avenge.”

This was a weird game. The officiating crew was from the Big Ten and Mid-American Conference and Missouri Valley Conference consortium and it was out of pace, calling 19 penalties and sitting through maybe five reviews. Remember, no one says what they really mean in the postgame.

“The obvious thing today was just the plays that got reviewed,” Ferentz said. “I was told before the game that we had more cameras. I have no idea what the normal number would be, and I don’t know if there is a correlation between more cameras, more reviews, it’s just — I’m not making judgments, should they or shouldn’t they, but it kills momentum.”

Calls are made during games and players move on. The two that helped the Mean Green’s drive at the end of the half — a low hit by freshman defensive end A.J. Epenesa and a late hit by corner Manny Rugamba — came at inopportune times.

“You have to remain poised,” Hesse said. “A.J.’s call, he’s just rushing hard. You can’t control that. A lot of that stuff is out of our control. We can’t let that get to us. We can’t pile anything more on it.

“Sometimes, the ball bounces wrong and calls go whatever, you’ve got to keep your poise and keep doing what you’re doing.”

Iowa’s first drive was a touchdown, for a second anyway. Wide receiver Nick Easley had the ball knocked out just before he crossed the goal line. The ball went out of the end zone for a touchback and it really was all down hill from there.

Iowa’s next drive was a 74-yard TD on a wheel route to running back Akrum Wadley. For a second. Wadley was called for unsportsmanlike conduct because he high-stepped into the end zone. Wadley ended up tweaking an ankle and didn’t play in the second half.

Ferentz’s words to Wadley after that were a mild scold.

“I just told him he’s too good of a player to do that,” Ferentz said. “Close, not close, but why give anybody an opportunity to have to make that decision? He’s too good of a player for that.”

Iowa’s lone first-half TD was a tipped pass from quarterback Nate Stanley to tight end T.J. Hockenson.

The second half was a Hawkeye headlock. Iowa ran 43 plays and passed just eight times. Freshman running backs Toren Young (19 carries, 78 yards) and Ivory Kelly-Martin (11 carries, 74 yards, two second-half TDs) were the pistons in a rush attack that drove 76-, 87- and 43-yard TD drives that took nearly a collective 20 minutes off the clock.

“That first half still is going to bug us a lot,” linebacker Josey Jewell said. “We’ve yet to play a full game, a full 60 (minutes). That’s one thing I think we need to work on.”