Iowa Football

Fun Facts: Iowa football vs. Illinois, Rose Bowl Tavern edition

Spoiler alert: Rudy Giuliani has no connection to this game

Illinois at Iowa. The victor is guaranteed a winning record in the Big Ten football standings this season.

It isn’t like the fate of the world is at stake, is it?

That said, here are Fun Facts about Saturday’s Illini-Hawkeyes clash:

1. Iowa’s five straight wins over Illinois matches its all-time longest such streak against the Illini. The Hawkeyes’ previous five-game win streak against Illinois came immediately before Illinois’ last win in the series, 2008.

2. Illinois’ two-game Big Ten road winning streak (Purdue, Michigan State) is its first since 2007. The last time it won three straight was 2001.

3. The Hawkeyes’ 63-0 win in Champaign last year was their largest margin of victory in the series, and their biggest Big Ten romp since they beat Northwestern 64-0 in 1981.

4. Iowa and Illinois were both outgained by over 120 yards in their most recent games and still won.

5. The Illini passed for 26 yards at Purdue and won. They rushed for 36 yards at Michigan State and won.

6. The punters from both teams are from Australia. Iowa’s is Michael Sleep-Dalton, of Geelong. Illinois’ is Blake Hayes, of Melbourne. Hayes averages 287.8 punting yards per game, more than any player in the FBS, and his 6.4 punts per game ranks second nationally.

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7. Last week, Tyler Goodson became the first first-year freshman to start at running back for Iowa since Greg Garmon in 2012.

8. Illinois allowed 45.6 points per game in Big Ten games last year, the second-worst total by any team in league history. This year it is allowing 28.1 points in league games. Rutgers is allowing 43.0, Maryland 43.3.

9. Iowa is allowing 12.9 points in Big Ten games, second to Ohio State’s 10.3.

10. Illinois has recovered an opponent’s fumble in all 10 of its games, the only team in the nation that has done so. It leads the nation in takeaways (26) and turnover margin (+1.4 per game).

11. The Illini have 40 touchdowns, the Hawkeyes 25.

12. The attendance for this year’s Michigan-Illinois game was 37,725. The last time Michigan played before a smaller crowd was in 1998 at Hawaii.

13. Illinois linebacker Jake Hansen leads the nation in forced fumbles with seven.

14. Iowa doesn’t have a 500-yard rusher this season. It does have three 400-yard rushers. It has had someone rush for at least 779 yards every year since 2004, when Sam Brownlee led the team with 227.

15. Illini wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe is averaging 30.7 yards per catch (9 for 276 yards) over the last four games. Imatorbhebhe is from the same high school (North Gwinnett in Suwanee, Ga.) as Goodson.

16. Iowa has 23 players from Illinois. Illinois has no players from Iowa.

17. The Illini have three transfers from USC and one each from Alabama, Georgia, Miami, Michigan and Western Michigan.

18. Illinois has four times as many people as Iowa, yet Iowa has immeasurably more influence in selecting parties’ presidential nominees than Illinois.

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19. It’s possible Illinois could be the last Big Ten team to play a game this season. The Armed Forces Bowl, which pits a Mountain West team against one from the Big Ten, is Jan. 4 in Fort Worth, Texas. Kickoff is at 10:30 a.m.

20. The Rose Bowl is a tavern in Urbana, Ill.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.