Iowa Football

Game report, Iowa vs. UNI: Numbers, notes, grades and more

Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Noah Fant (87) scores a touchdown against the Northern Iowa Panthers during the first half of a game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, September 15, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Noah Fant (87) scores a touchdown against the Northern Iowa Panthers during the first half of a game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, September 15, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

A look at Iowa’s 38-14 win Saturday night over Northern Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.

Play of the game

The Setup 

Iowa began its second possession of the game at its own 8 after a holding penalty negated a good punt return by Kyle Groeneweg. A mix of runs and short passes moved the football to the Hawkeyes 49, where they faced a 2nd-and-9.

What Happened 

Tight end Noah Fant is a mismatch against virtually anyone, of course, let alone UNI. He returned from a minor leg injury on Iowa’s first possession that kept him out of the game for exactly two plays and was the target here.

The Result

Fant got open deep downfield on the left side, slipping past a UNI defender.

Quarterback Nate Stanley lofted a perfect pass that Fant ran under and snagged, rolling his way to the Panthers 8. That’s a 43-yard gain, folks.

On 2nd-and-goal from the 5, Stanley rolled right and connected with Fant for a touchdown that broke the school record for most TD receptions by a tight end.

Iowa 7, Northern Iowa 0 with 6:07 left in the first quarter. The Hawkeyes rolled from there.

Grades

Marc Morehouse: A-

They sure checked a lot of stuff of the list, didn’t they? Bull or the horns next week, and now it really matters.

Mike Hlas: A

This game was more one-sided than a Russian election.

Jeff Johnson: A-

Iowa took care of business against an inferior opponent and found its passing game.

By the numbers

14: Career touchdown receptions by Iowa junior tight end Noah Fant. A 5-yarder in the first quarter opened the scoring here and moved Fant past Mike Flagg for the school’s career record by a tight end. Fant, Flagg and wide receiver Quinn Early (both players in the 1980s) came into the game tied for 10th all-time at Iowa for career TD catches.

316: Yardage for Iowa in the first half. A previously scattershot offense had few issues moving the football here.

20: Yardage for Northern Iowa in the first half. That included minus-2 yards rushing.

20:48: Iowa’s time of possession in the first half. That’s 50 offensive plays.

9:12: UNI’s time of possession in the first half. That’s 20 offensive plays.

600,000: The dollar amount Iowa gave Northern Iowa to play this game. That sum gets bumped to $650,000 when the teams meet again in two years at Kinnick Stadium.

95: The largest margin of victory in this 18-game series. Iowa won the 1914 encounter in Iowa City, 95-0.

309: Passing yardage for Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley on Saturday night.

274: Passing yardage for Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley in two games prior to Saturday night.

Notes

— Senior Dalton Ferguson got the start at right guard for Iowa, in place of injured Cole Banwart. He and junior Levi Paulsen shared snaps during the game.

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— Kristian Welch regained his starting weakside linebacker spot for Iowa after missing last week’s game against Iowa State with an unspecified injury. Djimon Colbert started in his place last week. This was the third starting combination at linebacker in as many games for the Hawkeyes. Jack Hockaday started in the middle and Nick Niemann outside.

— Colton Howell started at quarterback for Northern Iowa. He was 3 for 10 passing for 22 yards and an interception in the first half, giving way to Eli Dunne in the second half. Dunne was UNI’s starter for its opener two weeks ago at Montana. Dunne found more success, going 18 for 28 for 200 yards and two touchdowns.

— Iowa cornerback Michael Ojemudia recorded his first collegiate interception when he picked off Howell.

— Country music singer Pat Green performed a rendition of his song “Wave On Wave” during halftime, joined by the marching bands from both Iowa and Northern Iowa. “Wave On Wave” has become the anthem to The Wave, which occurs after the first quarter of each game at Kinnick Stadium. Fans, players and coaches from both teams wave to young patients and their families as they gather on the top floor of the adjacent Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Green and his band played from the stands, while the marching bands were on the field.

— Iowa’s Ferguson became a father last week. According to hawkeyesports.com, the senior offensive lineman’s girlfriend gave birth to twin daughters last week before the Iowa State game. The twins were born five weeks premature, thus are in the neonatal intensive care unit at Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

— UNI tight end Tristan Bohr is a junior tight end from Crestwood High School who walked on at Iowa in 2016, did not play and transferred to Cedar Falls last fall.

— Iowa freshman wide receiver Tyrone Tracy Jr. got his first action of the season, catching a pass in the fourth quarter for 22 yards. He is the seventh true frosh to play this season. The others are defensive back Julius Brents, defensive back Kaevon Merriweather, running back Henry Geil, defensive back Riley Moss, defensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum and wide receiver Nico Ragaini. Per new NCAA rule, you can play in four games and still redshirt.

Injury report

Running back Ivory Kelly-Martin (ankle) missed his second straight game for Iowa.

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Starting wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette also was out with a shoulder injury incurred last week against Iowa State.

Fant went to the sideline for two plays during Iowa’s initial offensive possession with some sort of leg issue but quickly returned to action.

Up next

Iowa kicks off Big Ten Conference play with a biggie. OK, bigger than a biggie. Sixth-ranked Wisconsin comes to town for a 7:30 p.m. kick. The Badgers won’t be sixth-ranked this week, however, considering their upset home loss Saturday to Brigham Young. The game will be televised nationally by FOX.

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