Sep 18, 2021; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) in action during the third quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Iowa aims to keep rolling vs. Colorado State

With its highest ranking in nearly six years, No. 5 Iowa is putting a variety of impressive streaks on the line Saturday when it hosts Colorado State in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes (3-0) have won nine games in a row overall and have captured 14 straight nonconference contests (including bowls). They also have scored at least 25 points in nine consecutive games and have allowed 24 points or fewer in 25 straight games.

Tyler Goodson ran for three touchdowns in Iowa’s 30-7 rout of Kent State last Saturday. He scored on touchdown runs of 46, 35 and 2 yards for Iowa, which is averaging 33.9 points during its nine-game winning streak.

“We have a good offense and we have guys that can make plays,” Goodson said. “From this day, we have to take the momentum and get better and better throughout the season.”

Iowa’s first two wins came against ranked foes Indiana and Iowa State. Spencer Petras threw for under 150 yards in each of those victories, but he set season highs for passing yards (209), completion percentage (69.4) and completions (25) against the Golden Flashes.

Goodson had a rushing score in each of the first two games but had only 154 total rushing yards in the two contests. He nearly matched that figure with 153 rushing yards against Kent State.

“We still have a lot of things to work on,” said Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz, whose team hasn’t been this high in the rankings since it was fourth in November 2015.

“The execution is still not there. But yeah, there were some good things going on, kind of subtly. It was good to get Tyler going a little bit better.”

Defensively, Iowa has six interceptions — tops in the Big Ten and second nationally. The defense has accounted for a score in every game, totaling 20 points overall (three touchdowns and a safety).

Colorado State coach Steve Addazio has been impressed with the Hawkeyes’ physicality on both sides of the ball.

“I think we have to play a clean, consistent game. I’m looking for that. I want to see our physicality against what many would say would be one of the most physical football teams in all of America,” Addazio said. “I mean, you’re (ranked) five, you’re four steps from one. They’ve always been a physical team. This is not a new phenomena. I played against them. I know exactly what we’re up against.”

Addazio’s squad opened its season with home defeats against South Dakota State and Vanderbilt. The Rams (1-2) bounced back last Saturday with a 22-6 road win over Toledo, as Thomas Pannunzio returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and Cayden Camper kicked five field goals.

David Bailey ran for 132 yards and likely will be a focus of Colorado State’s offense on Saturday.

“I think our team’s excited (and) we’re looking forward to this challenge,” Addazio said. “We’re not naive, we know how good this football team is. I mean, it’s pretty evident, they’re the No. 5 team in the country and they should be. But, in the same breath, we’ve got to focus on us. We’ve got to get better again this week.”

–Field Level Media

Members of the Iowa Hawkeyes football team celebrate after junior tight end Sam LaPorta scored a touchdown with seconds to go in the second quarter against Kent State at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

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Tyler Goodson leads No. 5 Iowa past Kent State

The fifth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes — helped by an incredible 20-play, 95-yard drive — defeated visiting Kent State 30-7 in nonconference play on Saturday afternoon at Iowa City.

Tyler Goodson ran for 153 yards, a 7.0 average and three touchdowns to lead the Hawkeyes (3-0), who have won nine straight games dating to last season.

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras completed 25 of 36 passes for 209 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.

Kent State (1-2) was led by quarterback Dustin Crum and wide receiver Keshunn Abram. Crum completed 16 of 23 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown. Abram caught six passes for 138 yards and one touchdown.

Iowa’s defense started the scoring as a 15-yard sack by Lukas Van Ness resulted in a first-period safety.

The Hawkeyes took the ensuing kick and scored on a pitch to Goodson for a 46-yard run through a huge hole on the left side to make it 9-0 with 6:34 left in the quarter.

Kent State got on the board on its next possession, converting a third-and-6 play with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Abram. Of the 75 yards traveled in that drive, 71 came on two throws to Abram.

But the Hawkeyes took a 16-7 lead into halftime lead on the dominating 20-play drive that chewed 8:38 off the clock. On third and goal from the 5-yard line, Petras hit Sam LaPorta, who barely got the ball over the end line for the touchdown.

Kent State failed to score on two third-quarter drives deep into Iowa territory.

On the first one, Kent State reached Iowa’s 35 before Crum threw incomplete on fourth-and-8.

Kent State then drove 76 yards on 15 plays, but Bryan Bradford fumbled as he tried to extend the ball into the end zone. Riley Moss recovered the fumble in the end zone, and Jack Campbell was credited with the force.

Iowa then drove 80 yards on 11 plays, scoring on Goodson’s 35-yard run — again to the left side — with 32 seconds left in the third. Goodson’s score came on a third-and-9 play.

The Hawkeyes capped the scoring on Goodson’s 2-yard run with 4:07 left in the game.

–Field Level Media

Iowa junior running back Tyler Goodson runs into the end zone for a touchdown in the first quarter against Indiana at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.

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No. 9 Iowa St. hosts No. 10 Iowa in nonconference showdown

In-state rivals Iowa and Iowa State have never played when both programs are ranked.

That will change Saturday when No. 9 Iowa State hosts No. 10 Iowa in a nonconference battle at Ames, Iowa.

The two teams didn’t meet last season due to the coronavirus pandemic and this season’s confrontation has prompted ESPN to conduct its preseason show on the stadium grounds.

But the nastiness in the rivalry hasn’t softened and will be extra intense with both teams eyeing strong campaigns.

The Cyclones have dropped their past five meetings with the Hawkeyes since last winning in 2014, and Iowa running back Tyler Goodson was quick to remind everyone of that fact.

“This is like their Super Bowl,” Goodson said of Iowa State. “They haven’t beat us in (several) years. I think them being at their home place knowing ‘College GameDay’ is going to be there is a good distraction for them and allows us just to focus on us.”

The Hawkeyes hold a 45-22 series lead, but every contest holds the attention of every resident in the state.

“It means something and there’s always a higher level of energy, especially a game like this,” said Cyclones coach Matt Campbell, who is 0-4 in the series since becoming coach prior to the 2016 season.

“It’s an incredible rivalry. It’s special for this state. It’s special for these two universities.”

Iowa opened its season with a 34-6 trouncing of then-No. 17 Indiana, while Iowa State struggled to notch a 16-10 win over FCS Northern Iowa.

Cyclones star running back Breece Hall scored a rushing touchdown for the 13th straight game, two shy of the Big 12 record held by Missouri’s Corby Jones in 1997-98.

Hall is also aware the victory wasn’t the type that would frighten the Hawkeyes.

“It wasn’t too pretty, but we’re still happy we got the ‘W,’” Hall said. “We didn’t play perfect. The defense did its job. The offense didn’t do what they’re supposed to do. We just have to get back to the drawing board and come back and practice and get better.”

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy completed 21 of 26 passes for 199 yards to improve to 24-11 as a starter. The wins are the most in Cyclones’ history by a quarterback.

Purdy’s career passing yardage total sits at 9,181 as he closes in on the school record held by Bret Meyer (9,499 from 2004-07).

Strong-side linebacker Mike Rose accumulated 11 tackles against Northern Iowa.

Cornerback Riley Moss was the star attraction in Iowa’s win over the Hoosiers as he returned two interceptions for touchdowns and helped hold Indiana to 233 yards.

The returns of 30 and 55 yards give Moss eight career interceptions — three for touchdowns.

Quarterback Spencer Petras completed 13 of 27 passes for 145 yards. He also rushed for a score.

Goodson rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Goodson’s comments certainly spiced up the game-week chatter, but Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz never finds it easy to make the two-hour bus ride from Iowa City to Ames.

“We have to go over there and play, and it’s always tough,” Ferentz said. “Might as well get used to it, that’s how it is in our (Big Ten) conference. We play a lot of tough road games. Just based on recent history, it’s probably going to be a really close game.”

–Field Level Media

Iowa junior quarterback Spencer Petras dives into the end zone for a Hawkeyes touchdown in the second quarter against Indiana at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.

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Riley Moss returns two INTs for scores as No. 18 Iowa routs No. 17 Indiana

Cornerback Riley Moss returned two interceptions for touchdowns and Tyler Goodson rushed for 99 yards and one score, lifting No. 18 Iowa to a 34-6 win over No. 17 Indiana on Saturday in Big Ten play at Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) jumped to a 31-3 halftime and rode their defense and run game the rest of the way. Iowa extended its streak of holding a team under 25 points to 23 straight games.

It was a rough season debut for Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who was flustered and pressured throughout the game.

Penix, coming off offseason surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered Nov. 28, 2020 against Maryland, completed 14 of 29 passes for 156 yards and threw three interceptions for Indiana (0-1, 0-1) before being replaced early in the fourth quarter.

Iowa starting quarterback Spencer Petras finished 13 of 27 for 145 yards and added a rushing touchdown.

Goodson gave Iowa a quick 7-0 lead, rushing 56 yards down the left sideline on Iowa’s opening offensive series. Then, on Indiana’s first offensive series, Penix threw behind wide receiver D.J. Matthews.
The ball caromed off Matthews’ hands and into the hands of Moss, who raced 30 yards for a touchdown, putting the Hawkeyes up 14-0.

Indiana cut Iowa’s lead to 14-3 late in the first quarter on a 36-yard field goal by Charles Campbell late in the first quarter. But Iowa was able to put together an eight-play, 48-yard scoring drive in the second quarter, converting on a fourth-and-2 play and going up 21-3 on a 9-yard touchdown run by Petras.

Two more Penix interceptions led to 10 more Iowa points before the end of the half.

Moss jumped a route on an out pattern from Penix that he returned 55 yards for a touchdown, putting Iowa up 28-3 with 1:41 left in the second quarter.

Then, Iowa safety Dane Belton intercepted a Penix pass at the Iowa 34-yard with 1:12 remaining. That set up Caleb Shudak’s 41-yard field goal, which put the Hawkeyes up 31-3 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Jul 23, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. speaks to the media during Big 10 media days at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

No. 17 Indiana faces No. 18 Iowa in rare meeting as ranked teams

Two teams with Big Ten title aspirations will meet in a critical season opener when No. 17 Indiana plays at No. 18 Iowa on Saturday afternoon in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers each won six conference games during a shortened 2020 season. Iowa won its final six games of the 2020 season for its longest win streak in Big Ten play since 2015.

“I don’t know how good we’ll be this year, but I can say I really like our football team,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I like the people on it. I like the way they have trained, the way they have worked going back to January, and the attitude that they have displayed on a really consistent basis.”

It’s just the second meeting between the two schools as AP Top 25 teams. The only other time both schools met while ranked, No. 10 Iowa beat No. 25 Indiana 38-21 at Kinnick Stadium during the 1991 season.

Offensively, the Hawkeyes are led by preseason first-team All-American center Tyler Linderbaum, running back Tyler Goodson and quarterback Spencer Petras. Goodson finished third in the Big Ten in rushing with 762 yards last season, while Petras, entering his second year as a starter, posted a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 8-2 during Iowa’s six-game win streak to close the 2020 season.

“Spencer wasn’t afforded the luxury of going through a spring practice as our starter or our normal preseason practice in the month of August,” Ferentz said. “So I thought he did remarkably well considering the obstacles that he had to overcome.”

On defense, Iowa returns its entire starting secondary on a defense that ranked third in the conference in interceptions last season with 11.

Indiana is coming off a breakthrough 2020 season under fifth-year coach Tom Allen, finishing 6-2 with its most Big Ten wins since 1987. The Hoosiers are ranked in the preseason Top 25 for the first time since 1969.

“The thing you learn is the full value of staying through the process, and how to get your team to perform,” Allen said. “It’s all about consistent performance and how you get that, whether it’s through high expectations, low expectations or everything in between.”

On offense, Indiana returns eight starters, including junior All-Big Ten quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who is back to 100 percent after rehabbing a torn ACL suffered on Nov. 28 against Maryland. Penix staying healthy will be one of the keys to the Hoosiers achieving greater heights this season. Indiana is 10-2 the last two seasons when Penix starts at quarterback and 4-5 when other QBs start under center.

“As far as the trust level, I trust my knee, I trust that everything is OK,” Penix said. “The trainers have been doing a great job getting me back on the field, and I’m 100 percent confident that I’m going to have a great season this year.”

On defense, Indiana will bring back eight starters as well, including a pair of preseason second-team All-Americans, linebacker Micah McFadden and cornerback Tiawan Mullen. The Hoosiers led the Big Ten in interceptions (17) and sacks (25) last year. IU’s defense will be playing under a new coordinator this year, former Georgia defensive backs coach Charlton Warren, after former defensive coordinator Kane Wommack left to take over the head coaching job at South Alabama.

“Our DNA on defense, it starts with takeaways,” Warren said. “Coach Allen has preached that when he was a coordinator here, and that’s something we focus on every single day in practice.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 8, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; General view of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) helmet on the bench prior to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars hire ex-Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle

The Jacksonville Jaguars introduced Chris Doyle as their director of sport performance Thursday, eight months after his tumultuous exit from the University of Iowa.

The longtime Hawkeyes strength coach was placed on leave by the school last June after several former players said he contributed to a dysfunctional culture for Black players.

Doyle, 52, and the university agreed to a separation agreement on June 15 that reportedly paid him $1.1 million.

Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said he had no reservations with tabbing the controversial Doyle for the position.

“I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years …” Meyer said during a video press conference. “He was doing sports performance before sports performance became a high priority in college sports. So I’ve known him, I’ve studied him, we’ve had a relationship.

“I’ve vetted him, along with our general manager and owner. I feel great about the hire, about his expertise at that position. So we vetted him thoroughly … I wanted to get the best of the best.”

Pressed about the hire, Meyer repeated the franchise’s vetting of Doyle and said he was “very confident” there would be no issues.

Doyle had been part of Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz’s staff since 1999. He was previously the strength coach at Utah (1998) and Wisconsin (1996-97).

Jacksonville officially introduced the entirety of Meyer’s staff on Thursday, including offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Joe Cullen and special teams coordinator Brian Schneider.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon (54) reacts after a fumble recovery against the Wisconsin Badgers during the first quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Hawkeyes’ Nixon, Golston to leave for NFL draft

Two members of the Iowa Hawkeyes’ defensive line will be forgoing any remaining college eligibility to pursue NFL careers, Daviyon Nixon and Chauncey Golston announced Wednesday in separate social media posts.

Nixon, a defensive tackle, was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 after collecting 45 tackles and leading the conference with 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Nixon, at 6-foot-3 and 305-pounds, was the only player in the country to be named a finalist for both the Outland Trophy and the Nagurski Trophy while also being a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.

“Like most kids who put on a helmet and pads, I dreamed of playing in the NFL one day. I feel like now is my chance to make that dream a reality,” Nixon wrote on Twitter, where he also declared himself for the 2021 NFL Draft instead of returning to Iowa for his senior season.

Golston, who played defensive end in Iowa’s scheme, joined Nixon on the all-conference first team and tallied 45 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and tied Nixon for the league lead with 5.5 sacks. Golston was eligible to return for 2021, but will also eschew his final year for entry in the 2021 draft. Golston had 129 career tackles, 27 career tackles for loss and 12 sacks as a three-year starter.

Golston and Nixon had planned to play for the Hawkeyes in the Music City Bowl, which was scheduled for Wednesday. But the bowl was canceled because of COVID-19 issues with bowl opponent Missouri. Iowa finished the season at 6-2 and ended the year on a six-game winning streak.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Tyler Goodson (15) runs the ball as Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Leo Chenal (45) makes the tackle during the second quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 Iowa faces Missouri, seeks fourth straight bowl win

The No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes will seek their fourth consecutive bowl victory when they face the Missouri Tigers in the Music City Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 30 in Nashville.

The Hawkeyes (6-2) should carry momentum into this game after winning the last six games of their Big Ten season.

“The camaraderie’s been great,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “The support of each other has been great. I think all of us feel extremely fortunate we’ve been able to get eight games. We’re not taking one day for granted moving forward.”

The depleted Tigers (5-5) closed their Southeastern Conference season with lopsided losses to Georgia (49-14) at home and Mississippi State (51-32) on the road.

“We want to continue to fight and earn respect. We want to continue to put a good product on the field,” Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “We’re going to have some adversity in this game, but it’s an opportunity for us to compete.”

Offensive tackle Larry Borom and middle linebacker Nick Bolton have opted out of the game for the Tigers to prepare for the NFL Draft. Those are just the latest setbacks for Missouri in a season marked by injuries, COVID-19 casualties, and opt-outs.

Missouri has been especially hard hit by losses in the trenches, which makes them vulnerable against the Hawkeyes.

“One of the Big Ten coaches that I know that I’ve tried to get a hold of said it was the best defensive front they played all year,” Drinkwitz said. “I know that they’re very fundamentally sound. Coach Ferentz is going to be committed to running the football, stopping the run and playing good defense, solid special teams.”

Missouri allowed 148 points in their past three games while the Hawkeyes have allowed just 128 points all year.

Iowa held Wisconsin to 56 yards rushing and 225 total yards during their 28-7 victory over Wisconsin. Conversely, the Tigers defense allowed 1,061 yards in their last two losses.

The Tigers are led offensively by running back Larry Rountree III (972 yards, 14 touchdowns rushing) and quarterback Connor Bazelak (2,366 yards, seven touchdowns passing).

Tyler Goodson has rushed for 762 yards and seven touchdowns for Iowa, including an 80-yard run against the Badgers. Quarterback Spencer Petras has passed for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns – including five in his last two games.

Iowa’s season finale against Michigan was canceled, so the Hawkeyes haven’t played since Dec. 12. Ferentz contracted the coronavirus during the interim, but he expects to coach in the game and he is hoping the Hawkeyes do not have any pandemic casualties or opt-outs for the game.

“We’ll look forward to getting back at it and have a chance to play one more time,” Ferentz said. “The biggest thing is for us to be together enjoying each other’s company. We’ve enjoyed each and every chance to go out and compete.”

While the Hawkeyes were hoping to get a better bowl assignment, they welcome the chance to get some fans to Nashville. Nissan Stadium will allow limited attendance, something Iowa did not see in conference play.

“It’s going to be great for our players, because they’ll actually play in front of fans,” Ferentz said. “We haven’t done that in almost a year.”

The Hawkeyes have played in empty stadiums since their victory over USC in last year’s Holiday Bowl. They won the Outback Bowl over Mississippi State in 2018 and the Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College in 2017.

The Tigers lost in the Liberty Bowl (against Oklahoma State) in 2018 and the Texas Bowl (against Texas) in 2017. Their last bowl victory came in the 2014 Citrus Bowl against Minnesota.

–Field Level Media