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Hawkeyes Crack the Buckeyes 55-24 In Stunning Upset at Kinnick Stadium

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By John Patchett (   11/04/17

This was a win for the ages. Literally. It was epic. “Kinnick Magic” again. Few harbored thoughts that Iowa had a chance in this game – and even those never, ever, in their wildest imaginations, dreamed that the Hawkeyes would totally dominate the third-ranked team in the nation – in all phases of the game. Superlatives aplenty for Iowa: Offense, Defense, Special Teams, Coaching. 55-24 isn’t just a great win against a team like the Buckeyes – it’s nothing short of flabbergasting.

Iowa Quarterback Nate Stanley, starting just his 12th game, was terrific: completing 20 of 31 passes for 226 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. He had pinpoint accuracy the entire game. His Offensive Line was equally terrific, keeping Stanley clean on nearly every play and dominating one of, if not the best, defensive lines in the nation. Stanley finished with a QB rating of 179.

The Hawkeyes running game was equally effective. In fact, the goal for Head Coach Kirk Ferentz of having a balanced offense was executed with precision: 487 total yards of offense, 244 via the pass, 243 via the run. Those are the kind of numbers Ohio State’s Defense hasn’t seen – well – almost ever. Offensive Coordinator Brian Ferentz called – by far – the best game in his first season as Iowa’s play-caller.

Running Back Akrum Wadley had some jaw-dropping runs and finished with 20 carries for 119 yards. RB James Butler added 75 yards on 10 runs. Iowa’s averaged a stunning 6.4 yards per carry.

Iowa’s Tight Ends played a starring role, too. Noah Fant caught four passes for 54 yards and two TDs. T.J. Hockenson had a career game: 71 yards on five catches and also two touchdowns.

The Buckeyes Defense, coming into this game: opponents averaging 302.5 yards of total offense, just 107.2 on the ground (2.9 YPC), 195.2 through the air. Iowa blew far by those numbers in the third quarter. The Hawkeyes also dominated time of possession 34:51 to 25:09.

Let’s turn to Iowa’s stellar Defense. OSU was averaging 571.2 yards of total offense per game, including 244.4 rushing and 326.9 passing. The Buckeyes final numbers in this one-sided contest: 371 yards of total offense, 208 passing, and 163 rushing. If you’re counting, that’s more than 200 total yards below their season average. The Hawkeyes did nearly the impossible: they shut down both aspects of Ohio State’s Offense. This was better than “bend but don’t break” – it was nearly a perfectly executed game plan.

MLB Josey Jewell was Iowa’s leading tackler again but he didn’t hit double-digits like he has much of the season – he “only” had nine. I’m sure he doesn’t mind. But the real defensive star of this game was DB Josh Jackson. Talk about a career day! Buckeyes QB and Heisman Candidate J.T. Barrett started the day having only thrown one interception all season. Iowa picked him four times – Jackson had three of those including a spectacular one-handed catch at the goal line in the fourth quarter. Safety Amani Hooker started things off with a 30 yark pick six off Barrett the very first offensive play of the game. Little did everyone realize at the time that was a harbinger of things to come.

Iowa’s Special Teams joined in the domination. PK Miguel Recinos kicked two field goals and was perfect on seven PATs. But one of the plays of the game was a third quarter fake field goal where the Hawkeyes Holder (Colten Rastetter) threw an 18 yard first down pass to the Ohio State two yard line to Long Snapper Tyler Kluver. Pretty sure that’s a first-time-ever event in Iowa Football History.

Now let’s get to the “history” part. This was Iowa’s 400th home in. It was also the fourth win in the last five games the Hawkeyes have played against top-five ranked teams in Kinnick Stadium – and the second time in the last two years. Most of those victories were close – this one was not. This was the first time any Ohio State Team surrendered more than 50 points to an opponent in recent history. It was Iowa’s largest margin of victory over the Buckeyes and the most points ever scored in the 65 game series the two teams have played. Oh, yeah – this win also made the Hawkeyes bowl-eligible again for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons.

Kirk Ferentz moves to within two games of tying Hayden Fry as Iowa’s all-time winningest football coach. He’s had some huge wins in his career with the Hawkeyes. But it’s hard to imagine many, if any, bigger than this one. Ferentz has not been a huge fan of alternate uniforms – but he may want to let his team wear these again given how it played and the outcome.

Iowa (6-3, 3-3) goes on the road to Wisconsin (9-0, 6-0) next Saturday to face the Big Ten’s only remaining undefeated team. Ohio State returns home to host Michigan State. The Hawkeyes win destroyed any hopes the Buckeyes had of making the playoffs – and probably means the B1G will have no team in the “final four”.

Iowa vs. Minnesota Postgame Notes (From Iowa Athletic Communications)


Iowa (6-3, 3-3) defeated No. 3 Ohio State (7-2, 5-1), 55-24, Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeyes are bowl eligible for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons.


Today was Iowa’s first win over a top 10 Ohio State team since defeating No. 3 OSU, 20-14, in 1983.

Iowa scored 31 points in the first half, a season high and their most since scoring 35 against Purdue on Oct. 15, 2016. It was the most first-half points allowed by Ohio State since allowing 34 to Florida in the BCS Championship Game.

The 55 points scored are the most by Iowa in series history (65 meetings). It marks the most points scored against a ranked opponent since defeating No. 19 Texas, 55-17, in the 1984 Freedom Bowl.

The 31-point margin of victory is the highest for Iowa in series history (65 meetings).


Iowa has won four of its last five games vs. top 5 teams at home (W 55-24 vs. #3 Ohio State; L 21-19 vs. #4 PSU in 2017; W 14-13 vs. #2 MICH in 2016; W 37-6 vs. #5 MSU in 2010; W 24-23 vs. #3 PSU in 2007)

Iowa held Ohio State to 24 points, 22 points below the Buckeyes’ season average. Iowa has held 8-of-9 nine opponents below their scoring average this season.

Iowa held Ohio State to 371 yards of total offense, 200 yards below their season average.

Iowa intercepted QB J.T. Barrett four times today. He had thrown just one interception in the first eight games of 2017.

Iowa handed Ohio State just its second road loss under Urban Meyer (26-2).

Iowa’s tight ends combined for nine receptions: 4 TDs and 5 first downs.

Todays’ win was Iowa’s 400th home victory. The Hawkeyes have won 400 games at home since becoming a varsity football team in 1889. The Hawkeyes are 400-218-16 at home, including a 116-35-1 mark at Iowa Field and a 283-183-15 record at Kinnick Stadium.

The 55 points scored are the most by an Iowa team since scoring 62 vs. North Texas in 2015. It is the most points against a Big Ten opponent since scoring 55 against Minnesota in 2008.

Iowa won the toss and elected to defer. The Hawkeyes have played 236 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 181 times (110-71). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 55 times (31-24).

Instant replay was used two times today:

  • Roughing the passer, targeting (call was confirmed).
  • Iowa runner short of line to gain (call stands).


DB Josh Jackson tied a school record with three interceptions today (Tyler Sash, Grant Steen), raising his season and career total to five.  

LB Josey Jewell led the team with nine tackles. He has 391 career tackles, seventh all-time in program history.

QB Nate Stanley threw five touchdown passes today. He is one of two Hawkeyes in program history to throw five touchdowns in a single game twice (Chuck Long had two six-touchdown games). He has 22 touchdown passes this season. He is first Hawkeye quarterback with 20 or more touchdown passes in a season since James Vandenberg in 2011 (25).

TE Noah Fant had two touchdown receptions on a career-high four catches. He has seven TD receptions this season, the most by a Hawkeyes since Marvin McNutt caught 12 TD passes in 2012.

TE T.J. Hockenson set career bests in receptions (5), receiving yards (71), and touchdowns (2).  Hockenson has 19 catches this season, 3 touchdowns, 14 first downs.

WR Matt VandeBerg had two receptions for 25 yards. He has at least one reception in 28 consecutive games played. He has 127 career receptions and moved into 10th all-time, passing Marv Cook (126).  He has 1,614 receiving yards, 17th all-time.

FS Amani Hooker intercepted QB J.T. Barrett on the first play of the game and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. It was Hooker’s second career interception and first career touchdown. It was Iowa’s second pick-six of the season (Brandon Snyder 89-yards vs. Illinois 10/7/17).

RB Akrum Wadley rushed 20 times for 118 yards. It is his 13th career 100-yard rushing game. He added 40 yards receiving on three receptions. Wadley has 3,340 career all-purpose yards, 11th most in program history (2,524 rush, 716 receiving, 100 KO returns). He passed Harold Jasper on Iowa’s all-time list tonight.

P Colten Rastetter completed his second pass in as many attempts. Rastetter connected with LS Tyler Kluver for 18 yards in the third quarter. It was Kluver’s first career reception. Rastetter is 2-for-2 passing in his career (33 yards).

FB Drake Kulick caught his first career touchdown today (2 yards).

RB James Butler had 75 yards rushing, his most as a Hawkeye. His 53-yard rush in the third quarter was his longest as a Hawkeye.

RB Toren Young scored his first career touchdown (6 yards). His 34-yard rush on the drive was a career long.


The Hawkeyes play at Wisconsin on Saturday, Nov. 11. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ABC or ESPN.