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Iowa Trickerizes, Then Pulverizes Illinois 45-16 – Podcasting 11 Years of Original Content on Iowa Athletic

By John Patchett (

Iowa and Illinois were surprisingly locked into a close see-saw contest late the in the first half. The Illini had kicked a field goal to open a 13-10 lead with just 2:49 to play. Iowa took the kickoff and drove to the Illinois 41 yard line, lined up to punt, and perfectly executed a fake when Amani Hooker reeled off an 18 yard run to keep Iowa’s drive alive. Then Quarterback Nate Stanley hit Running Back Akrum Wadley for a two yard touchdown pass shortly thereafter. That completely changed the complexion of the game and took away any momentum the Illini might have had. The Hawkeyes went into Halftime with a 17-13 lead and never looked back.

That fake punt was one of only two “New Kirk” trick plays in this game. Midway through the first quarter, following Iowa’s first TD and a penalty on Illinois – the Hawkeyes did an on-side kick from midfield, stunning the Illini, and recovering the ball on the IL-37. That drive ultimately stalled inside the red zone when Iowa failed to convert on 4th and 1.

Iowa racked up 28 points in the final two quarters while holding Illinois to just three. The Hawkeyes ended up out-scoring the Illini 35-3 and put 21 points on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter alone. Six Iowa points came when Safety Brandon Snyder picked Illinois QB Jeff George, Jr., and raced down the right sideline 89 yards for a touchdown. Snyder returned to the field for the first time after suffering a torn ACL in the Spring.

Both teams had turnover issues: Iowa had two, Illinois finished with four. Iowa scored 17 points of those turnovers while the Illini only snagged three.

Stanley threw just his second pick of the season in the second quarter but made up for it by tossing three TD passes: one each to Nick Easley, Matt VandeBerg, and Wadley. Stanley now has 15 touchdown passes on the year through his first six games as a starter. He finished the game 17-32-1 for 247 yards. Running Back Ivory Kelly-Martin fumbled deep in Illinois territory after George fumbled on the first offensive play of the game.

George was 22-45 for 246 yards but was responsible for all four Illini turnovers, throwing three costly picks to go along with his first quarter fumble. Safety Geno Stone had one of those INTs and Amani Hooker had the other.

Wadley moved into 10th all-time in Iowa history with 2246 yards rushing – and is just 25 yards short of tying Ronnie Harmon for 9th all-time. He got back on track in this game, rushing 23 tiems for 115 yards with a 5.0 YPC average. Running Back Toren Young also was productive, gaining 32 yards on eight carries, averaging 4.0 YPC.

Stanley completed passes to seven different receivers with Wide Receiver Nick Easly making the most grabs: 7-59-1. The Hawkeyes finished with 441 yards of total offense: 191 rushing and 250 passing. Iowa’s scoring was completed when back-up QB Tyler Wiegers hit Ivory Kelly-Martin for a three yard TD pass near game’s end.

Iowa’s Defense was challenged by the Illini with George getting his first QB start this season. The Hawkeyes surrendered 446 yards to what had been an anemic Illini Offense – 179 over its average. Iowa was much more stingy in the second half, however, holding the Illini to just three points and 49 yards rushing in the final two quartesrs. Defensively the Hawkeyes were led in tackles by Linebackers Josey Jewell and Bo Bowers with ten apiece. Each team had just one sack.

True Freshman Ryan Gersonde was the starting punter in this game – after Colton Rastetter had started in the first five contests. Both teams combined for just five total punts: three by Iowa and 2 by Illinois.

The Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-2) head into their bye week before travelling to Northwestern on October 21. Illinois (2-3, 0-2) returns home to face Rutgers next Saturday. This was Iowa’s first game this season against a Big Ten West Divisiion opponent.

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


Iowa (4-2, 1-2) defeated Illinois (2-3, 0-2), 45-16, at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes have won 12 of the last 15 meetings, nine of the last 10, and four in a row against the Illini. 

The 45 point total was Iowa’s highest against the Illini since scoring 54 in 1990.


QB Nate Stanley threw three touchdown passes today, his third game this season with three or more touchdowns. Stanley was intercepted on his 15th pass attempt, breaking a streak of 147 attempts without an interception.

LB Josey Jewell tied for the team lead (LB Bo Bower) with a game high with 10 tackles. It is his third straight and 17th career game with double-digit tackles. Jewell has 371 career tackles, eighth all-time.

RB Akrum Wadley had one rushing touchdown (18 yards) and one receiving touchdown (2 yards). Wadley has three games this year, and four in his career, with a receiving and rushing touchdown. He has 29 career touchdowns (22 rushing, 7 receiving), sixth all-time, and 174 points, 13th all-time.

RB Akrum Wadley rushed 23 times for 115 yards, his 12th career 100-yard rushing game. He has 403 career carries for 2,246 yards, 10th all-time. Today Wadley passed Dennis Mosley (2,133), Eddie Phillips (2,177), and Shonn Greene (2,228) on the all-time list.

FS Brandon Snyder started for the first time this season, and played for the first time since tearing his ACL in the spring.

OL Tristan Wirfs started at RT. Wirfs is the fourth true freshman to start on the offensive line under Kirk Ferentz, and the first to start at tackle (James Daniels started two games at LG in 2015, Bryan Bulaga started 5 games at LG in 2007, Mike Jones 7 games at LG in 2003).

FS Brandon Snyder’s 89-yard interception return for a touchdown ties for the sixth-longest in school history (Shaun Prater, 2011 vs. Tennessee Tech). Iowa has had at least one pix-six every year since 2009. The interception was the fourth of Snyder’s career, the first returned for a touchdown.

FS Amani Hooker recorded his first career interception. Hooker also rushed for 18 yards on a fake punt, the first rush of his career. D

DB Geno Stone recorded his first career interception.

WR Matt VandeBerg had two receptions for 48 yards. He has at least one reception on 25 consecutive games played. He has 121 career receptions, 11th all-time.

WR Nick Easley tied his career-high with seven receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown. He has led Iowa in receiving four times this season.

TE T.J. Hockenson caught two passes for 41 yards. He has 10 receptions this season (9 first downs and 1 touchdown).

RB Toren Young made his first career start.

P Ryan Gersonde made his Hawkeye debut, punting 3 times for113 yards (37.7). He is the 10th true freshman to play this season. The 10 true freshmen to play this season include Noah Clayberg, Max Cooper, A.J. Epenesa, Matt Hankins, Ivory Kelly-Martin, Brandon Smith, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Geno Stone, and Tristan Wirfs.

RB Ivory Kelly-Martin caught a 3-yard touchdown from QB Tyler Wiegers. The touchdown reception and pass were career firsts for both players.  


Kirk Ferentz has 139 overall wins and 83 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. He is four wins from tying Hayden Fry as the Hawkeyes’ all-time winningest football coach.

Iowa won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Hawkeyes have played 233 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 179 times (109-70). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 54 times (30-24).

Instant replay was used two times today:

  • Illinois incomplete pass (overruled, fumble)
  • Iowa interception, Geno Stone (confirmed)

Both teams fumbled on their opening possession. Illinois’ lost fumble was their first of the season (forced by Matt Nelson, recovered by Ben Niemann).


The Hawkeyes are idle next Saturday. They return to the field Oct. 21 at Northwestern.