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Hawkeyes lose defensive struggle at Michigan

Hawkeyes lose defensive struggle at Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The 14th-ranked University of Iowa football team suffered its first loss of the season, falling 10-3 at No. 18/19 Michigan in a defensive tussle Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium.

The Wolverines’ defense caused fits for the Hawkeyes, forcing four turnovers and sacking quarterback Nate Stanley eight times for a loss of 65 yards.  Iowa finished with 261 yards, but the Hawkeyes had just one rushing yard in the contest.

Iowa moved the ball inside the Michigan 40 six times, but the team managed just three points.

Stanley finished 23-of-42 for 260 yards, but he threw three interceptions. Redshirt freshman Nico Ragaini had six catches for 46 yards and freshman Tyler Goodson had five receptions for 62 yards. Junior Toren Young paced Iowa’s rushing attack with 40 yards on eight carries.

Iowa’s defense was just as strong, limiting Michigan to 267 yards. The Wolverines scored 10 points in the first quarter, but nothing the rest of the way.  The Hawkeyes forced two fumbles and got a second-quarter interception from junior Geno Stone.

Senior Kristian Welch and junior Chauncey Golston tied for the team lead with eight tackles. Welch had five solo stops, while Gholston had five solo tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hurries.

QUOTING HEAD COACH KIRK FERENTZ
“They played their best football game of the year, defensively.  They were aggressive, athletic, and played hard. You have to give them credit, but we have to protect the ball better or it’s going to be tough to win against a good opponent if you don’t do that. There weren’t alot of great moments offensively, today, some good individual efforts, but we were never able to get anything cohesive together.

“There is alot to build on. We have quality guys on offense and this will be a great learning experience for us. We’ll get back up on our feet and that work will start tomorrow. I have every confidence that we’ll get back on our feet and do good things moving forward.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Wolverines forced a turnover on Iowa’s first offensive play when Aidan Hutchinson forced a Mekhi Sargent fumble, giving the Wolverines possession at the Iowa 18.
    • Michigan went for the end zone on first down, but quarterback Shea Patterson overshot Tarik Black.  After gaining six yards on second down, Patterson hit Nico Collins for a 2-yard gain coming up short of the first down marker, forcing the Wolverines to settle on a Jake Moody 28-yard field goal.
  • A big play — a 51-yard completion to Collins — jumpstarted Michigan’s next scoring drive, moving the Wolverines to the Iowa 19.  After converting a third-and-6, two Zach Charbonnet, including a touchdown run from 2-yards out, gave Michigan a 10-0 lead with 8:33 left in the first quarter.
  • Iowa’s defense was bringing the wood, forcing back-to-back fumbles on consecutive plays — Dillon Doyle jarred the ball loose on a punt return and Jack Koerner on a Christian Turner rush — but Michigan recovered on both occasions.  On second-and-5, the Hawkeyes got a turnover when Stone intercepted Patterson at the Iowa 39.
  • The Hawkeye possession was short-lived as Stanley returned the favor on the second play of the drive when Josh Metellus intercepted an attempt in the direction of Tyrone Tracy, Jr., giving the Wolverines the ball at the Michigan 31.
  • After Iowa’s defense forced a three-and-out, the Hawkeyes put together their best drive, going 61 yards over 14 plays.  Goodson provided a spark, catching passes for 15 and 11 yards, moving Iowa to the Michigan 24. The Hawkeyes moved the ball to the 4, but couldn’t convert on third down. Iowa took the points, as Keith Duncan’s 22-yard field goal made the score 10-3 with 12:18 left in the second quarter.
  • The Hawkeyes turned the field position game by converting a third-and-22 from their own 8 with a 34-yard completion to Brandon Smith.  Iowa moved to the Michigan 42 before punting and the Wolverines took over at their 14.
    • Epenesa sacked Patterson for an 8-yard loss on first down and Michigan punted three plays later. Iowa started its drive at its own 48 following a 17-yard punt return from Ragaini.
    • After Stanley completed a 19-yard pass to Ihmir Smith-Marsette to the Michigan 33, the turnover bug hit again.  Michigan’s Lavert Hill made a diving interception at the 4.
  • Michigan moved the ball to midfield with the half winding down, and the Wolverines had a chance to extend their lead following a 15-yard hands-to-the-face penalty by Golston, but Quinn Nordin’s 58-yard attempt was wide right, sending the game into the break with Michigan leading 10-3.
    • The Wolverines had a 159-129 advantage in total offense in the first half and limited Iowa to just 13 rushing yards. The Hawkeyes were 5-of-9 on third down.
  • Iowa moved the ball into Michigan territory on its first drive of the second half, but it ended with Stanley’s third interception.
  • Michigan sustained a drive to start the fourth quarter, using back-to-back completions of 10 and 20 yards to move to the Iowa 38.  The Wolverines moved inside the red zone before Iowa’s defense buckled down.  Michigan came away empty when Moody missed a 34-yard field goal.
  • Iowa got the ball at its own 42-yard line with seven minutes to play and got something cooking when Stanley connected with Goodson for a 31-yard over-the-shoulder catch to the Michigan 25. The Hawkeyes were then flagged for back-to-back holding penalties. After two short completions, Stanley was sacked on third down, forcing a punt.
  • The Hawkeyes got the ball back with 1:35 remaining, picking up one first down and moving into Michigan territory.  The Wolverines forced three incompletions and Michigan’s pressure landed again, when it got to Stanley again, essentially ending the game.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Nate Stanley passed for 260 yards, raising his career total to 6,576 yards. He passed Matt Sherman (6,399) to move to sixth all-time in program history.
  • Geno Stone’s interception in the second quarter was his first of the season and sixth of his career. He tied for the team lead with four interceptions in 2018.
  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette‘s 37-yard kickoff return was a season-long.
  • Chauncey Golston tied for the team-lead with a career-high eight tackles. Kristian Welch also had eight tackles. Welch has led or shared the team lead in tackles in four-of-five games this season.
  • On his fourth pass attempt, Stanley threw his first interception of the season, ending his streak of 139 attempts without an interception. Stanley threw three interceptions, a career-high, and the most by a Hawkeye quarterback since C.J. Beathard threw three interceptions against Florida at the 2017 Outback Bowl.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • The 10 points allowed by Iowa are the fewest points allowed in a loss since falling to Iowa State, 9-6, on Sept. 8, 2012. Iowa came into the game 61-1 when holding opponents to 10 points or fewer under Kirk Ferentz.
  • Mekhi Sargent’s fumble on Iowa’s first play from scrimmage was the first fumble lost by a Hawkeye tailback (Goodson, Kelly-Martin, Sargent, Young) in 186 carries (at Northwestern, Nov. 10, 2018).
  • Michigan’s 2-yard touchdown rush in the second quarter was the first rushing touchdown allowed by Iowa this season.
  • The Hawkeyes were held scoreless in the first quarter. It was the first time this year Iowa was held scoreless in a quarter, and the first time in 19 quarters dating back to the first quarter of the 2019 Outback Bowl.
  • Iowa was held out of the endzone for the first time since the 2017 Outback Bowl (L, 30-3).
  • Today’s attendance was 111,519, the second largest crowd ever for an Iowa football game. The top five attended games are all at Michigan.

UP NEXT
The Hawkeyes host Penn State on Oct. 12 at Kinnick Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. (CT). Television designation has not yet been determined.

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