The fifth-ranked University of Iowa football team pitched a second-half shutout en route to a 24-14 come-from-behind victory over Colorado State on Saturday afternoon on Duke Slater Field inside Kinnick Stadium.
It is the Hawkeyes’ 10th consecutive win and it moves the Hawkeyes to 4-0 heading into at Oct. 1 road game against undefeated Maryland.
Iowa trailed 14-7 at halftime before outscoring the Rams, 17-0, in the second half. Iowa’s defense forced a second-half turnover (which led to the first touchdown) and Colorado State gained just 32 yards (and had one first down in the third quarter) and 90 yards (and three first downs) in the second half.
Junior Jack Campbell had a game-high 18 tackles (seven solo), a fumble recovery and two pass breakups, while junior Seth Benson had 10 tackles, a hurry and 1.5 tackles for loss. Iowa finished with three sacks – by Logan Lee, Lukas Van Ness, and John Waggoner – and had 10 tackles for loss in the game.
Offensively, Iowa finished with 278 yards of total offense (to 250 for Colorado State) with junior Spencer Petras finishing 15-of-23 for 224 yards and two touchdowns (to one interception). Freshman Keagan Johnson had two catches for 92 yards and one touchdown, while junior Sam LaPorta had four catches for 45 yards and one touchdown.
Junior Tyler Goodson had 18 rushes for 57 yards (to go along with four catches for 34 yards). Iowa’s rushing attack finished with 54 yards on 32 attempts.
QUOTING COACH FERENTZ
“I think you’ve heard me say it before, winning is never easy, and that certainly was the case today. First and foremost, I am happy to get the victory, and happy to finish this month 4-0 right now. I am proud of our guys; they’ve done a good job that way.
“As I said on Tuesday, our goal each and every week is to win the game first and foremost and then hopefully improve. There were some up-and-down moments with that certainly, but I think especially in the third quarter, I think we saw some growth and some good things. We certainly got stress, which is going to help us, and certainly credit Colorado State for the way they played. They came in here to win the football game, and I thought their guys really played hard and did a lot of good things.
As I said on Tuesday, as well, their tight end is a guy who’s a really impressive player, and you see guys on film and you’re impressed with them, and then sometimes you get on the field and it’s either maybe not as impressed or more impressed, and certainly in his case I’d say even more impressed. He’s the real deal; just a tremendous football player. I have a lot of respect for him, and again, their whole football team and their approach.
Give our defense a lot of credit today, what they did especially in the second half, kind of buckling down. Jack Campbell did a great job, was all over the place. A lot of good efforts out there and some good team football in that third quarter, but then just a lot of missed opportunities, too, whether it was some things on special teams that didn’t look so good, the turnovers was a huge factor both ways, a chance to go in and score and then set them up with a really short field.
“Third down was not real stellar for us, that’s for sure, and then even when we score a touchdown and then we get a penalty. Next thing you know, they’ve got the ball at midfield after we score.
“That was kind of emblematic or symbolic of the whole thing, and then the other one we dropped that — tried to run around play down there at our end and put the thing on the ground and ended up, whatever it was, second and 30 or something like that.
There are a lot of things that we’re going to have to get cleaned up here. The interesting part, I thought we had a really good week of preparation. I thought our guys were ready to go, and it just didn’t show up on the field.
“We have a short week ahead of us right now. That gives us one more challenge, but again, happy to be 4-0, and for us it’s as simple as right now we started out it’s a seven-game schedule, now it’s down to three, so that’s kind of how we’re looking at it, and then we’ll assess things after that. Starting tomorrow the only thing that’s going to matter is the next six days because things are going to happen fast for us.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Hawkeyes started their first scoring drive at their own 13 before needing just five plays to find the end zone. On the second play, Goodson erupted for a 27-yard burst to the Iowa 44 on the final play of the first quarter. The Hawkeyes then got a pair of true freshman involved: Arland Bruce IV ran for 13 yards on a jet sweep into Ram territory and two plays later, Petras connected with Johnson on a perfectly thrown 43-yard touchdown pass to give Iowa a 7-0 lead. It was Johnson’s first career reception.
- Colorado State took advantage of a short field, beginning its drive at the Iowa 35 following a 22-yard Tory Taylor punt late in the first quarter. The Rams converted three third-and-longs on the drive via a Todd Centeio scramble for 15 yards on third-and-11 to the 21, a pass to Trey McBride for 11 yards on third-and-11 to the Iowa 11 and a 10-yard touchdown run on a delayed quarterback draw by Centeio to tie the game with 3:55 left in the first half.
- Iowa moved deep into Colorado State territory, using a 49-yard strike to Johnson to the CSU 24 before getting into the red zone, but the Rams grabbed the momentum when Robert Floyd intercepted a bubble screen and returned it 62 yards to the Iowa 23.
- The Rams converted a third-and-6 with a 16-yard completion to McBride to the 3 and on the next play, Centeio connected with Gary Williams for a touchdown to give Colorado State a 14-7 lead. The Rams converted 9-of-13 third downs in the first half.
- Iowa’s defense forced its first turnover on the Rams’ second series of the third quarter. After Colorado State started at its own 19, a 10-yard holding penalty pushed the drive back before Zach VanValkenburg blew up a run for a 4-yard loss. Redshirt freshman Yahya Black forced a fumble on the next play and Campbell recovered at the 6. On the first play of the Hawkeye drive, Tyrone Tracy, Jr., scored on a 6-yard reverse to tie the game at 14.
- After Iowa’s defense forced a quick three-and-out, Charlie Jones’ 38-yard punt return put the Hawkeyes at the CSU 41. After a pass interference penalty on third-and-11 moved Iowa to the CSU 27, Iowa faked a bubble screen to Tracy, Jr., before Petras connected with a wide open LaPorta in the seam for a 27-yard touchdown to give Iowa a 21-14 lead with 6:01 left in the third quarter.
- On its first drive of the fourth quarter, Iowa went 21 yards over eight plays to push its lead to two possessions. Jones gave the team field position in CSU territory with a 17-yard punt return and Petras connected with Nico Ragaini for 34 yards on an over-the-shoulder throw to the CSU 14. After a 13-yard loss on a fumble, Caleb Shudak connected on a 45-yard field goal to extend the lead to 24-14.
- Iowa has won its last 10 games. The Hawkeyes have outscored their last 10 opponents, 329-127, averaging 32.9 points per game offensively and allowing 12.7 ppg during the winning streak.
- Petras has led Iowa to 10 consecutive wins. He was 15-of-23 for 224 yards passing today. Petras is 156-of-263 with 1,772 passing yards during Iowa’s 10-game winning streak. He has thrown 12 touchdowns and three interceptions over the last 10 games.
- Campbell had a career-high 18 tackles, the most by a Hawkeye since Anthony Hitchens had 19 tackles against Iowa State in 2012. It is his second straight week setting a career high in tackles. He had 11 against Kent State in Week 3. Campbell added two pass breakups and recovered a fumble that led to Iowa’s game-tying touchdown.
- Black (4), Noah Shannon (4) and Jestin Jacobs (8) tied their career highs in tackles. Logan Lee had a career-best five tackles.
- Tracy, Jr.’s, rushing touchdown in the third quarter was the second rushing touchdown of his career (vs. USC at 2019 Holiday Bowl).
- Two true freshmen made their first career starts today. OL Connor Colby started at RG. Johnson started at wide receiver. Colby is the first true freshman offensive lineman to start since Tristan Wirfs in 2017. Johnson is the first true freshman wide receiver to start since Ihmir Smith-Marsette in 2017.
- Johnson’s first career reception was a 43-yard touchdown from QB Spencer Petras.
- Since 1999, Kirk Ferentz’s first year as Iowa head coach, 30 true freshmen have started for the Hawkeyes. Offensive linemen and wide receivers among the group include: 2021 Connor Colby, OL (1 game), 2021 Keagan Johnson WR (1 game), 2017 Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR (3 games), 2017 Tristan Wirfs, OL (7 RT, 1 LT), 2015 Jerminic Smith, WR (2 games), 2015 James Daniels, LG (2 games), 2013 Matt VandeBerg, WR (2 games), 2007 Bryan Bulaga, LG (5 games), 2006 Dominique Douglas, WR (11 games), 2003 Mike Jones, LG (7 games)
- Iowa outscored Colorado State, 14-0, in the third quarter and has outscored its four opponents, 31-3, this season in the third quarter.
- Iowa scored a touchdown off of one takeaway today and has scored 51 points on nine takeaways this season.
- Iowa has won 15 straight nonconference games, including 12 regular season non-conference victories and three bowl wins. Iowa’s last nonconference loss was at the 2017 Outback Bowl. The 15-game nonconference win streak is the longest in the nation.
- Iowa has played 26 straight games without surrendering 25 points, the longest streak in the nation among Power 5 teams.
- Iowa scored 24 points today, snapping its streak of nine straight games with 25 points or more.
The Hawkeyes play at Maryland on Friday, Oct. 1. Coverage starts at 5 p.m. on 93.1 The Buzz.