Hawkeyes move up to 17th in CFP rankings

Iowa celebrates with Floyd of Rosedale after beating Minnesota for the seventh-straight time. [HawkeyeSports.com photo]

Iowa is 17th in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings ahead of Senior Day 2021 at Kinnick. Coverage of the Hawkeyes and Illinois starts Saturday at 11 a.m. on 93.1 The Buzz.

1st and 10

1: Saturday will be the 77th meeting between Iowa and Illinois. Iowa has won seven in a row and six straight at home. Illinois’ last win at Kinnick Stadium was in 1999 (40-24), Kirk Ferentz’s first year as Iowa’s head coach. Illinois’ last win in the series was a 27-24 victory in Champaign in 2008.

2: Iowa leads the country in interceptions (19) and ranks third nationally in takeaways (24). The Hawkeyes have 83 interception since 2017, more than any team in the country. Ten different Hawkeyes have at least one interception this season. Iowa is plus-17 in turnover margin in its eight wins and minus-six in its two losses.

3: Iowa ranks third the Big Ten and seventh in the country in scoring defense (16.3). Iowa’s total defense (315.1) ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 12th in the country.

4: DB Riley Moss and LB/DB Dave Belton tie for the conference lead with four interceptions. DB Matt Hankins ranks seventh with three interceptions. Iowa is the only team in the country with two players with four or more interceptions. All three players have recorded two interceptions in a single game this season.

5: C Tyler Linderbaum is one of four finalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award. He was named a midseason first-team All-American by the Associated Press, Sporting News, CBS Sports, and The Athletic. Linderbaum has made 31 consecutive starts at center. Iowa is 24-7 during that span.

6: QB Alex Padilla made his first career start Nov. 13 against Minnesota and passed for career-high 206 passing yards. He ran for one touchdown (1) and threw for two (72, 27), both career firsts. QB Spencer Petras missed that game, snapping his streak of 17 straight starts at quarterback.

7: WR Charlie Jones leads the Big Ten averaging 10.4 yards on a league-high 26 punt returns. He has returned 19 kickoffs for an average of 22.9 yards per return, No. 4 in the Big Ten. Iowa has won the field position battle in each of its eight wins.

8: P Tory Taylor ranks fourth in the Big Ten averaging 45.8 yards per punt. Taylor leads the Big Ten and ranks third nationally with 63 punts. He has 19 punts of 50 or more yards, including a career-long 69-yard punt at Iowa State in Week 2. Thirty of his punts have been downed inside the 20 this season. Taylor was recognized as a first-team midseason All-American by The Athletic and is a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award.

9: RB Tyler Goodson leads Iowa’s rushing attack with 813 yards on 188 attempts, both single-season career highs. His six rushing touchdowns rank seventh in the Big Ten. Goodson is 187 yards shy of 1,000. The last time a Hawkeye rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season was 2017 (Akrum Wadley, 1,109).

10: LB Jack Campbell recorded 17 tackles Week 10 against Minnesota to raise his season total to 100, second in the Big Ten. The last Hawkeye to record 100 tackles in a single season was Josey Jewell, who had 100+ tackles each year from 2015-17 (126, 124, 136).