IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Hawkeyes ended their non-conference slate spotless for just the fifth time under coach Kirk Ferentz with a 31-14 win against North Texas at Kinnick Stadium.
The Hawkeyes (3-0) fought back from a 14-10 halftime deficit with 3 second-half touchdowns. Tight end Noah Fant caught a 23-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, and freshman running back Ivory Kelly-Martin ran for 2 touchdowns in the fourth quarter. North Texas falls to 1-2.
Iowa plays host to Penn State next week in both teams’ Big Ten opener.
5:49 p.m. — (Q4, 1:47) — Ivory Kelly-Martin ran in for his second touchdown, a 6-yard score on fourth and 1 to push Iowa’s lead to 31-14. The touchdown culminated a 10-play, 43-yard drive.
5:28 p.m. (Q4, 8:16) — Iowa decided to go old-school to run clock and blow North Texas off the line of scrimmage. The Hawkeyes blasted through the Mean Green on a 16-play, 87-yard drive that chewed up 8:50. Freshman running back Ivory Kelly-Martin burst in from the 2-yard line for the touchdown to put Iowa up 24-14.
4:57 p.m. (Q3, 4:24) — On fourth and 5 from the North Texas 23, Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley connected with tight end Noah Fant on a 23-yard touchdown pass to put the Hawkeyes ahead 17-14.
4:35 p.m. (Q3) — First-teamer Akrum Wadley appeared to have an ankle injury and has been withheld since the early second quarter. He went into the locker room early before halftime. Graduate transfer James Butler, who split carries with Wadley, injured his right arm, elbow or shoulder on a 2-yard gain in the middle of the third quarter. Neither player has returned.
4:14 p.m. (Halftime) — North Texas leads Iowa 14-10. Iowa has 214 yards; North Texas with 212.
4:12 p.m. (Q2, 0:11) — North Texas took over at its 34 with 46 seconds left in the half. On second down, Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa went to the ground in his pass rush and then hit quarterback Mason Fine in the knee. Epenesa was flagged for roughing the quarterback, which moved the ball to midfield. Later in the drive, Iowa cornerback Manny Rugamba hit North Texas receiver Michael Lawrence out of bounds after a 13-yard reception. That put the ball on the Iowa 13. On the next play, backup quarterback Quinn Shanbour connected with receiver Jalen Guyton for a touchdown to put the Mean Green up 14-10 with just 11 seconds left in the half.
3:48 p.m. (Q2, 5:23) — Iowa moved to the North Texas 24 but a third-down pass was incomplete. Kicker Miguel Recinos drilled a 42-yard field goal from the right hashmark and Iowa took a 10-7 lead.
3:38 p.m. (Q2, 8:12) — As North Texas lined up for a 40-yard field goal attempt, Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson knifed in from the kicker’s right side and blocked the attempted. Iowa cornerback Manny Rugamba recovered at the Iowa 36. Still 7-7.
3:10 p.m. (Q1, 0:52) — On third and goal at the North Texas 8, Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley passed 8 yards to tight end T.J. Hockenson for a touchdown. The ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage and originally appeared headed for wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette, but it veered to Hockenson instead. After the extra point, the game was tied 7-7.
3:01 p.m. (Q1, 3:00) — Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley hits running back Akrum Wadley for a 74-yard touchdown reception. Wadley high-steps at the 6-yard line and is flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. The foul occurred at the 6-yard line, which forced the Hawkeyes back to the North Texas 21.
2:53 p.m. (Q1, 5:34) — North Texas stormed up the field on Iowa, going 80 yards in 6 plays. The final 41 came on a run from Jeffery Wilson up the middle, in which several players missed tackles. After the extra point, North Texas led 7-0.
2:43 p.m. (Q1, 8:18) — After taking the opening kickoff, Iowa finished a 12-play, 77-yard drive with an apparent 7-yard touchdown pass from Nate Stanley to Nick Easley. After a review, it was determined that Easley fumbled before crossing the goal line and the ball went out of the end zone for a touchback. North Texas takes over at its 20-yard line.
2:32 p.m. — Coin toss: North Texas wins toss, defers. Iowa will receive and defend north goal.
2:05 p.m. — In warmups, Boone Myers was in at left guard, while Keegan Render moved to right guard. Lucas LeGrand worked with the second team at left tackle, while Tristan Wirfs was in at right tackle. Myers played sparingly the first two weeks with an ankle sprain while LeGrand was injured in camp and has not played.
1:55 p.m. — On the Iowa pregame show, sideline reporter Rob Brooks said Ike Boettger could start running in 3 months after Achilles surgery.
1:39 p.m. — On the pregame radio show, Iowa athletics director Gary Barta discussed opening up a Black Friday series with Wisconsin. “I’ll approach Barry [Alvarez, Wisconsin’s athletics director] and the Big Ten. I’m going make the request at some point. That’s how we feel about it at Iowa.”
1:30 p.m. — It’s a warm day in Iowa City with the sun shining bright. It’s 89 degrees in the Iowa City area and probably 15 degrees warmer on the Kinnick Stadium turf.
Iowa-North Texas game time, details
- Time: 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 16
- Location: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
- Weather: 89 degrees with potential rain at kickoff
- The line: Iowa, minus-21.5
What TV channel is showing Iowa-North Texas?
ESPN2 televises the second meeting between the Hawkeyes and Mean Green.
Heading into Week 3 of the season – these three QBs are tied with the most touchdown passes on deep throws (20+ yards downfield). pic.twitter.com/7Wqji0mzPA
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) September 13, 2017
How can I watch Iowa-North Texas online?
WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app will provide live streaming of the game. Click here for more information.
How can I listen to Iowa-North Texas on the radio?
You can listen on Sirius 135/XM channel 195. For Iowa action, 600 AM (WMT-Cedar Rapids), 1040 AM (WHO-Des Moines) and 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) are the flagship radio stations. Gary Dolphin is the play-by-play broadcaster with Ed Podolak as the color analyst and Rob Brooks as the sideline reporter. Click here for other Iowa radio affiliates.
For the Mean Green point of view, Dave Barnett and Hank Dickenson call the action on 95.3 FM (KHYI-north Dallas), 88.1 FM (KNTU-Denton) and 1580 AM (KGAF-Gainesville). The TuneIn app provides radio coverage.
Who is calling the game for ESPN2?
Anish Shroff handles the play-by-play, Ahmad Brooks provides the color and Roddy Jones adds flavor as the sideline reporter.
— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) September 13, 2017
Iowa-North Texas preview
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Vegas has this as a mismatch, with Iowa as a 3-touchdown favorite. But Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t want to hear any of that. He’s focused on rapid improvement after a disappointing defensive effort against Iowa State.
The Hawkeyes prevailed last week 44-41 in overtime at Iowa State, but the defense gave up 467 yards. That’s double the output of what Wyoming gained (233) in the season opener. Yes, Iowa State has some tremendous skill position players and a talented quarterback, but the statistics, the lack of communication and fatigue were signs Iowa needs to improve quickly.
“Being 2-0 is good, but it really doesn’t mean anything if we’re not improving this week,” Ferentz said. “If we want to be playing for games that count in the conference in November, we need to be improving right now. So that’s kind of what’s on our plate at this point.”
This week, the Hawkeyes welcome North Texas (1-1) in the second of a two-game deal created in 2009. The teams played in 2015, when Iowa won 62-16. This version of the Mean Green appears much better and certainly more dynamic. In two games, North Texas has averaged 580.5 yards, which ranked ninth in Division I. In the opener, a 59-14 win against Lamar, the Mean Green piled up a school-record 668 yards of total offense. Last week, a 54-32 loss to SMU, North Texas still rolled for 493 yards.
Spearheading the North Texas offense is sophomore quarterback Mason Fine, who passed for 424 yards against SMU. Fine has 6 touchdowns and 648 passing yards in two games. North Texas’ tempo is quick and the offense has fast athletes at the skill positions. That has enabled Fine to excel early this season.
“He makes good decisions,” Ferentz said. “He’s fast, efficient, he’ll run the ball, throws it where it needs to go. He gets it there quickly. So, if you leave somebody open, he’s going to find that guy and get the ball there pretty effectively. So it’s going to be a big challenge for us.”
Offensively, the Hawkeyes gained nearly 500 yards against the Cyclones. Quarterback Nate Stanley, the co-Big Ten offensive player of the week, passed for 333 yards, 5 touchdowns and no interceptions in that game. He also directed 4 touchdown drives of at least 89 yards.
Iowa running back Akrum Wadley has become one of the nation’s most potent all-purpose threats. He ranks second in the Big Ten and fourth nationally in all-purpose yards with 203 a game. Last week, he tied the score late in the fourth quarter with a 46-yard catch and run in which he had to run over one player and drag another over the goal line.
“I can just hear the coaches in my ear, finish runs,” Wadley said. “Vertical and violent. Coach [Chris] Doyle always talks about that. Just be a finisher, that’s what coach Brian [Ferentz] is always talking about. Finish.”
The Hawkeyes next face Penn State at 6:30 p.m. CT Sept. 23 at Kinnick Stadium in both teams’ Big Ten openers.