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Hawkeyes pummel Cardinals in final non-conference clash

Posted on 25. Sep, 2010 by in Iowa Football


By Brendan Stiles

IOWA CITY, Iowa — This was the kind of game the No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes needed.

Coming off a disheartening loss in Arizona last week, the Hawkeyes bounced back in an enormous way, clobbering Ball State to the tune of 45-0 inside Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. The win moves Iowa to 3-1 overall as it begins Big Ten play next week.

Unlike its prior two victories entering this game, the Hawkeyes got off to a bit of a slower start. There was no touchdown on the opening series to set the tone.

But on its second possession, Iowa dealt its first blow when sophomore running back Adam Robinson scored from one yard out to make it 7-0.

Midway through the second quarter, the Hawkeyes’ next score came when senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi found sophomore wide receiver Keenan Davis in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. Davis had three receptions on the six-play scoring drive after entering the game for junior Marvin McNutt, who left the game with what he called a leg injury.

Davis revealed there was a miscommunication between him and senior wideout Paul Chaney, Jr., on the touchdown he caught.

“Me and Chaney ran into each other, and luckily, just played football after that,” Davis said. “Coach [Erik] Campbell always says if you make a mistake, do it fast, then make a play out of it.”

Just before halftime, sophomore cornerback Micah Hyde forced a fumble by Cardinals signal-caller Keith Wenning recovered by senior linebacker Jeremiha Hunter. Hyde also recorded a key interception earlier in the game.

“He’s finally feeling comfortable,” junior cornerback Shaun Prater said about his counterpart. “Now, he has a chance to just make plays. He’s not thinking anymore.”

Three plays after getting the ball back, Stanzi found senior wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for the first of his two touchdown receptions, this one being a 22-yard play, that gave Iowa a 21-0 lead at halftime.

Stanzi completed 19-of-25 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. He described the team’s performance offensively as something that stemmed from reacting to what the Cardinals did defensively.

“They gave us some different looks. They did what they usually did, but at the same time, but they brought a ton of pressure, which is unlike them at all,” Stanzi said about Ball State’s defense. “It was a weird game because there was a lot of checks, so it’s hard to tell what we were trying to do almost.”

The third quarter was highlighted by the second touchdowns from both Robinson and Johnson-Koulianos. Robinson scored again from one yard out, and finished the contest with 115 yards rushing on 22 carries. Meanwhile, Johnson-Koulianos had four receptions for 87 yards. He now needs only 14 catches and 131 receiving yards to become Iowa’s all-time leader in both career categories.

Defensively, it was a dominant display, particularly from the front four. Junior Mike Daniels, who didn’t start the game at defensive tackle, recorded six tackles, four of which were solo, and one sack. Four of his six tackles were for a loss of yardage.

Daniels credited film study throughout the week as a major factor in his performance.

“That’s just the name of the game — learn from the practice film, learn from the game film,” he said. “Film watching is a big part of the game, and it’s really what separates the levels of college and high school.”

In the fourth quarter, sophomore quarterback James Vandenberg came in and orchestrated Iowa’s sixth touchdown drive of the afternoon on his opening series. It was capped by a six-yard touchdown pass from the Keokuk native to senior wide receiver Colin Sandeman.

“That was the ugliest touchdown ever,” Sandeman said jokingly. “It was a great throw. It was kind of a dead play, actually. They ran a coverage that play didn’t really work in, and I was just lucky to find an opening.”

With 5:09 remaining in the game, the Hawkeyes recorded their first field goal of the season when freshman kicker Michael Meyer connected from 25 yards out. He had missed an earlier attempt from 37 yards, and kicked all of Iowa’s PATs in place of sophomore Trent Mossbrucker.

The Hawkeyes begin their conference slate on Oct. 2 against Penn State at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa won last year’s meeting in State College, Pa., 21-10. It will be the Hawkeyes’ Homecoming contest and is scheduled to be a 7 p.m. kickoff on either ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2.


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