(Courtesy University of Iowa Athletics)
Senior Nate Stanley threw for a season-high 308 yards and the University of Iowa defense forced three turnovers, sending the No. 19/20 Hawkeyes to a 19-10 Senior Day victory over Illinois on Saturday inside Kinnick Stadium.
With eight minutes remaining and the Illini facing a third-and-2 from midfield, senior Kristian Welch jarred the ball loose from Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters and sophomore Jack Koerner recovered, giving the Hawkeyes possession at the Illini 47 with 7:46 to play.
Iowa followed with a nine-play, 36-yard scoring drive — one that milked 5:02 off the clock — to send the Hawkeyes to their eighth win.
“For us to win in Kinnick in such a hard-fought game is special,” said Stanley.
Stanley found Nico Ragaini for 9 yards and followed with an 8-yard gain on a quarterback sneak to move the ball to the Illinois 30. Stanley also converted a third-and-2 with a 6-yard yard gain on a read-option before two Tyler Goodson rushes moved the ball to the 11.
Senior Keith Duncan extended the lead to two possessions with a 29-yard field goal with 2:44 remaining — his fourth field goal of the game.
The Hawkeyes out-gained Illinois, 387-336, in the game. Stanley completed 18-of-35 attempts for 308 yards with completions to seven different receivers. Junior Ihmir Smith-Marsette had four catches for a career-high 121 yards, while redshirt freshman Tyrone Tracy, Jr., finished with six catches for 56 yards.
Iowa’s rushing attack finished with 79 yards on 32 attempts. Goodson had 21 carries for 38 yards with the Hawkeyes’ lone touchdown — a 2-yarder in the first quarter.
Welch finished with 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops, 1 1/2 tackles for loss, one sack, and a forced fumble. Senior Michael Ojemudia had eight tackles — all solo — and an interception, and junior Matt Hankins had five tackles, three pass-break-ups, and a pick.
Peters finished 16-of-31 for 125 yards and a touchdown through the air, and he had a game-high 76 rushing yards on 10 attempts.