Saturday's Notebook: Hawkeyes Become Bowl Eligible
EVANSTON, Ill — Iowa’s 20-0 shutout of Northwestern on Saturday at Ryan Field guaranteed the Hawkeyes will be playing somewhere in the postseason.
The Hawkeyes, at 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten, clinched bowl eligibility for the 18th time in the last 19 seasons.
Iowa has won its last two bowl appearances, a 2017 victory over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl and a win over Mississippi State in last season’s Outback Bowl.
• It was the fourth shutout for the Hawkeyes in its last 11 games. No other Big Ten team has more than one shutout since the beginning of the 2018 season.
Iowa blanked Maryland and Illinois last season, and Rutgers and Northwestern this season.
• Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has 94 Big Ten wins, one victory away from tying Joe Paterno for fifth all-time in league history.
• Quarterback Nate Stanley’s 50-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Tracy Jr., in the first quarter was the 62nd of his career, moving him to second all-time in school history.
Stanley needs just 13 over the last four regular-season games and the bowl game to become the school’s all-time leader.
Stanley made his 34th consecutive start, the second longest streak by an Iowa quarterback. Chuck Long made 47 career starts.
• Tracy’s touchdown reception was the longest of his career.
• Tight end Sam LaPorta had a 41-yard catch in the second quarter, the first of his career.
LaPorta had a first-quarter catch overturned on replay review.
• Defensive back Dane Belton, a true freshman, made his first career start and recorded five tackles.
Belton is the 25th true freshman in the Ferentz era to start. Eight of those starts have been defensive backs.
• Wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette had a 7-yard catch in the first quarter that moved him over 1,000 receiving yards for his career.
Smith-Marsette, who had three catches for 20 yards in the game, has 71 career receptions for 1,011 yards.
• Mekhi Sargent’s 1-yard touchdown dive in the third quarter was his fourth rushing touchdown of the season, and the 10th for Iowa.
Five of Iowa’s rushing touchdowns have come from the 1-yard line — Stanley, fullback Brady Ross, backup quarterback Spencer Petras, running back Tyler Goodson, and Sargent.
• Iowa had 12 first downs, its lowest total since the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.
• Iowa allowed 202 yards of offense, its lowest total in a Big Ten game since holding Maryland to 115 yards in 2018. It’s the lowest total in a road game since the 2015 Hawkeyes held Northwestern to 198 yards.
• The Hawkeyes snapped a three-game losing streak to Northwestern. Iowa leads the all-time series 51-27-3.