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Iowa moves to 3-0 with 38-14 win over Northern Iowa

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley (4) runs from Northern Iowa linebacker Duncan Ferch (39) during the teams' September meeting in Iowa City.

IOWA CITY — Iowa’s defensive line proved it was legit. The Hawkeyes’ running backs were as good as advertised. Iowa’s passing game was pretty good, too.

Leading up to Saturday night’s Northern Iowa-Iowa matchup, Panther head coach Mark Farley said this is the best Hawkeye team he has seen in a long time.

Iowa proved Farley more than right by demolishing the Panthers in every phase of the game during a 38-14 victory at Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeyes (3-0) rolled to 545 yards of offense — 338 passing, 207 rushing — as the Panthers could do little to slow a multi-faceted Iowa attack.

Nate Stanley threw for 309 yards and two scores.

The Panthers finished with just 228 yards, including only six rushing yards on 21 carries.

Farley was most disappointed in the fact that UNI could not control the line of scrimmage.

“I’m disappointed in our team that we did not play at the line of scrimmage the way we wanted to and could have, even against a great team,” Farley said. “That is what we need to go back home and improve.”

Once again, a slow start doomed UNI as it had just 22 yards of offense in the first half with senior Colton Howell making the start at quarterback over Eli Dunne after his spectacular play against in rallying the Panthers against Montana.

But Howell was just 3 of 10 for 22 yards with an interception, missing several early throws that could’ve helped UNI move the ball.

After the first of two Jared Brinkman sacks stalled the Hawkeyes’ first drive of the game, Iowa scored on its next three possessions. Iowa opened in a hurry-up offense, and a passing game that produced only 274 yards in its first two games clicked from the start.

“This is a game I had been looking forward to for a long time, so has our whole team, and there is a lot of energy in there, but as a defense we just did not come out like we should have. We weren’t playing UNI football like we should,” Brinkman said.

Fant hauled in a five-yard touchdown pass from Stanley after his 43-yard catch set the Hawkeyes up inside the Panther 10. It was his 14th career touchdown reception, allowing him to pass former Cedar Falls great Mike Flagg as the all-time leader in that category by Iowa tight ends.

Mekhi Sargent had touchdowns runs of 2 and 10 yards as Iowa outgained UNI 316-20 in the opening 30 minutes and led 21-0.

“I’m not sure. I don’t know what the cause is,” tight end Briley Moore said of the slow start. “We have to get it figured out. We have to.”

It got worse before it got better for the Panthers. UNI’s first possession of the third quarter was a three-and-out, and Iowa added to its lead on a 42-yard field goal by Miguel Recinos.

Easley hauled in a 14-yard touchdown catch, and Toren Young made it 38-0 on a 15-yard run before the third quarter had even ended.

“I knew they wanted to get their offense going because that was probably something they wanted to make progress on,” Farley said. “It was probably more so what we did. I was disappointed we gave up so many yards rushing. That is not us. When you give up yards rushing, then your play-action pass is always wide open.

“They did a very nice job.”

The Panthers, who play their home opener next Saturday at 4 p.m. against Hampton, got things going against Iowa’s top defense in the fourth quarter with Eli Dunne back under center.

Dunne put UNI on the board with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Moore with 11:12 left in the fourth, capping a 14-play, 75-yard drive.

A Duncan Ferch interception and a tremendous throw by Dunne of 40 yards to Jalen Rima set up a five-yard Elias Nissen touchdown catch with 5:25 left, making it 38-14.

Dunne finished 18 of 28 for 200 yards and the two touchdowns, erasing his wobbly performance at Montana and most likely reasserting himself as UNI’s No. 1 quarterback.

“I thought Eli did an excellent job,” Farley said. “I was very pleased with his execution, his calmness and the way he accepted what happened and he became a better quarterback today because of that.”

Freshman Chris Kolarevic led UNI with 14 tackles. UNI recorded three sacks — two by freshman Brinkman, a native of Iowa City. Ferch and AJ Allen each had interceptions.

“I was disappointed we lost the line of scrimmage the way we did,” Farley said. “Their defensive front and they have a lot of quality in the o-line, and the running backs are tough, as well.”

Iowa 38, UNI 14

N. Iowa 0 0 0 14 — 14

Iowa 7 14 17 0 — 38

First quarter

Iowa — Fant 5 pass from Stanley (Recinos kick), 6:07. (Drive: 10 plays, 92 yards, 4:39).

Second quarter

Iowa — Sargent 2 run (Recinos kick), 14:09. (Drive: 12 plays, 68 yards, 5:41).

Iowa — Sargent 10 run (Recinos kick), 2:09. (Drive: 14 plays, 67 yards, 6:26).

Third quarter

Iowa — FG Recinos 42, 9:50. (Drive: 10 plays, 52 yards, 4:20).

Iowa — Easley 14 pass from Stanley (Recinos kick), 7:03. (Drive: 4 plays, 41 yards, 1:43).

Iowa — T. Young 15 run (Recinos kick), 1:59. (Drive: 3 plays, 72 yards, 1:21).

Fourth quarter

UNI — Moore 4 pass from Dunne (Errthum kick), 11:12. (Drive: 14 plays, 75 yards, 5:47).

UNI — Nissen 5 pass from Dunne (Errthum kick), 5:25. (Drive: 6 plays, 65 yards, 2:14).


UNI Iowa

First downs 14 27

Rushes-yards 21-6 50-207

Passing yards 222 338

Comp-att-int 21-38-1 25-31-2

Return yards 31 -2

Punts-avg. 5-41.6 2-32.5

Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0

Penalties-yards 3-35 10-88

Time of possession 23:26 36:34



UNI — T. Allen 13-27, Weymiller 2-5, Howell 3-2, Dunne 2-minus 9, Team 1-minus 19.

IOWA — T. Young 14-82, Sargent 15-72, Geil 10-24, Groeneweg 1-11, Easley 1-9, Mansell 2-6, Ross 1-3, Wieting 0-0, Stanley 6-0.


UNI — Howell 3-10-1, 22 yards, Dunne 18-28-0, 200 yards.

IOWA — Stanley 23-28-1, 309 yards, Mansell 2-3-1, 29 yards.


UNI — Moore 5-32, James 4-34, T. Allen 4-34, Nissen 3-21, Fossey 2-28, Rima 1-40, McShane 1-24, Carey 1-9.

IOWA — Easley 10-103, Fant 5-99, B.Smith 2-24, Hockenson 2-16, Sargent 1-48, Tracy 1-22, Ross 1-10, Cooper 1-7, Ragaini 1-7, T. Young 1-2.

Missed field goals

UNI — Errthum 45

IOWA — Recinos 30

Tackles (solo-ast-total)

UNI — Kolarevic 6-9-15, A.J. Allen 7-3-10, Sander 6-4-10, Ferch 4-6-10, Douglas 3-3-6, Neal 4-1-5, Brinkman 4-1-5, Williams 3-1-4, Applegate 2-2-4, Nimmers 3-0-3, Lawrence 2-1-3, Lane 1-2-3, Carey 1-0-1, S. Thomas 1-0-1, Jegen 1-0-1, Smith 1-0-1, Wells 1-0-1, Friedrich 1-0-1, B. Thomas 0-1-1.

IOWA — Welch 4-4-8, Hankins 3-3-6, Hockaday 0-6-6, Ojemudia 3-2-5, Hesse 0-5-5, Lattimore 3-1-4, Gervase 3-1-4, Epenesa 1-2-3, Golston 1-1-2, Reiff 1-1-2, Milani 1-1-2, Hooker 0-2-2, Colbert 0-2-2, M. Nelson 1-0-1, Cooper 1-0-1, Jones 1-0-1, Moss 1-0-1, Mansell 1-0-1, Stone 0-1-1, Niemann 0-1-1, A. Nelson 0-1-1.

Tackles for loss

UNI — Brinkman 2-17, Ferch 1.5-2, Douglas 1.5-4, Neal 1.5-7, Kolarevic 0.5-1.

IOWA — Lattimore 1-5, Epenesa 1-2, Reiff 1-4.


UNI — Brinkman 2-17, Neal 1-7.

IOWA — Lattimore 1-5, Epenesa 1-2, Reiff 1-4.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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