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10@10: Fifth-ranked Hawkeyes feed off interceptions
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10@10: Fifth-ranked Hawkeyes feed off interceptions

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APTOPIX Iowa Iowa St Football

Iowa cornerback Matt Hankins intercepts a pass in front of Iowa State receiver Xavier Hutchinson (8) during the first half of the Hawkeyes' 27-17 win over the Cyclones on Saturday.

Offensive rhythm, defensive domination and another Cy-Hawk win for now fifth-ranked Iowa is all part of today’s Hawkeye 10@10.

Delivered each weekday at 10 a.m. during game week at hawkmania.com, the Hawkeye 10@10 serves up your daily dose of Iowa football news and notes.

Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:

1. After gaining just 14 yards and picking up its only first down on a penalty in the opening quarter of Saturday’s win at Iowa State, the Iowa offense found a rhythm in the second quarter.

The short passing game allowed the Hawkeyes to gain some traction as Spencer Petras completed 8-of-10 passes for 94 yards in the quarter, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Jones.

“It took us a little while to get our feet underneath us,’’ Petras said. “It starts with running the football.’’

2. Jestin Jacobs spent most of Saturday trying to deal with Cyclones all-American tight end Charlie Kolar, but he contributed more than limiting Kolar to four catches for 34 yards in Iowa’s win at Jack Trice Stadium.

His biggest play came when he forced a Breece Hall fumble that led to a Jack Campbell touchdown to extend a 14-10 lead, the first fumble Jacobs has forced in his career.

“I was just trying to focus on my responsibility, not letting the ball get outside of me,’’ Jacobs said.

“It just happened that the ball came to me and I was able to get my arms around it. Next thing I know I’m trying to get up, I’m looking to the right and Jack is scooping and scoring. I didn’t really know what had happened until I saw Jack running into the end zone.’’

3. With three interceptions on Saturday, Iowa again leads the NCAA with 70 picks since the start of the 2017 season.

The Hawkeyes have intercepted three passes in each of their first two games, the first time Iowa has picked off at least three passes in consecutive games since 2017 when it followed a four-interception game against Ohio State by intercepting three passes in a game against Wisconsin.

4. Jack Campbell’s six-yard fumble return for a touchdown was a rarity.

It marked the first time the Hawkeyes had run a fumble back for a score since 2018.

A.J. Epenesa collected the scoop and score that day in a game when a lot went right for Iowa in a 63-0 win at Illinois.

5. Saturday’s win over the seventh-ranked Cyclones was the Hawkeyes’ first road win over a top-10 opponent in more than a decade.

Before the 27-17 win at Iowa State, Iowa’s most recent win over a top-10 team away from home came in 2009 when the Hawkeyes won 21-10 at Penn State.

6. Playing turnover-free football against Iowa State has become the norm for Iowa in recent years.

The Hawkeyes have not turned the ball over in a game against the Cyclones since Jordan Canzeri fumbled early in the fourth quarter of a 2015 game at Jack Trice Stadium.

Iowa has now run 352 plays against Iowa State without turning the ball over.

7. Desmond King and Christian Kirksey opened the NFL season on Sunday by leading the Houston Texans in tackles.

King finished with eight and Kirksey recorded six in a 37-21 win over Jacksonville to highlight the efforts of former Hawkeyes at the next level.

On offense, T.J. Hockenson had eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown for Detroit and George Kittle finished with four receptions for 78 yards for San Francisco in the 49ers’ 41-33 win over the Lions.

Elsewhere, Noah Fant finished with six catches for 62 yards and Josey Jewell had four tackles for Denver in its 27-13 win over the New York Giants and Mekhi Sargent rushed for two yards on one carry in his NFL debut for Tennessee in a game which saw Amani Hooker finish with five tackles.

Elsewhere on defense, Anthony Hitchens had four stops and Ben Niemann recorded three for the Chiefs in their win over the Browns, Micah Hyde had five tackles for the Bills in a loss to the Steelers, Nick Niemann had one tackle for the Chargers in his NFL debut against Washington and Carl Davis finished with one stop for the Patriots in a loss to the Dolphins.

8. Former Hawkeye defensive back Julius Brents led Kansas State in tackles its win over Southern Illinois last weekend, highlighting the work of former Iowa players competing elsewhere in college football.

Brents finished with six tackles and broke up one pass in the Wildcats’ win.

Elsewhere, Dillon Doyle finished with five tackles for Baylor in its win over Texas Southern and Samson Evans rushed twice for four yards for Eastern Michigan in its loss at Wisconsin.

9. Now in his 25th season as the play-by-play voice of Iowa football and basketball on the Hawkeye Radio Network, Gary Dolphin will be the guest speaker today at the Davenport Grid Club luncheon.

He will join Quad-City area high school and college football coaches in speaking at the noon luncheon at the Knights of Columbus, 1111 W. 35th St., Davenport.

Grid Club luncheons are open to the public and tickets, priced at $12 each, can be purchased at the door.

10. Currently, it looks like it will be another warm September Saturday for the Iowa-Kent State game.

The National Weather Service forecast for Iowa City on Saturday is calling for sunny skies and a high temperature of 86 degrees.

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