RUTGERS AT IOWA
WEEK 2: 11 A.M., KINNICK STADIUM
RADIO: WOC 1420 AM
LINE: Iowa by 20
SERIES: Iowa 1-0
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
Nate Stanley’s arm
The Hawkeye quarterback completed 70 percent of his passes in Iowa’s season opener, spreading the ball around to 10 receivers while throwing for 252 yards and three touchdowns and connecting on 21 of his 30 attempts. The ability of Stanley to make use of the depth of Iowa’s receiving corps is an early-season storyline to watch.
McLane Carter’s follow up
Rutgers’ starting quarterback is a Texas Tech transfer who started a pair of games last season for the Red Raiders, including their game against Baylor. He threw for 340 yards in the Scarlet Knights’ season-opening 48-21 win over Massachusetts, rallying Rutgers from an early 21-7 deficit in that game.
Mekhi Sargent’s encore
The Hawkeyes’ junior running back enjoyed a solid season opener, leading Iowa with 91 rushing yards and 65 receiving yards while displaying growth in the Hawkeye backfield. Sargent showed improved vision and decisiveness in laying the foundation for his work as the leader of a ground game which accumulated 213 yards last week.
Rutgers’ 1-2 punch
Isaih Pacheco and Raheem Blackshear wear jersey numbers 1 and 2 for the Scarlet Knights, and the two running backs are both big-play threats. Pacheco rushed for four touchdowns and 156 yards in Rutgers’ season opener while Blackshear ran for 39 yards but caught a career-high nine passes for 126 yards in the win over Massachusetts.
Iowa’s defensive pressure
The Hawkeyes collected just one sack in their season opener. Amani Jones recorded that one, an effort Iowa will look to build on as a defensive line featuring four first-year starters settles in. They’ll be working against a Rutgers offensive line that surrendered one sack and protected well enough last week to help the Scarlet Knights record eight plays of 20 or more yards.
— Steve Batterson
INTERCEPTIONS: Michael Ojemudia 1
SACKS: Amani Jones 1
TACKLES: Djimon Colbert 8, Kristian Welch 8, Cedric Lattimore 5, Kaevon Merriweather 5, Brady Reiff 5
PUNT RETURNS: Nico Ragaini 2-16-8.0
KICKOFF RETURNS: Ihmir Smith-Marsette 1-19-19.0
INTERCEPTIONS: Tre Avery 1, Avery Young 1
SACKS: Elorm Lumor 1, Olakunle Fatukasi 0.5, Jamree Kromah 0.5
TACKLES: Tyshon Fogg 11, Olakunle Fatukasi 8, Deion Jennings 6, Tyreek Maddox-Williams 5, Chike Nwankwo 5
PUNT RETURNS: None
KICKOFF RETURNS: Tre Avery 2-51-25.5
IOWA CB MICHAEL OJEMUDIA VS. RUTGERS RB RAHEEM BLACKSHEAR: One of the Big Ten’s most versatile running backs, Blackshear teamed with QB McLane Carter to catch a career-high nine passes for 126 yards in the Scarlet Knights’ season-opening win over Massachusetts. He had 165 all-purpose yards in the victory that ended an 11-game losing streak for Rutgers.
BY THE NUMBERS
150: Rutgers, the birthplace of college football, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the sport’s first college game, a Nov. 6, 1869, contest between Rutgers and Princeton
9: Number of offensive linemen who saw action in the Hawkeyes’ season-opening win over Miami (Ohio), a rotation expected to continue against Rutgers
"This is the one chance I have in my college career to play against the team from my home state. While it would have been great to go back to Jersey and play Rutgers there, this will be my chance to show the folks back home what I can do." — Iowa receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette