Iowa Hawkeyes

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 24:  Janarion Grant #1 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights is carted off the field after getting injured against the Iowa Hawkeyes at High Point Solutions Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Rutgers loses star WR Janarion Grant to serious-looking injury

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At first blush, it doesn’t look good at all for one of the most explosive and productive players in the Big Ten.

Late in the first half of the Iowa game, Rutgers’ Janarion Grant took a short screen pass and turned it into a spectacular 76-yard play.  At the end of the catch-and-run, however, Grant sustained what looked to be a serious injury to his right leg.

He could put no wait on the injured limb, and will not return to the game.  The extent and nature of the injury likely won’t be known until after the game, although, again, it doesn’t look good.

Grant currently leads the Scarlet Knights with 15 receptions, and is second on the team with 143 yards rushing. His 562 all-purpose yards were tops in the Big Ten entering Week 4 play.

As for the game itself, the Hawkeyes and Scarlet Knights are tied at 7-all with just under 12 minutes remaining

Damien Harris, Alabama’s leading rusher, injured against Kent State, won’t return

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31:  Damien Harris #34 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up prior to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl against the Michigan State Spartans at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Alabama entered its Week 4 non-conference game against Nick Saban‘s alma mater without a pair of wide receivers, including its leading pass-catcher.  Now, it’s the Tide’s ground game that’s wounded.

On UA’s fifth play from scrimmage in the game against Kent State, Damien Harris took a helmet to his right knee and had to be helped off the field and into a medical tent.  A short time later, he hopped to a cart with his injured leg heavily bandaged and was taken into the locker room for further evaluation.

A short time ago, the Tide’s radio network confirmed that Harris will not return to the game.  The specific nature and severity of the injury are not yet known.

Harris entered Week 4 as the Tide’s leader in rushing yards (327) and yards per carry (9.1).  At the time of his injury, Harris had four carries for 18 yards.

Joshua Jacobs has shouldered the running game load since Harris’ departure, at least from the running back position, as he leads the Tide with 75 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just six carries.  Quarterback Jalen Hurts has chipped in 45 yards and a touchdown on the ground as ‘Bama currently leads 24-0 early in the second quarter.

UPDATED 3:39 p.m. ET: To the relief of many, Nick Saban stated after the 48-0 win Harris had sustained just a sprained ankle and is “day-to-day.”

North Dakota State narrowly misses becoming first ranked FCS team

AMES, IA - AUGUST 30: North Dakota Bison fans cheer on their team in the second half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. North Dakota State defeated Iowa State 34-14. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
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North Dakota State is already in the midst of one record-breaking streak with five straight Football Championship Subdivision.

But the Bison narrowly missed making another type of history on Sunday, one that would have, arguably, topped their literal handful of national championships.

Following Saturday’s 23-21 upset of then-No. 13 Iowa, North Dakota State just missed the cut at joining Sunday’s AP poll, garnering 74 points, good enough for 28th place in a 25-team poll.

The Bison would’ve been the first team to join the poll had they received enough votes to make the cut. As it stands, their 74 points are the most ever for an FCS team. All told, ten FCS teams have earned votes in the AP poll, dating back to Appalachian State’s stunner of then-No. 5 Michigan on the opening Saturday of the 2007 season.

It’s unlikely North Dakota State will rise any higher than 28th from here on out. The Bison have no more FBS opponents left on their 2016 schedule.

While they won’t see a number next to their name at the FBS level, the Bison can take solace in this: they earned 42 more points in this week’s poll than Notre Dame.

North Dakota State extends FBS winning streak with last-second kick vs. No. 13 Iowa

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 17:  Defensive end Anthony Nelson #98 of the Iowa Hawkeyes grabs the ankle of quarterback Easton Stick #12 of the North Dakota State Bisons in the second quarter, on September 17, 2016 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.  (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
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North Dakota State had won five straight games against FBS opponents. On Saturday, that streak extended to six as a last-secodn field goal by Cam Pedersen snuck just inside the right upright to clip No. 13 Iowa (2-1) for a 22-20 victory.

North Dakota State orchestrated a gut-wrenching 15-play touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that resulted in a touchdown to cut Iowa’s 21-14 lead down to 21-20. Then came decision time for Bison head coach Chris Kileman. Go for the extra point attempt to tie the game at 21-21, or attempt a two-point conversion and hope the defense can hang on for a wild 22-21 victory against the defending Big Ten West champions with 3:41 to play? The two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Bison defense forced a masterful and well-timed three-and-out that forced a punt, which set North Dakota State up at their own 34-yard line with 1:44 to play.

Iowa’s defense came up incredibly small on the first play, giving North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick far too much open field to run 29 yards. That was followed by a 10-yard pass to RJ Urzendowski and a couple short runs to set the field goal unit at the 20-yard line for a 37-yard try.

North Dakota State out-gained Iowa in total offense, 363-231, including an astounding 239 rushing yards to Iowa’s 34 rushing yards on 25 attempts. Each team had an intercepted pass, but North Dakota State was the only team to create points off the turnover with a pick-six in the first half. Iowa’s defense came up with an interception in the first half, but the offense was left to a three-and-out with no yards picked up.

North Dakota State’s Six-Game FBS Winning Streak

  • 2010: Kansas
  • 2011: Minnesota
  • 2012: Colorado State
  • 2013: Kansas State
  • 2014: Iowa State
  • 2016: Iowa

Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard was hit or miss for most of the afternoon, but he did toss three touchdowns, including a pair to Matt VandeBerg.

Unless a game is added to the schedule in the next few years, which undoubtedly it may despite the evidence suggesting FBS schools should be taking a pass on the Bison, North Dakota State’s next scheduled game against an FBS opponent is not until 2020. North Dakota State makes a trip to Oregon that season, and a future game at Colorado comes up in 2024. The five-time defending FCS champions have answered every challenge so far with a pair of overtime victories against high-quality FCS opponents and today’s win at Iowa. From here, it should be smooth sailing, right? Next up is a Missouri Vallet Football Conference opener with Illinois State. The two faced off for the FCS championship last season, and Illinois State also has a win against a Big Ten team this season. Illinois State edged Northwestern last week.

Iowa will get away next week to play Rutgers in a Big Ten opener.

North Dakota State FBS win streak in jeopardy at Iowa; Hawkeyes lead 14-7 at half

AMES, IA - AUGUST 30: North Dakota Bison fans cheer on their team in the second half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. North Dakota State defeated Iowa State 34-14. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
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The North Dakota State Bison, five-time defending champions of the FCS, scored the first touchdown of the day at Iowa, but the Hawkeyes have come back to take a lead into halftime.

North Dakota State opened the scoring late in the first quarter with the defense doing the honors. Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard was hit as he attempted a pass and linebacker MJ Stumpf managed to be in the right spot at the right time to get his hands on the ball as it popped out of the quarterback’s hands. He managed to return the turnover 21 yards for the score. Beathard would make up for the mistake in the second quarter.

After getting a feel for what North Dakota State was doing defensively, the Hawkeyes eventually figured out how to move the football. Beathard got Iowa on the board with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Riley McCarron, who split a couple of defenders in the open field and had nobody in front to stop him on the way to the endzone. After forcing the visiting Bison to punt away on the ensuing possession, Iowa got on the scoreboard once more with a Beathard touchdown pass to Matt VandeBerg inside the red zone.

Still, North Dakota State appears to be playing the game it wants to hang around and give the Hawkeyes a decent scare. North Dakota State needs to keep the offense on the field, which has been difficult against Iowa’s defense. North Dakota State had just one third-down conversion in the first half, although they did pick up a fourth-down conversion.