After winning a big game last week against Minnesota, No. 17 Iowa (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten) held off an upset bid by Illinois (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon in Kinnick Stadium. The 19-10 victory by the Hawkeyes keeps the possibility of a 10-win season in play for head coach Kirk Ferentz.
Iowa’s defense forced three turnovers against the Illini but only managed to score three points off those turnovers. The Illini also missed a field goal from 51 yards that would have created a three-point game late in the third quarter but the 12-play drive started deep in their own end. after forcing a punt following a turnover.
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley completed 18 of his 35 pass attempts for 308 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Stanley also added 22 rushing yards on four carries. It was not a big day for Iowa on the ground, with Tyler Goodson leading the team with 38 yards on 21 carries. One went for a touchdown to help the Hawkeyes get the win. The Illini, however, were effective with the run against Iowa, rushing for 192 yards as a team. Brandon Peters led the way with 76 rushing yards on 10 carries to go with his 125 passing yards.
Iowa will wrap up the regular season next Friday with a post-Thanksgiving game at Nebraska. Nebraska may need the win just to become bowl-eligible, and Iowa would love nothing more than to slam the door shut on Nebraska’s bowl hopes in Lincoln. Illinois will return home for their final game of the regular season, against 2-9 Northwestern (Northwestern lost to Minnesota today). The Illini will still be able to look forward to the bowl season though.