September 7, 2019 / 7:32 PM / 12 days ago

No. 20 Iowa crushes Rutgers to open conference play

Senior quarterback Nate Stanley threw for 236 yards and three touchdown passes to help No. 20 Iowa cruise to a 30-0 victory over visiting Rutgers on Saturday in the Big Ten opener at Iowa City.

Sep 7, 2019; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz arrives before the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Stanley completed 16 of 28 passes and raised his career touchdown count to 58, passing former Hawkeyes star Ricky Stanzi to move into third place on the school’s all-time list. Only Chuck Long (74 from 1981-85) and Drew Tate (61 from 2003-06) have thrown more.

Junior wideout Ihmir Smith-Marsette had four receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns and redshirt freshman receiver Tyrone Tracy also caught a scoring pass for Iowa (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten). Junior Keith Duncan kicked three field goals, while sophomore linebacker Djimon Colbert and senior cornerback Michael Ojemudia recorded interceptions.

The Hawkeyes racked up 438 yards and 23 first downs while holding the Scarlet Knights to 125 yards. Rutgers (1-1, 0-1) had just five first downs, punted 10 times and committed three turnovers.

Iowa struck fast as Stanley hooked up with Smith-Marsette on a 58-yard scoring pass with 12:18 left in the first quarter. Smith-Marsette easily maneuvered past the coverage of Rutgers sophomore cornerback Avery Young and Stanley hit him deep for the score.

The Hawkeyes traveled 97 yards on 11 plays for their second score, coming when Stanley found Tracy to make it 14-0 when the redshirt freshman drifted into the right portion of the end zone to easily make the grab. That was Stanley’s 57th touchdown pass to move past Stanzi (2007-10).

Duncan kicked field goals of 46 and 19 yards later in the half to make it a 20-point margin.

Rutgers had just 47 yards on six first-half possessions — five punts and an interception — and only two first downs. Senior quarterback McLane Carter was 5-for-15 passing for 22 yards and didn’t return for the second half.

Sophomore Artur Sitkowski completed 4 of 11 passes for 19 yards and one interception while playing the final 30 minutes.

Iowa’s lead reached 27-0 on a two-play drive in the third quarter. Stanley hit Tracy for a 33-yard gain and followed up by connecting with Smith-Marsette on a crossing pattern and the latter took it 23 yards for the score with 2:50 left.

Duncan’s 43-yard field goal boosted the lead to 30 with 11:05 left in the game.

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