(16) Arizona State 2

(2-1, 0-1 away)

(18) Iowa 21

(4-0, 3-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN2

6:00 PM ET, September 20, 2003

Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA

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Chandler throws three TD passes

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Nathan Chandler threw three touchdown passes and Iowa (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) frustrated Arizona State (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) with outstanding defense in a 21-2 victory Saturday night.

Derek Hagan

AP Photo

Arizona State's Derek Hagan is greeted rudely by Iowa's Chad Greenway, left, and Abdul Hodge.

Fred Russell added 154 yards rushing in 27 carries for the Hawkeyes (4-0), off to their best start since 1997. Arizona State (2-1) couldn't capitalize on the momentum from an early safety and struggled against an Iowa defense that was able to pressure quarterback Andrew Walter with a four-man rush.

Arizona State, which had been averaging 404.5 yards and 30 points a game, was held to 24 yards rushing and 184 total yards.

Chandler floundered early and his fumble led to the safety. But he came through with touchdown passes of 40 yards to Ramon Ochoa and 2 yards to Erik Jensen in the second quarter and hit Ochoa on a 3-yard scoring play in the third quarter.

The way Iowa's defense was playing, that was more than enough. Walter, who had thrown six touchdown passes in the first two games, rarely had time to look downfield and his longest gain was 16 yards. He finished 25-of-44 for 160 yards and one interception.

After Walter's 16-yard pass to fullback Mike Karney on the first play of the second quarter, Arizona State did not make another first down until the 5:58 mark in the third quarter -- and that was on a roughing the passer penalty.

The touchdown catches were the first of his career for Ochoa, a senior who had played little before this season. He became Chandler's primary target in the absence of leading receiver Maurice Brown, sidelined by an ankle injury. Ochoa finished with four receptions for 64 yards.

Chandler was 15-of-23 for 154 yards.

The Hawkeyes lost another starting receiver when Ed Hinkel was injured on a second-quarter punt return. The school did not immediately reveal the nature of his injury.

Iowa's average starting position on its first five possessions was its own 16 and coach Kirk Ferentz played it conservatively. Once the Hawkeyes got a little better field position, they opened things up.

Taking over at its own 37 midway through the second quarter, Iowa needed only three plays to score. On first down at the Arizona State 40, Ochoa spun cornerback Mike Davis around with a fake to the outside, cut inside and was in full stride when he caught Chandler's pass in the end zone.

After the Iowa defense forced a three-and-out, Hinkel's 14-yard punt return gave the Hawkeyes the ball at the ASU 41. Chandler completed passes of 23 yards to Calvin Davis and 13 yards to Ochoa before hitting Jensen for the touchdown and a 14-2 lead.

Russell's 38-yard run to the ASU 11 set up Chandler's final TD pass to Ochoa.

Iowa's early struggles included a bad snap to Chandler in shotgun formation at the Iowa 22. Blitzing safety Riccardo Stewart clobbered Chandler after he got control of the ball and it squirted toward the end zone. Arizona State's Brett Hudson had a chance at the bouncing ball but couldn't pick it up and Iowa center Brian Ferentz fell on it in the end zone for a safety.

Arizona State had a great opportunity a few minutes later when Jason Shivers' interception put the Sun Devils at the Iowa 21. But Walter forced a pass into a crowded end zone and Iowa's Jovon Johnson picked it off.