12:00 PM ET, November 1, 2003
Kinnick Stadium, IOWA CITY, IA
Russell scores on a 2-yard run in front of Illinois' Antonio Mason.
With all of that, Illinois never had a chance against Iowa.
Russell ran for two touchdowns while topping 1,000 yards for the year and Chandler threw for a season-high 243 yards and a TD, lifting Iowa (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) to a 41-10 victory over Illinois on Saturday.
Bob Sanders added a touchdown on a fumble return, which followed a sack by Roth, and Nate Kaeding kicked two field goals for Iowa (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) in putting coach Kirk Ferentz over .500 (29-28) for the first time with the Hawkeyes.
"Illinois is having a very tough year right now. But they put a good plan together and made it tough for us," Ferentz said. "I thought they battled and played extremely hard all the way through. You wouldn't know their record from the effort they put out."
Illinois (1-9, 0-6), which has been hit by a slew of injuries, lost for the eighth straight time. The one positive for the Illini: they scored twice in the fourth quarter to avoid being shut out by Iowa for the first time since 1985.
"Defensively, I thought we were doing a better job and offensively, obviously results were very hard to come by," Illinois coach Ron Turner said. "When we did have an opportunity to make the play, a couple of times we were very close and didn't make them.
"Against a great defense like that, you have to make them."
Russell scored on runs of 2 and 14 yards and finished with 94 yards on 23 carries, raising his season total to 1,010. He ran for 1,264 yards last year and became just the third Iowa back to top 1,000 twice, following Sedrick Shaw (1994-96) and Ladell Betts (2000-01).
"It's a great accomplishment," Russell said. "With the offensive line we had, they took a lot of heat because a lot of guys graduated. To get 1,000 yards this time must mean they're doing a real good job."
Russell left the game for good after his 14-yarder gave Iowa a 34-0 lead with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
The Hawkeyes had gone up 27-0 on Sanders' touchdown. He reached for the ball after it popped loose on Roth's sack of Dustin Ward, juggled it twice before getting control and zipped 3 yards to the end zone, his first college touchdown.
"I was like, `I can't drop this thing," said Sanders, a senior. "Because I knew there was no one around who was going to stop me from scoring if I kept the ball in my hands."
Chandler's 1-yard TD pass to Tony Jackson on the game's first series finished Iowa's longest-lasting -- and strangest -- scoring drive of the season.
Officially, it covered 73 yards in 18 plays and lasted 9:06. But there were five penalties, so Iowa actually lined up to snap the ball 23 times and ended up gaining 98 yards.
"That was huge," said Chandler, who finished 14-of-23 with no interceptions. "We're up 7-0, they haven't even played yet and the first quarter is almost over."
Wide receiver MoBrown returned for Iowa after missing five games because of a severely sprained right ankle and made a sliding reception of Chandler's pass at the Illinois 30 late in the second quarter.
Seven plays later, Russell sprinted around right end and outran the pursuit to the corner for a 2-yard touchdown and a 17-0 halftime lead.
Ward, a senior, struggled in his first start of the year, completing 12 of 23 passes for 108 yards. Freshman Chris Pazan replaced him in the fourth quarter and directed two scoring drives, throwing a 3-yard TD pass to Mark Kornfeld and setting up John Gockman's 24-yard field goal with a 47-yard completion.
|3rd Down Conversions||5-14||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||1-2|
|TD||5:54||TONY JACKSON 1 YD PASS FROM NATHAN CHANDLER (NATE KAEDING KICK)|
Drive info: 18 plays, 77 yards.
|FG||12:43||NATE KAEDING 23 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 75 yards.
|TD||0:52||FRED RUSSELL 2 YD RUN (NATE KAEDING KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||10:16||NATE KAEDING 24 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 43 yards.
|TD||5:56||BOB SANDERS 3 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (NATE KAEDING KICK)||0||27|
|TD||2:48||FRED RUSSELL 14 YD RUN (NATE KAEDING KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 57 yards.
|TD||12:22||MARK KORNFELD 3 YD PASS FROM CHRIS PAZAN (JOHN GOCKMAN KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||7:58||JOHN GOCKMAN 24 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 57 yards.
|TD||3:12||MATT MELLOY 13 YD PASS FROM DREW TATE (NATE KAEDING KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 73 yards.