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
"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
"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
Seven plays later, Russell sprinted around right end and outran
the pursuit to the corner for a 2-yard touchdown and a 17-0
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.