(23) Iowa 23

(6-2, 4-1 Big Ten)

Illinois 13

(2-7, 0-6 Big Ten)

Coverage: GamePlan

12:00 PM ET, October 30, 2004

Memorial Stadium (Champaign, IL), Champaign, IL

1 2 3 4 T
#23IOWA 0 7 16 023
ILL 7 0 0 613

Top Performers

Passing: D. Tate (IOWA) - 243 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: S. Brownlee (IOWA) - 19 CAR, 50 YDS

Receiving: E. Hinkel (IOWA) - 5 REC, 108 YDS, 2 TD

Iowa becomes eligible for fourth straight bowl game

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- With the score tied and the wind gusting to 40 miles per hour, Iowa quarterback Drew Tate knew success in the third quarter -- with the wind at his back -- was crucial.

"We knew that it was the last quarter we'd have with the wind," he said. "So we really tried to get out there and throw it around a little bit and put points on the board."

Tate threw for a score and ran for another in a 16-point third quarter, and Iowa (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP) defeated Illinois 23-13 on Saturday, the Illini's 14th straight Big Ten loss.

The Hawkeyes' defense did its part, too, holding Illinois to only 26 yards in the quarter and Iowa blocked a punt that went out of the end zone for a safety.

Tate also converted on third-and-19 and second-and-22 with successful passes to Warren Holloway and Ed Hinkel during the second TD drive of the quarter, which ended with Tate running around left end from 5 yards out after looking for a receiver in the end zone.

"It wasn't supposed to work out that way, but it did," he said.

Iowa (6-2, 4-1) won its fourth straight game and became eligible for a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season. Illinois (2-7, 0-6) lost its sixth straight, further dimming coach Ron Turner's future.

"When we have opportunities and need to make plays, whether it's defense, special teams or offense, we're not doing it," Turner said. "It's not a matter of anything else, just not making plays when we needed them, and a lot of that has to do with confidence."

Iowa's defense, which came into the game ranked fourth in the nation against the run, held the Illini to just 58 yards rushing on 25 attempts. The Hawkeyes intercepted Illinois quarterback Brad Bower once, recovered a fumble and held the Illini to 268 total yards.

"We found ways to get things done," said Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz, who earned his 50th victory with Iowa. "This is one of those days that was probably as windy as I can ever remember in a ball game. To me, wind's much more of a factor than rain or snow."

The Illini scored on their first drive of the game when Bower threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Jones. But they wouldn't get close to the end zone again until late in the game.

Jon Beutjer, who transferred to Illinois from Iowa, replaced Bower to start the fourth quarter and led the Illini on their only other scoring drive, which finished with a 3-yard TD pass to Jones with just 49 seconds left. An earlier drive ended at the Iowa 9 when Beutjer's pass bounced off receiver E.B. Halsey and into the waiting arms of Iowa's Antwan Allen.

Hinkel caught five passes for 108 yards and two 19-yard touchdowns, and Sam Brownlee carried 19 times for 50 yards as Iowa gained 319 total yards against a defense ranked 107th nationally coming into the game.

Tate's first touchdown pass to Hinkel came with 6:28 to go in the first half and tied the game at 7-all. Faced with third-and-8, Tate found Hinkel open on a slant route.

Iowa's injury-depleted backfield was dealt two more blows. Fullback Aaron Mickens was taken from the stadium by ambulance after he was tackled along the Illinois sideline in the first quarter and tailback Champ Davis injured his knee and could be out for the season.

Mickens was experiencing back pain and sustained a mild concussion, but was expected to be released for the flight home, Ferentz said.

Mickens and Davis are the fifth and sixth Iowa running backs to be hurt in a game this season.