IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Everything went Iowa's way Saturday.
Quarterback Drew Tate was sharp, the running game clicked and
the young defensive front held its own as No. 11 Iowa rolled past a
depleted Ball State 56-0 to extend the Hawkeyes' home winning
streak to 19 games, the third-longest in the nation.
"Based on the way things went today, I don't have an awful lot
to complain about," coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Offensively, we
haven't looked that sharp since we got started here in August. I
think they were really focused on what they were doing and played a
pretty clean game."
In limited action, Tate was 9-for-10 for 99 yards and two
touchdowns. His first, a 7-yard toss to Clinton Solomon, gave Iowa
(1-0) a 28-0 first-quarter lead.
On Iowa's next possession Tate connected on a 33-yard TD to Herb
Grigsby, who was wide open after a Ball State defender slipped just
before the catch, putting Iowa up 35-0 with more than 12 minutes
left in the first half.
Four Iowa running backs scored touchdowns, and the Hawkeyes
rushed for 241 yards overall, a major improvement for a team that
fielded one of the nation's worst rushing attacks a year ago.
Junior Albert Young, who missed most of his first two seasons
with knee injuries, gained 61 yards on five carries, including a
nifty 32-yard burst to set up Iowa's second score.
Freshman Shonn Greene led the team with 116 yards rushing on 18
carries and Sam Brownlee added two touchdowns.
"We got the running game started, and we haven't had that in a
while," said Young, who scored on a 2-yard dive in the first
quarter. "I think it's going to be great because we have a nice
rotation going out there."
The Cardinals (0-1) were overwhelmed in every facet of the game,
a fact made worse by 13 player suspensions handed down by the
university Friday. Seven of the players disciplined were expected
to start, including the team's top rusher, Charles Wynn, its best
offensive lineman, three defensive linemen and two from the
The punishments stem from an ongoing investigation into NCAA
rule violations alleging the players misused a book loan program to
obtain textbooks they didn't need or received improperly obtained
books from other players.
But coach Brady Hoke refused to blame the sanctions for his
team's performance on the field.
"We didn't change anything," said Hoke, adding he is uncertain
when the players will be reinstated. "I'm not going to talk about
it. It's not my job. It's about this game today."
Iowa's defense, anchored by four underclassmen on the front
line, held the Cardinals to 22 yards total offense in the first
half and helped Iowa notch its first opening game shutout since
The Cardinals' best scoring chance came late in the first
quarter when Martin Dunbar recovered a Tate fumble at the Iowa 36.
But Iowa's defense stymied the Cardinals, then did its part to pad
Ball State set up as if to go for it on fourth down, but
quarterback Joey Lynch stepped back and delivered a quick kick that
was scooped up by Hawkeye cornerback Jovan Johnson at the Iowa 10.
Johnson slipped a pair of defenders, crossed the field behind a
wave of blockers and raced down the opposite sideline untouched for
the score, his first career touchdown and the fourth-longest punt
return in school history.
"My first instinct was to cut back," said Johnson. "I saw
[safety] Marcus Paschal direct traffic, and after I got past the
first guy, I knew I had a wall set up and had the end zone."
After that, Ball State never got any closer to the end zone. The
Cardinals, starting four freshmen on the offensive line, were held
to seven first downs and 144 yards total offense.
Lynch, replaced by backup Warren Suess midway through the third
quarter, was 6-of-10 passing for 37 yards and was sacked three
times. Suess was 5-for-12 for 56 yards against Iowa's third-string
The game was played before the biggest crowd ever to attend a
game in Kinnick Stadium. With the new renovations to the
76-year-old stadium, including a new grandstand in the south end
zone, Iowa set a new attendance record of 70,585.