IOWA CITY — Perhaps being a first-half team isn’t so bad after all.
The Iowa Hawkeyes (4-3, 1-2) took a halftime lead for the eighth consecutive game in shutting out Northwestern, 10-0, Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa scored for the second consecutive game on its opening possession. Running backs Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock shouldered the load, combining for 53 yards rushing on the drive. After three long scoring drives last week against Ohio State, the Hawks did it again. This time it was 14 plays and 74 yards. Bullock scored from 3 yards and Mike Meyer added the PAT to make it 7-0.
Kain Colter started at quarterback for Northwestern. Colter missed last week’s loss to Minnesota with an injury and was questionable coming into the game vs. Iowa.
Iowa’s defense stuffed the Wildcats on their opening drive. The Hawks seemed to confuse Colter on third down when they lined up with no down lineman. Linebacker James Morris broke loose up the middle and sacked Colter for a 3-yard loss to force a punt.
Iowa went back to work on its first possession of the second quarter. Quarterback Jake Rudock completed a pair of nice out throws to Tevaun Smith that took the Hawkeyes down the Northwestern 23-yard-line. After a pair of short runs, Rudock misfired on a corner pattern to Kevonte Martin-Manley, which forced the Hawks to settle for a 38-yard field goal by Meyer and a 10-0 lead.
Iowa’s defense held Northwestern in check for most of the half. The Wildcats managed 121 total yards on offense and failed to cross midfield until midway through the second quarter.
Northwestern’s only scoring threat of the half came with 6 minutes remaining. But on 1st-and-10 from the Iowa 34, Mike Trumpy was hit by Anthony Hitchens and fumbled. Morris fell on the ball for the first turnover of the game.