Duncan, Epenesa highlight Iowa’s Big Ten awards

Keith Duncan and A.J. Epenesa were both named first-team All-Big Ten players on Tuesday.


Katina Zentz

Iowa kicker Keith Duncan prepares to kick a field goal during the football game against Nebraska at Memorial Stadium on Friday, November 29, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers 27-24. Duncan's kick caused the Hawkeyes to take the lead against Nebraska in the last six seconds of the game.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

Keith Duncan’s list of accolades keeps getting longer.

Duncan earned the Big Ten’s Bakken-Anderson Kicker of the Year honor and was named a first-team All-Big Ten player on Tuesday. Hawkeye defensive end A.J. Epenesa also earned a spot as an All-Big Ten first-teamer.

Cornerback Michael Ojemudia earned second-team honors from the media, as well, and safety Geno Stone found a spot on the second team with votes from the coaches. Ojemudia earned a third-team spot from coaches, while Stone was an honorable mention from the media.

Defensive end Chauncey Golston and linebacker Kristian Welch picked up an honorable mention spot from the coaches and media, while defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore (coaches) and punter Michael Sleep-Dalton (media) each earned one honorable mention honor.

Quarterback Nate Stanley also earned Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award.

Duncan became the first Hawkeye to win the Big Ten’s Kicker of the Year honor since its inception in 2011. Duncan set Big Ten and Iowa program records with 29 field goals on the season, which also ranks sixth in NCAA single-season history.

This season marks Epenesa’s second year in a row earning first-team honors. The Glen Carbon, Illinois, native leads the Hawkeyes in sacks (nine), tackles for loss (13), and forced fumbles (three).

Ojemudia leads Iowa with three interceptions and seven pass break-ups, while Stone racked up one pick, defended three passes, and forced two fumbles to go along with 65 tackles.

Welch paces Iowa with 80 total tackles despite missing three games due to injury. The senior from Iola, Wisconsin, posted double-digit tackles in each of Iowa’s final three games after coming back from his injury. He finished the regular season with 7.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, three pass break-ups, and a forced fumble.

Golston narrowly trails Epenesa with 8.5 tackles for a loss, while also recording 2.5 sacks, four pass break-ups, and an interception.

Lattimore, Golston’s high-school teammate, posted three tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, and recovered a fumble while starting all 12 games for Iowa.

After joining the Hawkeye program as a graduate transfer, Sleep-Dalton 42.1 yards on 54 punts with a long of 63. He pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line 21 times and eclipsed the 50-yard mark 10 times.

Offensive award winners will be announced on Wednesday.

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