Duncan, Wirfs, Epenesa earn AP first-team All-Big Ten honors

Keith Duncan, Tristan Wirfs, and A.J. Epenesa earned first-team All-Big Ten honors on Wednesday.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa kicker Keith Duncan kicks an extra point during a football game between Iowa and Rutgers at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, September 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Scarlet Knights, 30-0. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

Iowa kicker Keith Duncan and offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs have been named unanimous first-team selections to the AP’s All-Big Ten team, the AP announced Wednesday.

Defensive end A.J. Epenesa earned first-team honors as well, while defensive backs Geno Stone and Michael Ojemudia picked up a second-team spot.

Duncan, a Lou Groza Award finalist, broke Big Ten and Iowa records by making 29 field goals on the season, a mark that also ranks sixth in NCAA history.

Duncan has been named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week this season on three separate occasions for his performances against Iowa State, Illinois, and Nebraska. He netted for field goals against Iowa State and Illinois before nailing a 48-yard game-winning field goal to down the Huskers.

He’s 29-of-34 on field goals this season, including a 14-of-18 mark from 40 yards or more.

Wirfs, who won the Big Ten’s Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year award and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection, started nine games at right tackle and three at left tackle.

His versatility on the offensive line helped the team average 4.0 yards per carry, up from 3.95 in 2018 and 3.76 in 2017.

Wirfs was also one of six semifinalists for the Outland Trophy.

Epenesa has now earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second season in a row. The Glen Carbon, Illinois, native leads Iowa with 13 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, and three forced fumbles.

In his last three games, Epenesa has recorded 4.5 sacks, eight tackles for a loss, and two forced fumbles.

In the secondary, Stone recorded 65 tackles, three pass break-ups, an interception, and two forced fumbles, while Ojemudia posted three picks, 37 tackles, and a team-high seven passes defended.

Iowa will face USC in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 at 7 p.m.

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