Live updates | Iowa football takes on Rutgers in Big Ten Conference-opener

Action between the Hawkeyes and Scarlet Knights will begin at 6 p.m. and air on FS1.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa punter Tory Taylor warms up before a football game between Iowa and Rutgers at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

Austin Hanson and Chloe Peterson

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Iowa football is set to take on 3-0 Rutgers at SHI Stadium Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will air on FS1.

Sophomore wide receiver Keagan Johnson did not participate in pregame warmups, as expected. Johnson played in the first half of Iowa’s 27-0 win over Nevada at Kinnick Stadium last week. After three lightning delays, Johnson did not return to the field.

Postgame, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said Johnson, who has been dealing with an undisclosed injury for much of this season, “couldn’t get loose.”

At a Tuesday press conference, Ferentz said Johnson was not likely to suit up against the Scarlet Knights.

“It’s a nagging injury, and there’s nothing to say right now,” Ferentz said. “We’ll take it a day at a time”

“He hasn’t practiced yet this week, so we’ll see,” Ferentz added in response to a follow-up question about Johnson’s health. “It’s just day-to-day.”

Johnson’s fellow wide receiver, senior Nico Ragaini, is expected to play Saturday. Ragaini was listed as a backup receiver when Iowa released its depth chart on Monday.

Ragaini missed Iowa’s first two games of the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. He had a screw surgically inserted in the foot in August. During his Week 3 comeback, Ragaini had two catches for 56 yards.

Iowa’s matchup with Rutgers is the first college game Ragaini has played within 200 miles of his hometown of East Haven, Connecticut. Ragaini is expecting a large contingent of supporters at SHI Stadium.

During a Tuesday player availability session, Ragaini said at least 79 of his friends and family members will be in Piscataway to watch him play.

Iowa might also get junior linebacker Jestin Jacobs back this week. Jacobs sustained what Ferentz dubbed a “soft tissue injury” during Iowa’s Week 1 matchup with South Dakota State. Jacobs was not listed on Iowa’s pregame two-deep.

Jacobs went through pregame warmups Saturday. Senior Logan Klemp has been starting Jacobs’ absence the last two weeks.

“So, [Jacobs has] a shot, I think, to be back,” Ferentz said Tuesday. “… Again, it’s soft tissue so it’s hard to predict.”

Defensive lineman Noah Shannon also appears to be available for Iowa’s bout with Rutgers. He went through warmups with Jacobs and the rest of the Hawkeyes’ defensive players.

Shannon played limited snaps in the Iowa-Nevada game because of an undisclosed injury.

Rutgers will likely have its full contingent of quarterbacks available for Saturday’s contest. Senior Noah Vedral, who missed the first three weeks of the season with an injury, went through pregame warmups. Vedral was Rutgers’ starter in both 2020 and 2021.

Sophomore QBs Gavin Wimsatt and Evan Simon played in Vedral’s absence. Vedral will be the fourth player to take a snap at quarterback for Rutgers this season. Scarlet Knight tight end Johnny Langan threw a touchdown pass from under center in Rutgers’ 66-7 win over Wagner in Week 2.

COIN TOSS — Iowa selects tails, elects to defer its choice to the second half. Rutgers will start with the ball.

10:19 1Q — Jude McAtamney converts on a 27-yard field goal attempt. Rutgers now leads Iowa, 3-0.

8:11 1Q — The first punt of the day is from Iowa’s Tory Taylor. Rutgers will take possession of the ball at the 4-yard line.

5:26 1Q — Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean intercepts Rutgers QB Evan Simon at the Scarlet Knight 45-yard line and returns it for a touchdown. The extra point from true freshman placekicker Drew Stevens is good.  The Hawkeyes now lead, 7-3.

2:42 1Q — Rutgers’ Adam Korsak punts for the first time today. Iowa’s Cooper DeJean calls for a fair catch his own 21-yard line.

0:31 1Q — Tory Taylor’s punt is officially logged as blocked. Rutgers defensive back Max Melton is credited with the block. The Scarlet Knights offense will have the ball at its own 40-yard line.

8:28 2Q — Iowa defensive back Sebastian Castro forces a fumble. Strong safety Kaevon Merriweather recovers and returns the ball to the end zone for a touchdown. Drew Stevens’ extra point is good. The Hawkeyes now lead, 14-3.

0:25 2Q — Iowa’s Drew Stevens converts on a 25-yard field goal. The Hawkeyes now lead, 17-3.

10:09 3Q: Running back Leshon Williams finds the end zone on a 2-yard run for his second career touchdown. The Hawkeyes capped off a nine-play, 75-yard drive with its first offensive touchdown of the day. Iowa leads, 24-3.

5:42 3Q — Iowa strong safety Kaevon Merriweather picks off quarterback Evan Simon’s pass and returns it 33 yards to the Rutgers 45-yard line.

11:15 4Q: Rutgers quarterback Evan Simon finds Aron Cruickshank in the end zone for Rutgers’ first touchdown of the game. Iowa 24, Rutgers 10.

6:08 4Q: After a 42-yard drive from the Iowa offense, Stevens hits a field goal off the uprights that goes in to score. Iowa 27, Rutgers 10.

3:58 4Q: Rutgers fails to convert on a fourth-and-28 play, which is nearly an interception from Kaevon Merriweather. Rutgers turns the ball over on downs at Iowa’s 42-yard line.

FINAL: Iowa wins, 27-10.

This is a developing story. Check back throughout the evening for updates.