Iowa football defeats Northwestern for Homecoming game victory

The Hawkeyes took down the Wildcats, 33-13, for Iowa’s first victory against Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium since 2014.


Gabby Drees

Iowa defensive lineman Deontae Craig celebrates during a football game between Iowa and Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Iowa football blew out Northwestern, 33-13, on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium for its fourth win of the season. The Hawkeyes are now 4-4, while the Wildcats dropped out of bowl eligibility with a 1-7 record.

After a week-long quarterback controversy, senior Spencer Petras started the game for the Hawkeyes on Saturday — and he looked like a different QB than the past six games. Petras led the Hawkeyes to 252 yards of offense in just the first half — surpassing their last-in-the-nation offensive average of 227.3 yards per game.

“We’ve been talking all year really, but especially after last week, that you just can’t get down for too long,” Petras said postgame. “You have to keep working and pushing through, and that’s kind of what we’re looking looking at there. We pushed it through, and that doesn’t do anything for for next week. But you know, today we played long enough to win.”

The Hawkeyes put up two touchdowns and two field goals in the first half. The Hawkeyes’ first offensive touchdown of the game — also their first since playing Michigan on Oct. 1 — came on a 1-yard QB sneak by Petras with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. Iowa found the end zone again with 22 seconds left in the second quarter, as tight end Luke Lachey caught his second career touchdown.

Petras now has three passing touchdowns and one rushing TD this season. The Hawkeyes finished the game with 393 offensive yards. Petras went 21-of-30 for 220 yards — a 142.6 quarterback rating.

“I felt good,” Petras said. “I think the guys did really nice job with creating separation. The offensive line kept me clean practically the whole day. So definitely a team effort but yeah, I was feeling good. Good to get in rhythm and score some points.”

True freshman kicker Drew Stevens added on four field goals on Saturday, including one for 54 yards — the seventh-longest in program history.

“It was a great feeling,” Stevens said postgame. “It’s always a great feeling when you PR on something, it’s all your hard work.”

Big picture

Iowa snapped its three-game losing streak with the victory over Northwestern. The Hawkeyes tallied their sole victory in the month of October after losing to Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio State.

“We didn’t change anything,” linebacker Jack Campbell said. “We didn’t like put pixie dust on ourselves. We have been just doing the same thing, week in and week out, today. We pushed it through. I feel like we played great on all three phases. We played complementary football.”

Hawkeye defense pushes back

Iowa’s defense registered a season-high seven sacks on Saturday night.

First, sophomore defensive lineman Deontae Craig sacked Sullivan for loss of 15 yards on third-and-6, forcing a Northwestern punt.

The Hawkeyes recorded two sacks in the second quarter, as sophomore Ethan Hurkett got a 10-yard loss and Logan Lee sacked Sullivan for a loss of seven yards.

Sophomore Lukas Van Ness found Sullivan again in the third quarter for a loss of two yards. Sullivan was sacked three times in one drive in the fourth, as Noah Shannon, Seth Benson, and Joe Evans took him down on separate plays.

“We want to rush all costs,” Craig said. “We want to be the hardest working team, most physical team every time we step on the field.”

Petras spreads the wealth

Petras found eight different receivers throughout the Hawkeyes’ victory over the Wildcats.

Two receivers had over 50 yards on the day: tight end Sam LaPorta notched 53, while wide receiver Nico Ragaini had 66.

Sophomore Diante Vines, who took his first snaps of the season against Ohio State after breaking his wrist, had two catches for 22 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Arland Bruce also recorded a touchdown at the end of the game, finishing the night with 3 rushing attempts for 27 yards and two catches for 19 yards.

Up next

Iowa will head to West Lafayette, Indiana, next Saturday to take on Purdue. The Boilermakers have won four of the past five matchups against the Hawkeyes. Purdue, which hasn’t played since Oct. 22, will be coming off its bye week. The time and TV designation has not yet been announced.

Iowa will also face former Hawkeye wide receiver Charlie Jones, who transferred to Purdue in the offseason. Jones is the Boilermakers’ leading receiver this season, with 840 total yards and nine touchdowns in 2022. The Boilermakers’ next leading receiver, Payne Cameron, has 376 yards.