Iowa football defensive end Deontae Craig records 15-yard sack on 21st birthday

Craig’s sack was one of seven the Hawkeyes recorded in their 33-13 win over the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday.


Gabby Drees

Iowa defensive lineman Deontae Craig celebrates during a football game between Iowa and Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. Iowa defeated Northwestern, 33-13.

Isaac Goffin, Football Reporter

Iowa defensive end Deontae Craig didn’t start his postgame press conference on Saturday talking about his 15-yard sack.

Instead, the redshirt sophomore mentioned that Oct. 29 marked his 21st birthday. He then gave a shoutout to his teammates for earning the 33-13 victory over Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium.

“Went out there and battled the full 60 and gave this kid the best birthday present he could ever have,” Craig said. “It’s exciting to play Homecoming in Kinnick. Any time you are in Kinnick, it is a special opportunity. Today, it just so happened to be a birthday. I am definitely excited. We executed well the whole game.”

The Fort Wayne, Indiana, product’s sack came in the middle of the first quarter. As Northwestern quarterback Brendan Sullivan dropped back on third-and-6, he looked to his right and saw Craig breaking a block.

Sullivan rolled to his right slightly and met Craig, who spun him around to the turf.

Craig is listed as a second-stringer behind senior Joe Evans. Craig noted that, when his number is called, it’s his job to step up and make a play.

“We are called twos, but when we are out there, we all ones,” Craig said. “We just wanted to get some energy any way we could. Thankfully, that paid off.”

The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive end has 2.5 sacks this season. He recorded a sack against Michigan and half a sack versus Nevada.

The Hawkeyes recorded seven total sacks against Northwestern on Saturday as Craig, Evans, Seth Benson, Lukas Van Ness, Logan Lee, and Noah Shannon all took Sullivan down. Sophomore defensive end Ethan Hurkett — a second-stringer behind John Waggoner — notched his first career sack in the second quarter.

“We rush at all costs,” Craig said. “We want to be the hardest-working team and the most physical team every time we step on the field. Shout out to the offensive line, too. Because without them pushing us every day in practice, you wouldn’t see the results you saw today.”