The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Live updates | No. 16 Iowa football’s Senior Day matchup against Illinois

The Hawkeyes look to clinch the Big Ten West title against the Fighting Illini at 2:30 p.m. at Kinnick Stadium.
Grace Smith
Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras hands off the ball to running back Kaleb Johnson during a football game between Iowa and Illinois at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill., on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The Fighting Illini defeated the Hawkeyes, 9-6. Johnson carried the ball nine times for 26 yards.

IOWA CITY, IA – The 16th-ranked Iowa football team will host Illinois on Saturday afternoon at Kinnick Stadium. Sitting at 8-2 overall with a 5-2 mark against conference opponents, the Hawkeyes have a chance to clinch the Big Ten West title at home for the first time since 2015. 

Standing in the path to a trip to Indianapolis is 5-5 Illinois, who has won three of their past four games, averaging 30 points per game during that span. The Illini are coming off a 48-45 overtime triumph against Indiana last week, where quarterback John Paddock tossed for 507 yards – setting the all-time record at Illinois’ Memorial Stadium. 

The reason Paddock started that contest against the Hoosiers was due to a head injury to the starter, Ole Miss transfer Luke Altmyer. Illinois head coach Bret Bielema, an Iowa alum, announced Wednesday that Altmyer would start under center against the Hawkeyes. Throwing for 1883 yards in nine starts this season, Altmyer carries a touchdown-interception ratio of 13-10, while also being sacked 34 times.

Iowa is coming off consecutive victories, having conceded seven points over those contests. Over the past four games, the Iowa “D” has allowed just one touchdown and on Saturday will face an Illinois offensive line that ranks second-to-last in the Big Ten with 37 sacks allowed.

In the midst of such domination, coordinator Phil Parker’s unit took a colossal hit on Wednesday when star cornerback Cooper DeJean suffered a season-ending lower leg injury in practice. Filling in the stead of the 2022 AP All-American is redshirt freshman Deshaun Lee, who started the Hawkeyes’ first two games of the 2023 season. In those contests, Lee racked up 15 total tackles and two pass defenses. Lee and fellow cornerback Jermari Harris will have their hands full covering Illini receiver Isaiah Williams, who leads the Big Ten in catches and yards after catch.

Without perhaps their best player, the Hawkeye defense will face a difficult challenge against a streaking Illinois offense. On the other side of the ball, quarterback Deacon Hill and the Iowa offense are looking to build momentum off a season-best 402 total yards last week against Rutgers. Against an Illinois defense that ranks in the bottom-third of the Big Ten in rushing and passing defense, Saturday will be the ideal opportunity to do so.

Coin Toss: Illinois wins the toss, and elects to kickoff. Iowa will receive the ball in the north end zone.

12:07 1Q:  Iowa 0, Illinois 0: The Hawkeyes drive 22 yards, highlighted by a 13-yard play action pass to receiver Nico Ragaini. On third-and-1, Iowa running back Leshon Williams is stuffed for no gain, and Iowa elects to punt. Tory Taylor’s boot travels 47 yards and is downed at Illinois’ seven-yard line.

11:24 1Q: Iowa 2, Ilinois 0: After two plays totaling negative two yards, the Hawkeye D-line wreaks havoc, as Paddock is taken down by defensive end Joe Evans in the end zone for a safety. The ball hit the turf, but the quarterback was ruled down beforehand. It appears Paddock will be the Illini’s QB today in spite of the Wednesday announcement. The safety is Iowa’s third of the season, leading the nation in that statistic.

8:40 1Q: Iowa 2,  Illinois, 0: The Hawkeye offense earns two plays of 15-plus yards on a Williams run and a Kaleb Brown catch. Both players gained several yards after contact. After two incomplete passes from Hill, one of which was nearly intercepted, Iowa opts for a 53-yard field goal. Kicker Drew Stevens’ offering is wide right. He has no missed a field goal in three-straight contests.

7:31 1Q: Iowa  2, Illinois, 0: Illinois goes three-and-out for the second time today, as Iowa defensive backs Sebastian Castro and Quinn Schulte, both seniors, break up passes. Quinn leveled Illini receiver Casey Washington, forcing him to drop the ball as he hit the ground. Illinois punts 66 yards for a touchback.

4:5o 1Q: Iowa 2, Illinois 0: Hill completes another 13-yarder to Ragaini, but his screen pass on third-and-3 is stopped before the line to gain. Taylor’s punt travels 49 yards and is fair caught at the ten, but is advanced 15 yards due to a catch interference penalty on Williams.

3:24 1Q: Illinois 3,  Iowa 2: Illini receiver Isaiah Williams adds to his conference-best yards-after-catch total with a 31-yard gain. After three straight Paddock incompletions, Illinois kicker Caleb Griffin nails a 52-yarder to take the lead.

End of first quarter: Illinois leads Iowa, 3-2, but trails Iowa in total yards, 132-33. The Illini have a total of negative one yards on the ground and are averaging 2.5 yards per play compared to the Hawkeyes’ 6.6.

10:20 2Q: Iowa, 9, Illinois, 3: The Hawkeyes mount a 14-play, 75-yard drive, highlighted by a 12-yard run from Hill on third-and-9. Iowa also received a first down from an Illinois pass interference penalty but made good on the advantage, as tight end Addison Ostrenga caught a 4-yard TD pass in the corner of the end zone. Stevens’ extra point is good.

6:53 2Q: Illinois, 10, Iowa, 9: The Illini take less than four minutes to answer back with a score of its own, taking the ball 55 yards on 10 plays to find the end zone. Paddock threw for 60 yards on the drive while running back Reggie Love III capped it off with a one-yard rush for six points.

4:00 2Q: Illinois 10, Iowa, 9: Iowa gains nine yards on five plays, and punts for the third time today. Taylor’s offering is returned just five yards.

1:15 2Q: Illinois 10, Iowa, 9: Illinois gains 20 yards on Iowa penalties, but stalls out after crossing midfield. Paddock throws three consecutive incompletions, and Griffin’s second 52-yarder of the afternoon falls short.

0:16 2Q: Illinois 10, Iowa 9: Even with favorable field position, Iowa totals negative three yards on five plays and fails to cross midfield. Hill fumbled in the pocket, the dislodged ball traveled past the line to gain, where is was recovered by receiver Seth Anderson for a first down.

HALFTIME: Illinois 10, Iowa 9: The Hawkeyes total 43 yards in the second quarter and finish the first half with 175 yards and 11 first downs. Illinois gains 99 yards in the second quarter behind Paddock’s 78 yards on 8-of-13 passing. Deacon Hill finishes the first half with a 78 percent completion percentage. On third down, Iowa is 3-for-8.

12:35 3Q: Illinois 10, Iowa 9: The Illini gain a first down on an eight-yard pass to Love, but sputter out after two straight pass deflections from Evans and fellow Iowa defensive lineman Yahya Black. On third down, Lee comes through with his first pass breakup of the day.

11:15 3Q: Illinois 10, Iowa 9: Iowa musters a valiant effort on third down, but Kaleb Brown’s extra effort after his eight-yard catch doesn’t pass the marker. The offense goes down, three-and-out, and Taylor’s punt goes for 53 yards to flip the field.

9:20 3Q: Illinois 10, Iowa 9: Hawkeye defensive back Sebastian Castro gets two hands on an errant Paddock throw, but can’t corral the ball, giving the Illini a chance to flip the field themselves. Punter Hugh Robertson’s boot is returned to the Iowa 23-yard line.

5:01 3Q: Illinois 10, Iowa 9: Iowa attempts so trickery, as Kaleb Brown receives a lateral in the backfield and takes the ball one yard, but the play ends up costing the Hawkeyes 15 yards, as right tackle Gennings Dunker is called for an illegal blindside block. Iowa has now been called for four penalties for a total of 50 yards on the day. The Hawkeyes gained just five more yards and punted for the sixth time today.

End of third quarter: Illinois converts two third downs, the second of which resulted from a roughing the passer penalty on Schulte, and faces fourth-and-one from the eleven-yard line. Castro made a shoestring tackle on the previous play to prevent yet another conversion. Illinois leads Iowa, 10-9.

14:56 4Q Illinois 13, Iowa 9: Illinois extends the lead with a 26-yard field goal to cap off a 5:18 drive of 69 yards.

13:54 4Q Illinois 13, Iowa 9: Iowa goes three-and-out for the second time today. It is averaging six plays and 24 yards per drive.

11:01 4Q Illinois 13, Iowa 9: The Illini convert a third-and-2 in an empty formation, as Paddock finds Love for another completion. Yet the Iowa defense stood tall, forcing a fourth punt. Hill and the offense will take over at their own 17-yard line.

10:37 4Q Illinois 13, Iowa 9: The Hawkeyes go three-and-out on back-to-back drives as Hill is sacked for a loss of nine.

6:41 4Q Illinois 13, Iowa 9: Illinois punts yet again, gaining just 14 yards on six plays

4:43 4Q Iowa 15, Illinois 13: After gaining 1o yards on a defensive holding, Iowa running back Kaleb Johnson breaks through on the next play, scampering to the right sideline to the pylon for a 30-yard score. Stevens’ extra point attempt is blocked by Illinois’ Alec Bryant.

3:45 4Q Iowa 15, Illinois 13: Black delivers his pass deflection of the day to force fourth down, and Evans follows suit on the following play. Iowa takes over in enemy territory with one timeout to spare. A “Let’s go Hawks” chant has erupted from the Black and Gold faithful.

FINAL: Iowa 15, Illinois 13 

The Hawkeyes have claimed the Big Ten West title and will head to Indianapolis for the first time since 2021.


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About the Contributors
Matt McGowan
Matt McGowan, Pregame Editor
he/him/his Matt McGowan is The Daily Iowan's Pregame Editor. He is a sophomore double majoring in journalism and mass communications and American studies with a minor in sport studies.  This is his second year with the DI
Grace Smith
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
Grace Smith is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic Arts. In her four years at The Daily Iowan, she has held the roles of photo editor, managing summer editor, and visual storyteller. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Grace has held an internship at The Denver Post and pursued freelance assignments for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register.