IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Noah Fant caught five passes for 99 yards and one touchdown, moving him atop the all-time list for tight end touchdowns at Iowa to help power the Hawkeyes to a dominant 38-14 victory over Northern Iowa Saturday night.
Nathan Stanley had a mostly-flawless game, throwing for 309 yards, two touchdown passes and an interception on 23-of-28 passing for Iowa (3-0), which matched its 3-0 start from a year ago headed into Big Ten Conference play.
Fant’s touchdown puts him at 14 for his career, moving ahead of Mike Flagg (13), Tony Moeaki (11), Jim Gibbons (11), Scott Chandler (10), C.J. Fiedorowicz (10), and current San Francisco 49er George Kittle (10).
The Hawkeyes also got a third-straight stalwart defensive effort, holding the Panthers (0-2) to 20 total yards and minus-2 yards rushing in the first half and finished by allowing six yards rushing and 228 total yards to their neighbors from the north after the Panthers put together a pair of late-game scoring drives against Hawkeye backups. Sophomore defensive end A.J. Epenesa had a sack, cornerback Michael Ojemudia had an interception and defensive back Jake Gervase forced a fumble.
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Nick Easley had 10 catches for 103 yards and one touchdown for the Hawkeyes. Mekhi Sargent had 15 carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns while Toren Young had 14 carries 82 yards and one score.
UNI’s Colton Howell finished 3-of-10 passing for 22 yards and one interception. Eli Dunne was 18 of 28 for 200 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Iowa: It was more of the same as far as the Hawkeyes’ defense was concerned. Iowa has allowed just 209 total yards and 42 yards rushing per game so far this season, 25 total yards rushing in the last two games, and UNI’s 14 points are the most allowed this season. The Hawkeyes have been dominant in multiple areas but led by their defensive front which has kept opposing quarterbacks on the run and running backs stifled.
Northern Iowa: The Panthers had a week off after losing at Montana, but coach Mark Farley’s team had no answer for Iowa’s defense until late in the game. As he has in the last several seasons, Farley is rotating quarterbacks again this year, and the Panthers saw mixed results again. There’s plenty of time for UNI to right the ship in Missouri Valley Football Conference play, but a clear No. 1 at QB would help get things guided in the right direction.
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Iowa hosts No. 6 Wisconsin on Saturday.
Northern Iowa hosts Hampton on Saturday.
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