Iowa Hawkeye Notes
IOWA HAWKEYES NOTES
Iowa in 2018: The Hawkeyes end the regular season with an 8-4 record, marking their sixth consecutive winning season. Iowa ranks in the top three in the Big Ten in eight statistical categories. They are 1st in Scoring Defense, Interceptions and Sacks Against, while finishing 2nd in Sacks, Opponent 1st Downs, Total Defense, and Rushing Defense. Iowa also finished 3rd in Third Down Conversions.
Welcome Back: This will be the sixth appearance by the Hawkeyes in the Outback Bowl, where they are 2-3. Iowa lost to Florida 3-30 in the 2017 Outback Bowl, lost to LSU 14-21 in the 2014 bowl, beat South Carolina 31-10 in the 2009 bowl, was defeated by Florida 24-31 in the 2006 game and beat Florida 37-17 in its first appearance back in 2004.
Hawkeye Tradition: This is the 129th year of football at Iowa where they have compiled a record of 649-557-39. The Hawkeyes have won four National Championships, 11 Big Ten Championships and 15 bowl games over their history.
Iowa in the Bowls: This is the 32nd bowl appearance for the Hawkeyes, including 17 of the past 18 years. They hold a 15-15-1 record in bowls.
Feature Players: Iowa boasts one of the top defenses in the country, finishing 7th in Total Defense while leading the nation in total interceptions with 18. Iowa's DE A.J. Epenesa was First Team All-Big Ten with 35 total tackles including 9.5 sacks and 15.5 TFL. His counterpart DE Anthony Nelson was selected to the Second Team All-Big Ten, accounting for 41 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 11 TFL. The secondary is led by Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year recipient and 1st Team All-Big Ten Safety Amani Hooker who amassed 59 tackles and a team-high 4 INT.
Offensively, the Hawkeyes are led by QB Nate Stanley who has completed 58.6% of passes, throwing for 2,638 yards and 23 TDs. His favorite target is All-Big Ten Tight End T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson was named Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year for the Big Ten, catching 46 passes for 717 yards and 6 TDs. WR Nick Easley led the way for receivers with 44 catches for 390 yards and 3 TDs.
Earning the Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year and 3rd in the nation in Kick Return Average at 29.3 yards/return is Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Smith-Marsette helped set the tone for a Special Teams unit that is 5th nationally in Kickoff Return Average and 1st in the Big Ten in Punt Return Average.
Meet Coach Kirk Ferentz - Coach Ferentz is now in his twentieth season with the Hawkeyes, posting a record of 151-101. Ferentz was named the Walter Camp National Coach of the year in 2002 and is a four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2002, 2004, 2009, and 2015). Coach Ferentz has now brought Iowa a winning season in 10 of the last 11 years.