Young running backs spur Iowa past North Texas


Nate Stanley threw for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Iowa overwhelmed North Texas 31-14 on Saturday to finish the non-conference season unbeaten.

IOWA: Though the final score wasn't close, this wasn't how the Hawkeyes wanted to look with No. 5 Penn State coming to town next week.

Running back Jeffrey Wilson has rushed for 212 yards on 8.5 yards per carry with four touchdowns, though all but 36 of those yards came against Lamar.

The tone for a game full of penalties and reviews was set in the first quarter when two Iowa touchdowns were taken off the board, first on a Nick Easley fumble at the goal line, then on an Akrum Wadley unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for high-stepping on his way to the end zone.

NORTH TEXAS: After getting embarrassed by instate rival SMU, the Mean Green responded by scaring Iowa for about 50 minutes.

Still, North Texas plays an up-tempo spread offense that's more prevalent at the Group of Five level than in the Big Ten.

"It didn't surprise me that they went in and did well, " Stanley said. "He's fast, efficient, he'll run the ball, throws it where it needs to go", Ferentz said.

Iowa hosts Penn State on September 23.

A 13-yard pass from back-up quarterback Quinn Shanbour to Jalen Guyton 11 seconds before halftime sent North Texas into the locker room with a lead at the break. There are two good backs in front of us who keep pushing us every day to get better and tell us to be ready for whenever we're needed. We've got to be more disciplined.

North Texas hosts Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday. Iowa will need to replace its starting right tackle after losing Ike Boettger for the remainder of the season after he suffered an Achilles injury in the win over the Cyclones. The Hawkeyes have since shifted Sean Welsh to right tackle and redshirt freshman Alaric Jackson to left tackle.

"We just have to plan like he will play at some point because we're really running out of depth", Ferentz said of Wirfs, who won the discus and the shot put at the Drake Relays this spring. Fry went on to win 143 games with the Hawkeyes. "They have prepared well in practice, so it didn't surprise me that they would come in and contribute the way they did".

Iowa needed contributions from players like Young and Kelly-Martin to make that happen.