Though Illinois was able to keep it close early, it was 9-7 at half, the Hawkeyes opened it up in the second half and won the game 30 to 14. The Hawkeyes turned it over on downs and missed a FG in the first half, but when they finally started converting they were able to take a big lead. The Hawkeyes out-gained the Illini by 352 yards in the win. They dominated virtually the entire game, but it took a while for it to show on the scoreboard. Here are a few main points from the brutal loss:
- Wes Lunt and the offense did not look good. In his first game back Lunt was 14 of 25 for just 102 yards and 1 touchdown. The offense ran a lot of screen plays and most of them didn't work. Lunt's, and the entire team for that matter, main highlight was a first half touchdown to Mike Dudek. Here is another look:
Mike Dudek Touchdown http://t.co/H60Y9e1pr2
— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) November 15, 2014
The Illini took a 7-2 lead at that point and it would be there only lead of the game. Lunt was rushed a lot and on one of those plays he was forced to throw it out of bounds. Unfortunately, he was in his own end zone and a grounding penalty was called. This resulted in a safety.
- Penalties were another major factor in this football game. The Illini finished with 8 penalties giving the Hawkeyes 59 yards. Iowa had just one penalty. The Illini seemed to shoot themselves in the foot over and over and it was a major reason they lost by so much.
- The defense held on in the first half and forced the only turnover of the game on a fumble. The second half was not as good. They allowed 21 points and some longer runs. The offense didn't help them much though as the Hawkeyes were always in good field position.
- Mikey Dudek had the best day on offense of anyone on the team. He caught 6 passes for 80 yards and scored both of the Illini's touchdowns. The other receivers looked nowhere near as good as him, there were multiple drops. One of the biggest was on third down Justin Hardee dropped one that went right off the 19 on his jersey.
- Justin Duvernois was another bright spot. The punter continually booted off punt after punt and gave the defense a better chance to stop the Hawkeyes. He hit 8 punts with an average of 39.9 on them. There weren't many bright spots but he was one of them.
- The defense tried to stack the box and force Iowa to throw like they did against Minnesota. Jake Rudock wasn't going to let that happen as he was 14 for 21 and threw for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense missed a ton of tackles and Iowa ran for 304 yards.
There really isn't much good to say. The Illini got trounced once again, and Tim Beckman's future is not looking bright. Penn State and Northwestern aren't very good but the Illini will have trouble beating them.