CHAMPAIGN—Nate Stanley passed for 178 yards and three touchdowns while Mekhi Sargent and Toren Young added two rushing touchdowns each as Iowa rolled over Illinois 63-0 on Saturday.It tied the largest margin of defeat in Illinois history, matching a 63-0 loss to the University of Chicago in 1906.The win ended a three-game skid for the Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-4 Big Ten) and makes a bowl invitation all but certain.The loss ended Illinois’ bowl hopes.Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley threw an interception on the second play of the game and the Hawkeyes punted on the next series. But the floodgates soon opened: Over the next 18 minutes, Iowa scored five times.
”A lot of man coverage today, a lot of zone a week ago,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. ”A lot of that stuff is just how things shake out, but again, we’re going to be a better team any time we get our better guys involved.”
The Hawkeyes led 35-0 at the half.
”We didn’t play well in any phase,” said Illinois coach Lovie Smith. ”Starting with coaching, we thought we had the team prepared. We weren’t. They outperformed us in every way.”
Stanley was 13 of 21 through the air for three touchdowns and one interception. His touchdown passes went to tight end Noah Fant (who played sparingly last week much to the chagrin of many Iowa fans) and T.J. Hockenson.Sargent carried 17 times for 121 yards, while Young rushed for 67 yards on 14 carries. Kyle Groeneweg returned a punt for a touchdown following Illinois’s first series of the second half.AJ Bush was 12 of 28 for 82 yards and two interceptions for Illinois. Ra’Von Bonner carried the ball 21 times for 111 yards.Illinois’ top rusher. Reggie Corbin, left last week’s game with an ankle injury and appeared to re-injure it in the first half. He carried the ball once prior to leaving Saturday’s for minus 4 yards.Illinois (4-7, 2-6) turned the ball over four times, which led owa points.The Illini face Big Ten Northwestern next Saturday in Evanston in their season finale.