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College Football: Iowa defeats Rutgers, 27-10

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Iowa (3-1, 1-0) defeated Rutgers (3-1, 0-1), 27-10, on Saturday night at SHI Stadium.

The Hawkeyes have won eight of its last 11 Big Ten openers. Iowa is now 3-0 all-time against Rutgers.


DB Cooper DeJean intercepted a pass for a third straight game and returned it 45 yards for his first career touchdown. The 45-yard touchdown return is the 30th longest in school history and it is the 50th pick six in school history.

Iowa has had at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of the last 15 seasons and 20 of the last 22.

The last Hawkeye to have an interception in three straight games was Jermari Harris in 2021 (at Nebraska, vs. Michigan, vs. Kentucky).

DB Kaevon Merriweather returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. It is the eighth fumble return for a touchdown in school history and the fifth longest in the record books. CASH Sebastian Castro forced the fumble – the second forced fumble of his career.

Merriweather also had a third quarter interception – the second of his career – and he returned it 33 yards into Rutgers territory.

LB Jack Campbell had eight tackles. Campbell now has 208 tackles, which puts him in 68th in program history.

CASH Sebastian Castro made his first career start. Castro finished with four tackles, one forced fumble and one pass break up in the game.

RB Leshon Williams had a 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to cap a nine play, 75-yard scoring drive – the team’s longest of the season. Williams had 40 yards rushing on the scoring drive.

TE Sam LaPorta had a career long 42-yard reception on Iowa’s final drive of the first half. He finished with a team-high four catches for 77 yards.

K Drew Stevens converted a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter and a career-long 51 yarder in the fourth quarter. The 51-yarder is tied for the 11th longest in school history. Stevens is now 4-for-4 on field goal attempts this season.


Iowa’s defense has allowed 23 points in the first four games of the season, the fewest points allowed in the last 66 years. The Hawkeyes gave up 20 points in the first four games in 1956.

Iowa’s defense scored two touchdowns against Rutgers via a Cooper DeJean pick six in the first quarter and a Kaevon Merriweather scoop and score in the second quarter. It is the first time since the 2021 season opener against Indiana that Iowa’s defense has scored two touchdowns in the same game (Riley Moss, two INTs for TDs).

With the two defensive touchdowns, the Hawkeye defense has now scored 16 points this season via two touchdowns and two safeties.

Iowa didn’t commit a turnover for a second straight game. The Hawkeyes were +3 in the turnover battle, converting the Rutgers miscues into 14 points. For the season, the Hawkeyes are +2 in turnover margin and they have a 21-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Hawkeyes have two games with multiple interceptions and have all five picks have come in the last three games.

Iowa led 7-3 at the end of the first quarters. Rutgers field goal was the first points allowed in the first quarter this season by the Iowa defense. The Hawkeyes are outscoring their opponents, 31-3, in the opening quarter and 12-0 in the third quarter.

Iowa won the toss and elected to defer. The Hawkeyes have played 292 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 216 times (138-78). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 76 times (43-33).

The Hawkeyes return to action Oct. 1, hosting No. 4 Michigan at 11 a.m. (CT) on Duke Slater Field at Kinnick Stadium. The game will be televised on FOX.

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