No. 18 Iowa’s defense silences No. 17 Indiana, 34-6

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa cornerback Riley Moss wasn’t sure what happened.

Moss’ 30-yard interception return for a touchdown, the first of his two scores in the game, helped start No. 18 Iowa on the way to a 34-6 victory over No. 17 Indiana on Saturday in the opener for both teams.

Iowa intercepted three of Michael Penix Jr.‘s passes – safety Dane Belton had the other interception – and had a fourth wiped out by a roughing-the-passer call.

“We were very prepared,” Moss said. “We absolutely won because of film (study), and our preparation. Our game plan today was to stop the big plays, stay on top. We made them work for their yards, and their points.”

The Hawkeyes led 7-0 after their first drive, when running back Tyler Goodson scored on a 56-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the possession.

“I don’t want to say I’m surprised, but I’m very pleased,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It’s good team defense. I know that sounds mundane. But that’s how we play.”

Moss’ first interception came on Indiana’s third offensive play, when Penix’s pass went through the hands of receiver D.J. Matthews. Moss grabbed the ball and raced down the right sideline for the score.

“I was kind of sitting there,” Moss said. “(Penix) threw the ball, so I made a break on it to try to tackle (Matthews). I saw the ball pop up. I got super excited. I was foaming at the mouth to catch the ball. I didn’t realize I scored a touchdown until I was on the bench. I was like, `Holy cow, that happened.”‘

Moss’ second interception came with 1:41 left in the first half, when he stepped into the path of a Penix pass and ran 55 yards for a touchdown that put Iowa up, 28-3.

“I did my job, and good things came from that,” Moss said.

“I’ve always seen Riley as a playmaker,” defensive end John Waggoner said. “He goes hard, and he shows up every day to work. He is a competitor, so in my mind he is going to go make plays, and you obviously saw that today.”

Iowa’s defense rattled Penix, who was just 14 of 31 passing for 156 yards. Penix, who had just four interceptions in six games last season, was coming off offseason knee surgery. He played until early in the fourth quarter, when Indiana coach Tom Allen took him out of the game.

“He definitely looked out of sync to me, not comfortable in the pocket,” Allen said. “We’ll get that fixed.”

Goodson rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown. Spencer Petras had a 9-yard touchdown run and completed 13 of 27 passes for 145 yards.

The Hawkeyes held the Hoosiers to 233 offensive yards, with only 31 rushing yards.

“It’s just playing with tempo, and making the other guys uneasy,” Ferentz said of his defense. “I think our guys did that.”

“We had to play better,” Allen said. “You have to play high-level football out of the gate against a team like this, and we didn’t.”

It was the seventh consecutive win for the Hawkeyes dating to last season. It was only the third loss for Indiana in its last 18 season openers.

“We got knocked down,” Allen said. “But we’ll get back up.”

Caleb Shudak had field goals of 41 and 35 yards for Iowa.

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum went down with a minor injury on Petras’ touchdown run in the second quarter, but got up to play the rest of the game.

Linderbaum said he was hit in the thigh by someone’s helmet.

“Just a little banged up,” said Linderbaum, a preseason Associated Press All-American. “I’ll be fine.”

“I was a little nervous for Lindy at first,” Petras said. “But there’s no tougher guy in football than Tyler Linderbaum. I knew as soon as I saw him walking that he would be all right.”

“It’s going to take a lot to keep him out,” Ferentz said.

SWINTON SUSPENDED

Indiana sophomore wide receiver Javon Swinton served a one-game suspension for violation of team rules.

Swinton played in eight games last season and had four receptions for 52 yards. He was No. 2 on the depth chart at one of the three receiver positions.

THE TAKEAWAY

Iowa’s defense, which hasn’t allowed an opponent to score more than 24 points in a game in the last 23 games, was opportunistic. The Hawkeyes’ offense struggled at times, their quick start had the Hoosiers scrambling the the rest of the way.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Hawkeyes should jump heading into next Saturday’s game at No. 7 Iowa State. The Hoosiers, in the preseason Associated Press poll for the first time since 1969, have been nationally ranked for 11 consecutive weeks.

UP NEXT

Indiana: vs. Idaho Saturday.

Iowa: at Iowa State Saturday.

No. 2 Michigan beats Purdue 43-22 for Big Ten crown

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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INDIANAPOLIS – Donovan Edwards ran for 185 yards and a score, J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes and No. 2 Michigan beat Purdue 43-22 on Saturday night for its second straight Big Ten title and a likely No. 2 playoff seed.

College football’s winningest program has the first 13-win season in school history. Two more victories would give the Wolverines (13-0, No. 2 CFP) their first national championship since 1997.

And with injured star Blake Corum sidelined by a season-ending left knee injury, Edwards stole the show for the second straight week.

After shredding rival Ohio State for 216 yards and two scores last week, Edwards broke open this game with a 60-yard on the first play of the second half to set up one score. He added a 27-yard TD sprint on Michigan’s next series to make it 28-13.

Purdue (8-5) never recovered from Michigan’s quick, seven-play onslaught after it trailed 14-13 at halftime.

But quarterback Aidan O'Connell and receiver Charlie Jones helped the Boilermakers make it interesting for a while.

O’Connell was 32 of 47 with 366 yards and two interceptions after missing some practice time early this week to mourn the death of his oldest brother. Jones, who lost to Michigan in last year’s game while playing for Iowa, had 13 receptions for 162 yards.

It just wasn’t enough.

Michigan showed no signs of a hangover after last week’s rout over the Buckeyes, taking a 7-0 lead on its opening possession with a 25-yard TD pass from J.J. McCarthy to Colston Loveland.

Purdue answered with Devin Mockobee’s 1-yard scoring run to tie the score then took the lead on Mitchell Fineran’s 33-yard field goal.

Michigan answered by taking advantage of an offside call on fourth-and-6 by going for the first down, picking it up and eventually converting the drive into a 7-yard TD pass from McCarthy to Luke Schoonmaker. They never trailed again.

Edwards big run set up Kalel Mullings‘ 1-yard TD plunge before Edwards celebrated his own scoring run.

All Purdue could muster was three more field goals.

McCarthy was 11 of 17 with 161 yards and one interception.

Corum posted a message on Twitter on Saturday morning to say his knee surgery went well.

THE TAKEAWAY

Purdue: The Boilermakers’ magical season ended with a solid showing in the championship game where they played better than most expected. Still, they won the Big Ten’s wild, wild West, both trophy games and should be bound for a warm-weather bowl game.

Michigan: Yes, the Wolverines may have already locked up a top-two seed thanks to losses by Southern Cal and TCU. Michigan now has back-to-back conference crowns for the first time since 2003-04 though the hard part remains – ending its national title drought.

DIALING UP TRICKERY

Brohm played one season in the now defunct XFL and has acknowledged that experience helped him understand how to inject personality and creativity into play calling. It was on full display Saturday.

A surprise end around set up Purdue’s first score, a fake punt helped keep its second scoring drive alive and then Mockobee sprinted 25 yards on a fake flea-flicker in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Will find out its bowl game, destination and opponent Sunday.

Michigan: Waiting to see where its headed and who it will face in the national semifinals.

Klubnik, No. 10 Clemson rout No. 24 UNC 39-10 for ACC title

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Backup quarterback Cade Klubnik completed 20 of 24 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score and No. 10 Clemson reclaimed the Atlantic Coast Conference championship with a 39-10 victory over No. 24 North Carolina on Saturday night.

Cornerback Nate Wiggins broke up two passes in the end zone, blocked a field goal and returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown to help the Tigers win their seventh ACC title in eight seasons.

Clemson (11-2, No. 9 CFP) won six straight ACC championships from 2015 to 2020 before failing to reach the title game last season. But coach Dabo Swinney‘s Tigers rebounded in a big way, going 9-0 against ACC foes this season to reach the Orange Bowl.

They have Klubnik to thank for that.

With Clemson down 7-0, Swinney benched two-year starter D.J. Uiagalelei after the Tigers failed to pick up a first down on their first two possessions, Swinney turned to Klubnik, a 5-star recruit from Austin, Texas. He responded by leading the Tigers to four straight scores and a 24-10 lead at halftime.

Clemson stretched it to 39-10 heading into the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t the first time Swinney has turned to Klubnik.

He benched Uiagalelei in the second half against Syracuse and Klubnik responded by leading the Tigers to a come-from-behind 27-21 victory. Swinney also turned to Klubnik against Notre Dame, although the results were the opposite with the freshman throwing a Pick 6 in a 35-14 loss.

Swinney has never been shy about replacing veteran QBs with less experienced players. He did it in 2014, sitting Cole Stoudt for Deshaun Watson, and again in 2018 replacing Kelly Bryant with Trevor Lawrence.

ACC player of the year Drake Maye was limited to 268 yards passing and turned the ball over three times for North Carolina (9-4, No. 23 CFP), which was seeking its first ACC championship since 1980 when Lawrence Taylor was wreaking havoc on quarterbacks.

Maye got things started on the right foot for the Tar Heels, capping an 11-play, 78-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead on UNC’s first possession.

But the Tar Heels repeatedly sputtered on offense inside the red zone after that, the biggest blow coming when Maye misfired near the goal line and Wiggins – who had struggled in Clemson’s 51-45 win over Wake Forest – returned his pass for a touchdown to give Clemson a 32-10 lead with 5:05 left in the third quarter.

Klubnik provided an immediate spark for Clemson.

He led the Tigers on a nine-play, 71-yard drive, culminating in a 1-yard TD pass to Davis Allen. After Maye’s fumble, Klubnik caught a 19-yard pass from Phil Mafah to set up Mafah’s 4-yard touchdown run – Clemson’s second TD in a span of 40 seconds.

Klubnik then showed off his arm strength with a 68-yard pass to fellow freshman Cole Turner to set up his own 1-yard TD run for a 21-7 lead.

END OF AN ERA

This is the final year the ACC will feature its two division winners playing for a championship. In future years, all ACC teams will be lumped together and the two teams with the best records will advance to the title game.

THE TAKEAWAY

North Carolina: Maye garnered plenty of Heisman Trophy talk during the season, but the Tar Heels offense has stalled resulting in a three-game losing streak. But as long as Maye doesn’t transfer – and there are no indications he will given his family history at North Carolina – the Tar Heels have a good chance to get back to the ACC title game next season.

Clemson: The Tigers have set a high bar by winning national championships, so as much as they will enjoy getting back atop the ACC mountain there will be plenty of talk over whether Swinney cost his team a chance at a spot in the College Football Playoff by not turning to Klubnik at quarterback earlier in the season. It seems Uiagalelei might be a logical transfer portal candidate.

UP NEXT

Clemson will play in the Orange Bowl, while North Carolina awaits a bowl bid.