Hawkeyes give the boot to Cowboys in season opener

Hawkeyes give the boot to Cowboys in season opener
The Associated Press

IOWA CITY (AP) — An offseason filled with hype followed Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen to Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes defense brought Allen down a peg and showed it might be strong enough to carry the team while the offense finds its footing.

Nate Stanley threw three touchdown passes in his first career start, and Iowa shut down Wyoming 24-3 on Saturday.

Omaha South grad Noah Fant caught two of those TD tosses for the Hawkeyes (1-0), who held the Cowboys (0-1) to just 59 yards rushing on 30 tries and picked off Allen twice.

“You’re not going to slow him down unless you play really good team defense,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said of the highly touted Allen, who was 23 of 40 passing for 174 yards. “There were some bumps in the road, but that traces back to younger, more inexperienced players. The guys played through it.”

Stanley’s first career touchdown throw, which went to Fant on fourth-and-2, put Iowa ahead 7-3. Stanley connected with Fant for a 27-yard score following a bizarre muffed punt by Wyoming, and he hit Iowa Western transfer Nick Easley from 45 yards out to give the Hawkeyes a 21-3 edge midway through the third quarter.

Wyoming’s tepid rushing attack left Allen without much space to work. But Allen also threw an interception deep in Iowa territory with 11:32 left, and he threw another one right to lineman Brady Reiff after being blitzed with 4:36 to go.

Allen completed just one pass longer than 14 yards.

“(We) couldn’t really get a running game established,” Wyoming coach and former Nebraska defensive coordinator Craig Bohl said. “We tried. We knew their front seven would be very formidable, as they were.”

Akrum Wadley rushed for 116 yards for Iowa.

Stanley was 8 of 15 for 125 yards.

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