The Iowa Hawkeyes welcomed Illinois into Kinnick Stadium for Senior Day festivities where a Big Ten West title was on the line.
With a win, No. 16 Iowa would advance to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium for the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 2 to take on the winner of next week’s contest between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan.
Fans can go ahead and start booking those Indy reservations. The Hawkeyes are headed to the Big Ten Championship game. For the third time in program history, Iowa is the Big Ten West champion.
In proper Iowa fashion, there was plenty about the Hawkeyes’ 15-13 win over Illinois that didn’t come easily and didn’t resemble a work of art. None of that matters in Iowa City, though. It’s plenty beautiful enough for these eyes.
Seldomly used of late, sophomore running back Kaleb Johnson finishes as the hero of this Hawkeye triumph. The 6-foot, 222 pound running back took an inside carry off the right side, broke into the clear and then raced 30 yards for the game-winning score with just under five minutes left to play.
Then, on Illinois’ final chance, it was sixth-year defensive lineman Joe Evans that came away with back-to-back pass deflections to force an Illini turnover on downs. The former walk-on from Ames, Iowa, gave Iowa the football back, and the Hawkeye offense put it on ice from there.
Facing a third-and-8 snap with 2:52 remaining, Johnson was again the man who took a carry into the open for a 12-yard gain and the first down that allowed Iowa to start the celebrations.
Illinois didn’t make it easy. The game had plenty of twists and turns. But, it was Iowa that emerged victorious using its patterned formula of success.
Take a look at how Hawkeye fans took in the action and the eventual celebration on social media.
Joe Evans gets the Senior Day party started
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/social-media-reacts-iowa-captures-005008874.html
Author : Hawkeyes Wire
Publish date : 2023-11-19 00:50:08
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