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Hawks set to host Rutgers to open Big Ten play

IOWA CITY (KWWL) — The Iowa Hawkeyes got it done on Saturday riding a second half surge for a comfortable win over Miami of Ohio. They passed the first test, but with room for improvement.

“Week one, I’d have to grade us out at a nice little ‘B'” says sophomore defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon.

That’s a grade they’d like to see a bit higher, especially with Big Ten play starting this weekend.

“We know we’ve got to win those Big Ten games to get to that Big Ten championship,” says sophomore linebacker Djimon Colbert, “So we all know it’s in the back of our minds, but we’re just kind of thinking about what we have in front of us each day.”

The Hawkeye defense showed a lot of positives in the opener holding the Redhawks under 250 yards of total offense, while Michael Ojemudia tallied the first takeaway of the season with a second half interception.

This Saturday they match up with a Rutgers team that hasn’t seen much Big Ten success. Still the Scarlet Knights scored 41 unanswered points to surge past UMass to open the season, and that has the Hawks’ attention.

“They’ve definitely got a lot of explosive players out there,” says junior safety Geno Stone, “especially their running backs and receivers, and with that transfer quarterback, I know he likes to take a lot of shots.”

“Their running backs are power backs,” adds Nixon, “They can run, catch the ball, they’re versatile, and they’re athletic.”

With the quest toward a Big Ten title beginning this weekend, the energy has ramped up a bit.

“This is what we’ve been training for and we’ve been working for since camp started,” says Nixon, “So, going out there against a Big Ten opponent is everything we’ve wished.”

Mark Woodley

KWWL-TV Sports Anchor

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