IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) – The Iowa Hawkeyes went into the halftime break of Saturday’s season opener clinging to an ugly three-point lead.
“First half was a little sporadic at times, we had a couple misfires,” Head Coach Kirk Ferentz said after the game.
Getting just a field goal on its first two drives, Iowa watched the Miami of Ohio RedHawks take a 7-3 lead on their home turf at Kinnick Stadium.
“More communication, that’s what we needed to work on,” Senior defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore said.
While Coach Ferentz attributed most of it to shaking off the rust in their first game, the staff was also trying to plug holes in the offensive line after junior left tackle Alaric Jackson went down with a knee injury.
“It falls on the shoulders of the guys that stepped in. Everybody did a great job all through camp of knowing that, ‘Hey, I’m one play away from playing,'” Senior quarterback Nate Stanley said.
Ferentz was happy with the team of replacements; helping Iowa rush for 213 yards. Ferentz did not have an update on Jackson Saturday night but expects one early this week.
The offense would find its footing all-together, putting up 28 second-half points en route to the 38-14 win.
The defense also held Miami at bay, in large part due to the play of senior Micheal Ojemudia. Ojemudia had three tackles and the game’s only interception.
“I told him, ‘Just be patient, it’s gonna come to you.’ And next play he happened to go out there and get a pick,” Lattimore said of his teammate and fellow Michigan-native Ojemudia. “So I was happy for him, you know that’s my teammate, that’s my brother.”
“We just have to lead by example by our play and being vocal. I feel like we are leaders on this team,” Ojemudia said.