Final Score: Iowa 27, Rutgers 10

Brief Recap: What was shaping up to be a defensive struggle in the B1G crossover matchup for Iowa and Rutgers came to fruition in Week 4. In fact, the scoring output was only as high as it was due to some touchdowns produced by the Iowa defense.

Rutgers took the first score of the game off an early field goal and Iowa’s offense was scuffling a bit in the first quarter. Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, Cooper DeJean proved he has the hands and moves of a receiver.

DeJean produced the first touchdown of the game after an over-the-shoulder interception. He turned that pick all the way back around – including some missed tackles – for a touchdown.

Kaevon Merriweather also scored for the Iowa defense off a scoop-and-score touchdown in the first half. When it was all said and done, Iowa had a pair of first-half touchdowns – both produced by the defense.

Coming out of the half, the Hawkeyes put together a very efficient and competent offensive drive to put increased pressure on the Scarlet Knights. Spencer Petras led the Hawkeyes 75 yards on 9 plays with Leshon Williams punching in a short touchdown to give Iowa a 3-touchdown lead in the game.

In the end, Rutgers would score more points, but the Scarlet Knights could not pull within 14 points on the evening. Iowa put together enough drives – and enough first downs – to maintain control of this game to the finish line.

Key Player: Leshon Williams and Kaleb Johnson. With all due respect to Hawkeye punter Tory Taylor, the offensive contributors were actually deserving of a bit of recognition for the win over Rutgers.

The running back duo of the Hawkeyes combined for 122 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries in the win. Williams also added a pair of catches for 19 yards, and Johnson produced 77 kick return yards on a pair of solid returns.

The defense as a whole remains the star for this team, but the two running backs produced some nice moments in the win.

Key Stat: +3, turnover differential in favor of the Hawkeyes. Two of those turnovers were turned directly into defensive touchdowns, truly the ultimate difference in the game Saturday night.

What it means for Iowa moving forward: Iowa has at least moved on from the absolutely abysmal offensive showings out of the gate to start the year and moved to 3-1 entering Week 5. From here, the schedule ratchets up quite considerably with games against Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State in October. Those teams are a combined 10-1 (soon to be 11-1 following Ohio State’s win over Wisconsin).

Everything remains in front of this Hawkeyes team if the offense is able to step up and supplement the defense. But it remains a tall ask.

What it means for Rutgers moving forward: The game against Iowa was always going to be a tough one for the Scarlet Knights. The undefeated season is no more, and the challenge for Rutgers becomes finding 3 more wins on the schedule to qualify for a bowl game.

In October, the Scarlet Knights will face Ohio State, Nebraska, Indiana and Minnesota. If a bowl game is a real possibility, Rutgers needs to be sure to find wins in two of those matchups before turning to November.