The Iowa coach was not thrilled with his run defense. Chad Leistikow/


Iowa defensive end Anthony Nelson was named the Big Ten Conference's freshman of the week, the league announced Monday morning.

In Saturday’s 45-21 season-opening win over Miami (Ohio), the 6-foot-7, 250-pound redshirt freshman racked up 2.5 sacks and forced a pair of fumbles, both of which led to Iowa touchdowns. He was credited with two solo tackles, four assists and a pass breakup as well.

Nelson’s first forced fumble arrived after the RedHawks had moved inside the Iowa red zone midway through the first quarter. On first-and-goal from the 8-yard line, Nelson sacked Miami (Ohio) quarterback Billy Bahl for a 7-yard loss, causing a fumble that Matt Nelson eventually recovered.

Two plays later, Iowa was in the end zone, sporting a 21-0 advantage.

Nelson sacked Bahl again to force a fumble late in the fourth. Sam Brincks hopped on the recovery. The Hawkeyes scored less than two minutes later on Derrick Mitchell’s 5-yard touchdown run.

The 15th-ranked Hawkeyes host Iowa State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the annual Cy-Hawk rivalry.