Iowa football vs. South Dakota State recap: Hawkeyes survive low-scoring defensive battle

Raven Moore
Hawk Central

While the Iowa Hawkeyes' offense was thwarted at nearly every turn, their defense and special teams unit carried the load to will them to a 7-3 win over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

In addition to infiltrating the Jackrabbits' offense line at will, they also forced not one, but two safeties — an incredibly rare feat.

And a necessary feat, with Iowa's offense in disarray. 

And with the help of their junior punter Tory Taylor's seven punts inside the 20-yard line, the Hawkeyes were able to win the field position battle.

3:23 p.m. — Kirk Ferentz says that Spencer Petras' job is not in jeopardy

During the game, Iowa fans took to social media to express their displeasure with the offense, particularly with the play from Spencer Petras.

However, Ferentz stood behind his quarterback and was not reading too much into his 11-25 passing night.

"I am not expecting to make any changes next week," Ferentz said. "Spencer [Petras] has some ownership in this game, but we all have some ownership, every coach and every player. It is our job to get better"

3:13 p.m. — Jack Campbell defends his offensive teammates

Admitting frustration in the immense criticism of his offensive teammates, senior linebacker Jack Wallace commends their effort and reminds fans to keep things in perspective.

"For people in the outside world, it might be easy to go around and point fingers," Campbell said. "But we people forget that these guys are brothers, grandsons, sons, and a lot of people lose sight of that. So, no matter what, I am always going to have their backs."

2:38 p.m. — Hawkeyes survive 7-3

2:36 p.m. — One final pass breakup seals the game for Iowa

After being forced to throw on 4th and five with less than 20 seconds to go in the game, Terry Roberts' pass breakup cemented the Hawkeyes' hard-earned 7-3 win.

2:23 p.m. — Iowa's defense forces another safety

2:16 p.m. — Iowa's offense return to the field

After the defense forced South Dakota State to punt for the 11th time tonight, the Hawkeyes will take the field at their own 44-yard line. There is 6:20 left in the game.

2:04 p.m. — Penalties continue to plague South Dakota State

As they have done all game, false start penalties make things much harder for the Jackrabbits. On the last drive, they had two in a row which pushed the line of scrimmage to their four-yard line on 4th and 10. Luckily for them, their punter Hunter Dustman was able to get the punt off safely. Iowa will start at midfield.

1:55 p.m. — Injuries mounting for South Dakota State

After making a tackle on Iowa tight end Luke Lachey, Jackrabbits' linebacker Isaiah Stalbird needed help to get off the of the field.

1:42 p.m. — End of the third quarter

Iowa still leads 5-3 as we enter the fourth quarter. South Dakota State will start the period facing 2nd and 9 at their own eight-yard line.

1:41 p.m. — Iowa fumbles in the redzone

After marching all the way down to the four-yard line, South Dakota State linebacker Adam Bock forces running back Leshon Williams to fumble. Bock also recovers the fumble for his team.

More: After a successful career as a Solon Spartan, Adam Bock returns to Iowa as a star player.

1:36 p.m. — Iowa is back in South Dakota State territory

After Petras completes the 27-yard pass to Arland Bruce, an extra 15 yards are added to the play after targeting is called on SDSU's Cale Reeder. He is disqualified for the rest of the game. Iowa will have 1st and 10 at the Jackrabbits' 22.

1:31 p.m. — Iowa's Jack Campbel forces a safety

After a long scoring drought for Iowa, their linebacker Jack Wallace gets them back on the board after tackling the Jackrabbits' running back Davis in the end zone. They now lead 5-3.

1:28 p.m. — Tory Taylor downs another punt inside the five

Taylor proving he deserves to be in the discussion for the Ray Guy Award after downing his third punt of the game inside the five-yard line. This time the Jackrabbits will start all the way at the one.

1:19 p.m. — Another Jackrabbit is hurt

After a three-yard run by South Dakota State's running back Davis, their left guard Ethan Vibert is down on the field. It appears to be a lower-body injury. He is able to walk with help off the field.

1:15 p.m. — SDSU quarterback Mark Gronowski is down on the field

Facing a lot of pressure all game long, it looks to have finally got to the sophomore signal caller. After being taken down by Iowa's Seth Benton, Gronowski had trouble standing upright. He is currently being walked off the field, but still had time to signal he was okay to the crowd.

1:11 p.m. — Iowa is forced to punt, prompting fan displeasure

1:05 p.m. — South Dakota State punts to start the drive

As has been customary for both teams, the Jackrabbits' first drive of the second half results in a punt. The Hawkeyes will start their drive at the 27-yard line.

1:00 p.m. — We are back in action

The Jackrabbits will begin the drive at their own 19-yard line.

12:38 p.m. — We are tied entering halftime

It is a 3-3 game at halftime after the late field goal by South Dakota State. They will receive the second-half kickoff.

12:36 p.m. — South Dakota State ties the game 

After a 45-yard field goal by Hunter Dustman, the Jackrabbits have tied the game at 3. That leaves Iowa 15 seconds to work with in the first half.

12:35 p.m. — Iowa's defense keeps coming up big

12:35 p.m. — Crisis averted for Iowa

12:33 p.m. — Possible big blow for Iowa

12:30 p.m. — Iowa's Jestin Jacobs hops off the field

After getting a tackle on SDSU's Mark Gronowski, Iowa linebacker Jestin Jacobs hops one-legged off the field with an apparent stinger. His return is unknown.

12:26 p.m. — Spencer Petras throws an interception

Facing third and 10, Iowa's Spencer Petras pass is picked off by SDSU's Caleb Francl and he takes it for a 17-yard return. After he was brought down, he looked to be injured, but managed to leave the field of his own power. The Jackrabbits will take over at the Hawkeyes' 38-yard line.

12:21 p.m. — Terry Roberts' redemption story continues

12:15 p.m. — Iowa's offensive line continues to be a revolving door

12:14 p.m. — 17-yard Iowa gain is called back

After a 17-yard pass from Spencer Petras to his tight end Sam LaPorta on the sideline, the officials decided to review the play. Turns out, LaPorta did not complete the process of the catch making it 4th and 19 instead of a manageable 4th and 2. Iowa elects to punt.

12:10 — For comparison's sake

As of the 8:21 mark of the second quarter, the Jackrabbits have more penalties (six) than they do completed passes (five).

12:03 p.m. — Three steps forward, five steps back

After getting just their second first down of the game after a three-yard run by Isaiah Davis on 3rd and 2, another false start by South Dakota State pushes them back.

12:01 p.m. — Hawkeyes' fans making an impact

12:00 p.m. — Iowa's Tory Taylor pins SDSU again

Once again, Hawkeyes' punter Tory Taylor pins the Jackrabbits inside the five-yard line, this time getting the ball to the two.

11:53 a.m. — South Dakota State's offense still searching for answers

After missing on what could have been the first touchdown of the game, the Jackrabbits' offense is forced to punt for the fourth time.

11:44 a.m. — Iowa gets its first points of the season

11:42 a.m. — South Dakota State defender goes down

After a run by Iowa's Kaleb Johnson, Jackrabbits' nose tackle Brian Williams needs help to get off the field.

11:40 a.m. — Special teams again sets Iowa up nicely

11:36 a.m. — Hawkeyes honoring the school's female athletes in honor of the anniversary of Title IX

11:35 a.m. — Another punt by Iowa

After getting a heavy dose of Leshon Williams (four rushes for 19 yards), the Hawkeyes' offense is still unable to drive the ball downfield and has to punt. Luckily, their punter Tory Taylor is having a terrific game, pinning the Jackrabbits back at the five-yard line.

11:29 a.m. — Change made to Iowa's offensive line

11:26 a.m. — South Dakota State is forced to punt again

After a strong tackle by Iowa safety Kaevon Merriweather to prevent a first-down, the Jackrabbits again are forced to punt. This drive was more promising than the first as they made it all the way to Iowa's 47-yard line.

11:21 a.m. — Timeout called for an injured Jackrabbit

Following a seven-yard completion from South Dakota State's quarterback Mark Gronowski to his tight end Tucker Kraft, the latter was down on the field after an apparent injury. He had to be helped off the field.

11:17 a.m. — Iowa misses scoring opportunity

Despite beginning the drive in favorable field position, the Hawkeyes are unable to capitalize on it. Their kicker Aaron Blom missed a 40-yard field goal try, giving South Dakota State the ball back at their own 22-yard line.

11:15 a.m. — Jackrabbits' drive stalls early

Seemingly doomed from the start, two early false start penalties push South Dakota State all the way to their own seven-yard line. After being held by the Hawkeyes' defense to just 11 yards, they are forced to punt.

11:12 a.m. — Iowa fans having an impact early

11:09 a.m. — Hawkeyes' opening drive ends with a punt

After a couple of promising plays from the Hawkeyes, they were eventually forced to punt after Spencer Petras was sacked on third down by South Dakota State's Reece Winkelman.

11:04 a.m. Starting WR Keagan Johnson is out for the opener.

After it was announced during pre-game that the Hawkeyes' starting running back, Gavin Williams was out of action. It looks like they will also be without their leading receiver. Their starting receivers today are Arland Bruce IV and Alec Wick.

11:03 a.m. — Iowa wins the kickoff and elects to receive.

10:49 a.m. — Some good injury-related news for the Hawkeyes.

10:34 a.m. — A look at Iowa's starting offensive line

It looks like the second group from left to right will be Matt Fagan, Mike Myslinski, Tyler Elsbury, Gennings Dunker, and Jack Plumb.

9:59 a.m. — RB Gavin Williams has been ruled out

8:53 a.m. — The Hawkeyes are here at Kinnick Stadium

Before Iowa kicks off, here are previews to get you ready for Saturday's action: 

Hawk Central's Chad Leistikow's weekly predictions

Can the running game make a turnaround in 2022? 

For Iowa's Seth Benson, the SDSU game is personal, in a good way.

Pre-game podcast: Kennington and Chad break down the opener

Raven Moore helps cover Iowa athletics. You can reach her at Follow her on Twitter at @Raven_XReport.