IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP)- Marvin McNutt (Hazelwood Central H.S.) caught three touchdown passes to become Iowa’s career leader and Marcus Coker ran for two more scores to lead the Hawkeyes past Indiana 45-24 on Saturday.
Iowa (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) followed up on its 41-31 victory over Northwestern a week ago with another big offensive outing, triggered by McNutt’s scoring catches of 80, 24 and 29 yards from James Vandenberg, who had a career-best four TD passes in all.
That gave the senior a school-record 24 touchdown receptions for his career. He had been tied for the lead with Tim Dwight and Danan Hughes at 21.
Indiana (1-7, 0-4) lost for the fifth straight time and now has been outscored 161-61 in Big Ten play.
Coker helped the Hawkeyes establish their offense early, carrying on eight of the 12 plays in their first scoring drive, and wound up with 139 yards in 23 attempts. He capped that first drive with a 1-yard TD run and scored from 2 yards in the second quarter.
McNutt, who finished with six catches for a career-high 184 yards, set his record on his first reception of the day.
He was left all alone in the right flat when two defenders collided late in the first quarter and Vandenberg found him. McNutt then sprinted untouched down the sideline to complete the 80-yard play, which gave Iowa a 14-7 lead.
Indiana showed some spark early behind Tre Roberson, who became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Hoosiers. Roberson threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Cody Latimer and directed a 73-yard drive that Stephen Houston capped with a 1-yard TD run that tied the score at 14 early in the second quarter.
But the Hoosiers’ last-in-the-conference defense couldn’t hold up against the swift, sure-handed McNutt and the pounding of the 230-pound Coker, and the Hawkeyes ran off 21 unanswered points to take control with a 35-14 halftime lead.
Coker’s 41-yard burst, his longest run of the year, took the ball to the Indiana 24 and on the next play, the Hoosiers’ Michael Hunter broke up a pass to McNutt in the end zone on a fade route. McNutt ran the same route on the very next snap and this time, he had a step on Hunter and held on to Vandenberg’s pass for the touchdown.
McNutt took the ball away from cornerback Greg Heban on a 30-yard play that set up Coker’s 2-yard touchdown run, which made it 28-14, then easily outjumped Heban in the end zone for a 29-yard catch with 16 seconds left in the half.
McNutt’s previous career best had been 155 receiving yards against Indiana two years ago. He topped that with his first-half performance of five catches for 174 yards.
Copyright Associated Press