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No. 24 Iowa scores 35 unanswered to beat Illinois 35-21

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras is pressured by Illinois defensive lineman Owen Carney Jr. (99)...
Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras is pressured by Illinois defensive lineman Owen Carney Jr. (99) and Roderick Perry II during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Champaign, Ill.((AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast))
Published: Dec. 5, 2020 at 6:31 PM CST
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Spencer Petras threw three touchdown passes and No. 24 Iowa scored 35 unanswered points after trailing by two touchdowns early to beat Illinois 35-21 on Saturday.

Petras was 18 of 28 for 220 yards for Iowa (5-2) and Tyler Goodson had 19 rushes for 92 yards.

Brandon Peters started the 8-for-8 for 101 yards and two touchdowns for Illinois (2-4), but went 2-for-10 for 15 yards before being pulled for backup Isaiah Williams midway through the fourth quarter. Williams was 7 of 16 for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Iowa’s comeback started with a 22-yard pass from Petras to Sam LaPorta to cut the Illini lead to 14-7. It was the sophomore’s first career touchdown catch. Duncan Keith added two field goals to cut the Illinois lead to 14-13 at the half.

THE TAKEAWAY

Iowa: The Hawkeyes played like a different team in the second half, shutting down an Illinois offense that seemed unstoppable early.

Illinois: The hot start wasn’t enough to keep the Illini from losing to Iowa for the seventh straight time.

MISSING

Illinois running back Mike Epstein was scratched shortly before kickoff due to an unspecified injury. A team official said it was not COVID-19-related. Starting cornerback Nate Hobbs was injured in the first half and did not return for the Illini.

UP NEXT

Iowa: Hosts No. 18 Wisconsin, which lost to No. 16 Northwestern last week and is facing a tough No. 10 Indiana team today.

Illinois: Travels to No. 16 Northwestern for another tough Big Ten game against a Top 25 team.

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