Iowa blanks Rutgers to improve to 2-0

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Rutgers is hoping it doesn't have to come back to Iowa City anytime soon after being shut-out by the Hawkeyes 30 to 0 in just their second overall meeting. It's the first time Iowa has opened Big Ten play with a shutout since 1981.

Iowa wide receiver Tyrone Tracy, left, celebrates his touchdown reception with Iowa tight end Nate Wieting, right, during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Iowa City. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

"{I} Thought it was a really decisive performance by our football team and really a great way to start Big Ten play. So very, very pleased about that." said head coach Kirk Ferentz.

Iowa set the tone right away on its first drive when Nate Stanley hit Ihmir Smith-Marsette over the middle for a 58-yard touchdown. Smith-Marsette had arguably the best game of his career with four catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

"It felt real good, I just wanted to go out there and do what I could do." Smith-Marsette said.

"Be able to help the team and that's something I did."

"Ihmir has put weight on since we've come out of spring ball, he's just been everything you'd hope." Ferentz said. "He's done a good job and focused and works extremely hard."

Iowa had 438 yards of offense, including 244 through the air. 236 of those came from quarterback Nate Stanley who finished 16-28 with three touchdown throws.

"He really looks like he's comfortable and in control." Ferentz said.

"Those two things. That's something you can't hand a player. It's a really tough position to play. It's tough in our offense, what we ask our quarterbacks to do so you know, he's worked hard and been through highs and lows and a lot more highs than lows, fortunately."

"I think last year I was trying to a little bit too much, putting too much pressure on myself" Stanley said. "This year, I feel very confident on the field, feel very poised and know that my teammates have my back no matter what."

The Hawkeye defense dominated the Scarlet Knights, allowing just 125 total yards and registering eight quarterback hurries.

"I think the passing part, we disrupted their quarterback. Part of it is because we were covering really well, so he didn't have a place to go with the ball and then threw it away or whatever he did." Ferentz said.

The Hawkeyes travel to Ames next week in a showdown versus in-state rival Iowa State.