Reserve backs rally Iowa past North Texas

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Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley put together a masterful effort in a stunning 44-41 overtime win over rival Iowa State last week, but the Hawkeyes didn't escape the game unscathed as they prepare for a home date with North Texas on Saturday.

Iowa needed contributions from players like Young and Kelly-Martin to make that happen. Butler ran 16 times for 74 yards before an elbow injury knocked him out of the game in the third quarter.

The tone for a game full of penalties and reviews was set in the first quarter when two Iowa touchdowns were taken off the board, first on a Nick Easley fumble at the goal line, then on an Akrum Wadley unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for high-stepping on his way to the end zone.

"Coach Brian Ferentz (Iowa's first-year offensive coordinator) isn't afraid to go for it on fourth down so when those plays are called, we have confidence that we're going to execute it, " said Fant, who left the game and returned after dealing with what he labeled "a little stinger".

The Mean Green can go back and forth with the best of them: their 45.5-points-per-game scoring average ranks them in the top 15 nationally, and they sit in the top 25 overall in both passing yards (328) and rushing yards (252.5) per game.

Kelly-Martin added a two-yard scoring run to cap an 87-yard, almost nine minute drive. "They have prepared well in practice, so it didn't surprise me that they would come in and contribute the way they did". The Mean Green use a 3-4 alignment on defense, which Iowa doesn't see much of in the Big Ten and could cause confusion, especially in the first half.

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Stanley was sublime in last week's OT triumph, throwing for 333 yards and five TDs - the last, a 5-yard strike to Ihmir Smith-Marsette that ended things after the Cyclones had settled for a field goal on the opening possession in extra time. "He's fast, efficient, he'll run the ball, throws it where it needs to go", Ferentz said.

Stanley was 16 of 27 for 197 yards, two touchdowns and zero picks.

North Texas led 14-10 at halftime.

Mason Fine was 16 of 26 for 167 yards and a late interception to Josh Jackson.

"We went into the locker room knowing we had to get back to playing Iowa football, " Rugamba said. We've got to be more disciplined.

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