CHICAGO Mike Meyer doesn’t always get called on to kick 50-yard field goals, but when he is, he likes to make them.
Meyer proved to be the most interesting scoring threat for the Hawkeyes on Saturday, connecting on 4-of-5 field goals to help lift Iowa to an 18-17 win over Northern Illinois.
“I just saw it as another chance to put points on the board,” Meyer said. “I just took it as another opportunity.”
The 50-yarder was a career long for Meyer and five attempts matches a school record.
He was called on to make the long try with Iowa trailing 17-9 with 9:33 left in the game, and the winds swirling in Soldier Field.
“I knew I should play it a little bit outside of the right,” Meyer said. “As I kicked it, I knew it would be taken back. I slipped a little bit and couldn’t see it go in. It’s all good.
“Every now and then it’s always good to go back and see what your range is.”
Meyer’s efforts were part of a solid afternoon of special team plays by the Hawkeyes.
True freshman punter Connor Kornbrath averaged 41.3 yards on three punts. Senior John Wienke, punting for the first time in his Hawkeye career, pooched his only punt to the 1-yard-line to help set up the game-winning score for Iowa.
And on that play, senior Greg Castillo was the one who kept the ball from rolling into the end zone.
“It’s my job to down it, and I’m lucky I did,” Castillo said.
The play was reviewed and upheld, but Castillo was never worried about them taking the ball out to the 20.
DEFENSE ADJUSTS: The Huskies took it to the Iowa defense initially, driving down the field in the first quarter to go ahead 7-3.
But Iowa made adjustments on defense. Outside of the 73-yard touchdown run on a quarterback draw by Jordan Lynch, the Huskies had negative-5 yards in the second half.
“I think we just put our foot down,” senior cornerback Micah Hyde said. “We had a couple mistakes, but we fought through them.”
Junior linebacker James Morris said the defense changed how it lined up against the Huskies’ spread option.
“They had a new offensive coordinator, so we really didn’t know what we were going to see,” Morris said. “By the second quarter, they had tipped their hand.”
In total, NIU had just 201 yards of offense.
INJURY REPORT: B.J. Lowery left the game after a play near the border and had his shoulder wrapped with ice on the sidelines.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said the X-rays turned out negative and he should be OK.
FRESHMEN PLAY: Iowa had four true freshmen play Saturday.
Running back Greg Garmon had eight rushing yards on four carries. Punter Connor Kornbrath had three punts a 41.3 yard average.
Defensive backs Kevin Buford and Sean Draper also both played. Buford had one tackle.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football