5 stars from Iowa’s 27-10 Big Ten-opening win over Rutgers

Iowa left Piscataway, N.J., feeling good about its start in Big Ten play. After all, the Hawkeyes had just put the finishing touches on a 27-10 road win over Rutgers.

Naturally, there were plenty of standout performers in Iowa’s Big Ten-opening victory. Let’s take a look at five of the stars for the Hawks.

Cooper DeJean

AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

Any list of kudos for the Hawkeyes against Rutgers has to start right here. Cooper DeJean’s 45-yard interception return for the touchdown was simply marvelous. First, the over-the-shoulder interception itself was a thing of beauty. Then, he added the cross country trek into the end zone as icing on the cake. DeJean now has interceptions in three straight games. The 6-foot-1, 209 pound native of Odebolt, Iowa, is a bonafide national star in the making.

Kaevon Merriweather

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

What’s one defensive touchdown without another? The Hawkeyes feel like they are certainly better in pairs. Sebastian Castro might deserve his own entry for popping the football loose. Kaevon Merriweather did the rest, racing 30 yards on the fumble return into the end zone. Merriweather added an interception later on for the Hawkeyes’ third takeaway of the night.

Iowa tight ends

AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

Sam LaPorta in particular really helped Spencer Petras settle into this football game. LaPorta finished with four grabs for 77 yards. His running mate, Luke Lachey, added a couple of receptions for 37 yards to lead the way through the air.

Leshon Williams

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The lone offensive touchdown of the night was Leshon Williams’ score. It was a 2-yard touchdown run that was blocked up to perfection. At times, this was really one of the best night’s of the season for the Hawkeyes’ offensive line. Leshon Williams was the benefactor of that production up front, rushing 11 times for 64 yards and a score.

Spencer Petras

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Was there anything consistently eye-dropping here? Maybe not, but Spencer Petras played well. He connected with the aforementioned LaPorta on a 42-yard strike, and, in general, he appeared in command of Iowa’s offense all night long. Petras finished 11-of-17 passing for 148 yards.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire