Social media reacts as Iowa captures Big Ten West, punches ticket to Indy with Illinois win

The Iowa Hawkeyes welcomed Illinois into Kinnick Stadium for Senior Day festivities where a Big Ten West title was on the line.

With a win, No. 16 Iowa would advance to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium for the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 2 to take on the winner of next week’s contest between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan.

Fans can go ahead and start booking those Indy reservations. The Hawkeyes are headed to the Big Ten Championship game. For the third time in program history, Iowa is the Big Ten West champion.

In proper Iowa fashion, there was plenty about the Hawkeyes’ 15-13 win over Illinois that didn’t come easily and didn’t resemble a work of art. None of that matters in Iowa City, though. It’s plenty beautiful enough for these eyes.

Seldomly used of late, sophomore running back Kaleb Johnson finishes as the hero of this Hawkeye triumph. The 6-foot, 222 pound running back took an inside carry off the right side, broke into the clear and then raced 30 yards for the game-winning score with just under five minutes left to play.

Then, on Illinois’ final chance, it was sixth-year defensive lineman Joe Evans that came away with back-to-back pass deflections to force an Illini turnover on downs. The former walk-on from Ames, Iowa, gave Iowa the football back, and the Hawkeye offense put it on ice from there.

Facing a third-and-8 snap with 2:52 remaining, Johnson was again the man who took a carry into the open for a 12-yard gain and the first down that allowed Iowa to start the celebrations.

Illinois didn’t make it easy. The game had plenty of twists and turns. But, it was Iowa that emerged victorious using its patterned formula of success.

Take a look at how Hawkeye fans took in the action and the eventual celebration on social media.

Joe Evans gets the Senior Day party started

It's beautiful

Hawkeye football, baby

Kaleb Brown making things happen

But why has it taken so long???

This is actually good news everyone

Iowa gets a break, Illinois grabs the lead

Excuse me??

Deacon Hill delivers!

Wait, Deacon Hill is delivering?

Reggie puts the Illini in front

You've got to be kidding

This isn't football

And Illinois tacks on

It's that simple

Or, does he?


Can't stop us, Big Cat

But, it was blocked???


Have yourself a Senior Day

A Gatorade shower for OC Brian Ferentz

Rallying around Brian

They got to celebrate in Ames, too!

The West is ours

And the viewing will be pleasant



Build it

Emotional Kirk

For Coach Kirk Ferentz

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire