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Illinois drops third in a row
Iowa defeated the Fighting Illini 35-7.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa got more physical and Ed Hinkel went airborne.
That combination proved to be what the Hawkeyes needed to shake off the lethargy evident last week against Ohio State.
Hinkel scored with an acrobatic move at the end of a reverse and caught one of Drew Tate's two touchdown passes, and Iowa piled up 301 yards with a revived running game to beat Illinois 35-7 on Saturday.
Damian Sims added a 66-yard touchdown run for Iowa (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten), which set a school record with its 21st straight victory at home.
"We were dishing it out this game," Iowa running back Albert Young said. "That's probably the biggest difference from last week to this one. We took it upon ourselves to make things happen and be the hunter."
The Hawkeyes shredded the young Illini defense -- seven sophomores and two freshmen start -- for 476 yards, a week after Illinois gave up 705 in a 61-14 loss to Michigan State.
Illinois (2-3, 0-2) endured a frustrating day in its bid to rebound. The Illini had two field goal attempts blocked, missed a third try and threw an interception deep in Iowa territory -- all in the first half, which ended with Iowa leading 14-0
"At halftime, we should have had nine points," Illinois coach Ron Zook said. "Our kicker's been hitting, but, well, that happens with a young kicker. He's a good kicker and he'll be OK. But if we had those two field goals, we'd have been in the game at the half."
Iowa led 21-0 before Illinois finally scored on Tim Brasic's 1-yard pass to E.B. Halsey late in the third quarter.
Illinois came up empty on four good scoring opportunities in the first half, mostly because of kicking failures.
Kenny Iwebema blocked two field goal attempts by Jason Reda, who was wide left on a chip shot 20-yarder. Another threat ended when Iowa's Jovon Johnson jumped in front of Jody Ellis to intercept Brasic's pass at the Hawkeyes' 2.
Reda's miss was the Illini's most disheartening moment of the half because they had driven from their own 17 to the Iowa 3, mixing runs and short passes to keep the ball for 8 minutes.