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Christensen fills in well for Tate, leads Iowa to win

Oct 28, 2006 - 7:48 PM IOWA CITY, Iowa (Ticker) -- With star Drew Tate watching from the sidelines, young Jake Christensen guided Iowa to a much-needed victory.

Christensen threw two touchdown passes in his first collegiate start as Iowa held on for a 24-14 non-conference triumph over Northern Illinois.

The win snapped a two-game skid for the Hawkeyes (6-3), who limped into Saturday's contest after a disappointing 20-6 loss last weekend to Big Ten Conference rival Michigan, the No. 2 team in the nation.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz also was faced with the difficult task of finding a replacement for Tate, the Hawkeyes' all-conference quarterback who is recovering from surgery to his injured left hand.

But Christensen and the Iowa offense did not miss a beat without their senior leader. A redshirt freshman, the 20-year-old Christensen completed 19-of-30 passes for 256 yards and an interception. His favorite target was 6-7 tight end Scott Chandler, who caught five passes for 63 yards and a score.

Albert Young, who rushed for 124 yards on 25 carries, gave Iowa the lead for good with a seven-yard TD run with 7:46 remaining in the opening quarter.

After Kyle Schlicher drilled a 38-yard field goal early in the second quarter, Christensen pushed the Hawkeyes' advantage to 17-0 with his first career TD pass, a six-yard strike to Dominique Douglas just 18 seconds before the break.

Northern Illinois (5-4) clawed within 17-14 thanks to a one-yard TD run by Garrett Wolfe and a 25-yard scoring pass from Phil Horvath to Britt Davis with 8:40 remaining. But Christensen sealed the victory with his second TD, a 10-yard pass to Chandler with 3:56 left.

A Heisman Trophy candidate, Wolfe was stifled by Iowa's defense, gaining just 66 yards on 22 carries. Horvath went 15-of-30 for 123 yards and two interceptions for the Huskies, who fell to 0-6 all-time against the Hawkeyes.

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