IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa got exactly what it wanted out of Saturday's game against Ball State: an easy victory, plenty of rest for the regulars and healthy starters heading into next weekend's Big Ten opener.
Ricky Stanzi threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns and the No. 18 Hawkeyes bounced back from last week's disheartening loss at Arizona by trouncing Ball State 45-0.
Adam Robinson added 115 yards rushing and a pair of TDs for the Hawkeyes (3-1), who quickly overwhelmed the Cardinals on a soggy afternoon at Kinnick Stadium. Stanzi threw touchdown passes of 8 and 22 yards in the second quarter to put Iowa ahead 21-0 at halftime.
Robinson scored from 1 yard out early in the second half, and Stanzi's 45-yard TD pass to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos gave the Hawkeyes a 35-0 lead late in the third quarter.
Johnson-Koulianos had two touchdown receptions for the Hawkeyes, who had 562 yards of offense to just 112 for Ball State (1-3).
"We came out healthy, got the victory and got some of our younger, more inexperienced players, some valuable playing time," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Running back had become a concern for Iowa after Jewel Hampton went down for the year with a knee injury in last week's 34-27 loss to the Wildcats.
As long as Robinson stays healthy, the Hawkeyes shouldn't have much to worry about.
Iowa went to Robinson early and often, and he responded by passing the 100-yard mark in the second quarter. Robinson, a sophomore, also took a short pass 48 yards early in the third quarter, and his second 1-yard touchdown run put Iowa ahead 28-0.
Robinson added 75 yards receiving in just over two quarters of action, getting some much-needed rest with Penn State visiting Iowa City next Saturday night.
"We knew last week we had a bump in the road, but we didn't want to let Arizona beat us twice," Robinson said. "We didn't want to dwell on the loss. We wanted to move on and respond."
Iowa, which has outscored opponents 77-7 in the first half at home this season, opened the scoring on its second possession.
Thanks largely to their defense, the Hawkeyes never looked back.
Robinson took the last of seven straight carries in from 1 yard out to make it 7-0 midway through the first quarter. Stanzi pushed Iowa's lead to 14-0 with 5:40 left in the second quarter, rolling out to find Keenan Davis for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Iowa's offense looked a tad sluggish early on, but its defense held the Cardinals to 54 yards in the first half. Cornerback Micah Hyde picked up an interception and forced a fumble, adding to Ball State's woes.
Stanzi capitalized on that fumble recovery, finding Johnson-Koulianos on a 22-yard touchdown pass through a driving rain to make it 21-0 just before halftime. Stanzi found Johnson-Koulianos over the top again late in the third quarter for the pair's third TD in two weeks.
"We had all day to pass the ball," Stanzi said.
Ball State hung relatively close in a 24-13 loss at Purdue last week, but the Hawkeyes gave the Cardinals little space to work with. Ball State had nine punts and just eight first downs and was shut out for the first time since 2005.
"We didn't give any big plays up, and that's a good thing," Ferentz said. "We did some positive things out there, no question about that."
Eric Williams had 21 yards rushing for the Cardinals, who've lost three straight.
"They're a very, very, very complete football team and I think they can make a run the rest of the season," Ball State coach Stan Parrish said.
About the only issue the Hawkeyes faced -- besides the weather -- was their ongoing problems at kicker. It wasn't certain who'd kick field goals for Iowa because the Hawkeyes hadn't attempted one until the second quarter on Saturday. Freshman Michael Meyer got the nod, and promptly sent a 37-yarder wide left.
Meyer closed the scoring with a 25-yarder with 5:09 left.
Iowa linebacker Jeff Tarpinian and receiver Marvin McNutt left with undisclosed injuries, but Ferentz indicated that both should be fine moving forward.
That's good news for the Hawkeyes, who were able to put Arizona in its rearview mirror and begin preparing for Penn State.
"The guys handled the week well, and it's good to get out on the field and get a win," Ferentz said. "It's even better that we're healthy."
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