– Unbeaten Iowa kicked off the supposedly soft part of its schedule with a win that wasn't exactly pleasing to the eye.

Coach Kirk Ferentz couldn't care less.

All he sees is that his Hawkeyes are 8-0.

Desmond King had an 88-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and 10th-ranked Iowa beat Maryland 31-15 Saturday.

Akrum Wadley, LeShun Daniels and Derrick Mitchell had touchdown runs for the Hawkeyes, who are 4-0 in the Big Ten.

They'll enter November unbeaten for just the second time in 17 seasons under Ferentz despite gaining just 53 yards in the second half.

"I don't know how good we are as a football team. But our guys are working hard and playing together," Ferentz said. "To move to 8-0, that's a pretty significant accomplishment."

Iowa used a touchdown late in the second quarter to lead 21-0 at halftime. The Hawkeyes defense took over from there, and King's return put the Hawkeyes ahead 31-7 with 7:38 left.

Maryland (2-6, 0-4) got within 14 as Iowa struggled to move the ball in the second half after adopting a more conservative approach.

But for the most part, the Terrapins reverted to the form that saw them score just six points over consecutive losses to West Virginia and Michigan.

Associated Press