The Final Exam – Iowa 31 – North Texas 14

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By John Patchett (   09/18/17

The Iowa – North Texas Game is in the books. The Hawkeyes prevailed 31-14 at Kinnick Stadium last Saturday. It’s time to grade that final exam…


Offense       A-

Iowa had two touchdowns taken away by the officials – both questionable calls. The Hawkeyes in all likelihood could have scored another TD at the end of the game when they took a knee. That’s classic Kirk but I can think of a lot of other coaches who would have added to their points total to look better for the polls (Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, Nic Saban, and now James Franklin immediately come to mind). So if you added those three scores the Hawks could have racked up 52 points. I added the “minus” because of the USC penalty on Akrum Wadley – dumb, completely unnecessary, and something he’s been skirting for a few games. The Hawkeyes ran a whopping 86 plays and dominated time of possession by controlling the ball for 40:45 – that’s a wowsa number.

  • Quarterback A-
    • “Minus” once again because of the over-throws – but those are now inches and not feet, so that’s improvement. Still nit-picking because he’s played really well overall in his first three games as a starter – and is now sitting on 10 – count ‘em – 10 passing touchdowns.
  • Running Backs A
    • True-Freshman Ivory Kelly-Martin and Red-Shirt Freshman Toren Young stepped up big-time after Wadley and James Butler left the game with injuries. Next Men In – and they didn’t disappoint, combining for 152 rushing yards on 30 carries. Butler had 74 yards on 16 carries too before he left the field hurt. Iowa finished with 263 yards on the ground
  • Receivers (WR & TE) A
    • Six receivers (WRs and TEs) combined for 16 receptions for 197 yards and two more TDs. Keep that up and Iowa is going to win a lot of games this season.
  • Offensive Line A-
    • The line gave up just one sack but UNT’s 3-4 defensive schemes caused some problems, especially early. Second Half – a different story: power football, classic Big Ten Bullies. North Texas was no match.

Defense       B+

Surrendered 14 points in the First Half, allowing UNT to take a Halftime 14-10 lead. But shut out the vaunted “Air Raid” Offense in the last two quarters. DC Phil Parker figured out how to substitute effectively against that up-tempo offense – much better played than at Iowa State. That was especially important given the heat. Surrendered 305 yards of total offense – but only 93 in the Second Half.

  • Defensive Line B
    • Just one sack. Needs to keep working on pressuring the opposing QB.
  • Linebackers B
    • Too many missed tackles; not enough help on pressure nor in pass coverage.
  • Defensive Secondary B
    • Gave up 193 passing yards but just one passing TD. CB Joshua Jackson had a nice pick near game’s end. S Miles Taylor actually made more tackles than he missed. CB Manny Rugamba bounced back nicely from his performance at Iowa State. Jackson also blocked a punt that was recovered by Rugamba in the Second Quarter.

Special Teams      B

Kind of a mixed bag – still a work in progress.

  • Place-Kicking A
    • PK Miguel Recinos remains perfect and his kick-offs are deep.
  • Punting B
    • Better in this game but my trust level remains low. I’m convinced Ryan Gersonde will see the field unless Colton Rastetter gains consistency.
  • Punt Returns B
    • Hard to grade just one punt return (Jackson for 17 yards).
  • Kickoff Return B+
    • Kelly-Martin returns two kicks, averaging 23 yards per return. Keep an eye on him – certainly has the potential to break some big ones.


  • HC Kirk Ferentz Pass (Pass / Fail)
    • Game management was good. And he maintained his cool with the officiating which was pretty awful – didn’t even throw his headset when he would have been justified in doing so on several occasions.
  • OC Brian Ferentz A
    • I really like his quick growth as OC and play-caller. He’s mixing things up, continues to move away from historical tendencies, and is showing enough to begin to give DCs bad dreams – at this rate those might turn into nightmares sooner rather than later.
  • DC Phil Parker A-
    • Phil made some nice Halftime adjustments, figured out effective substitution patterns vs. UNT’s up-tempo offense, had a pretty good defensive game plan in place. The Mean Green came into this game averaging 45.5 points, 580.5 yards, and 79 plays per game plus dominating time of possession (35:28).

Prefense Defensive Player of the Week

I’m coloring way outside the lines on this one. I’m giving it to Iowa’s entire Offense for building up 40:45 time of possession and several huge clock-eating drives. It’s hard for an opponent’s offense to score – no matter how high-powered it might be – when its standing on its own sidelines watching for much of the game.

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T&K Roofing & Sheet Metal Coach of the Week

A lot of credit is due both Phil and Brian for this win. But this week I’m going with the old head man himself. You finish non-conference play undefeated for just the seventh time in your 19 seasons, and your climbing ever so much closer to becoming Iowa’s winningest head football coach in history. Kirk has ushered in some more “New Kirk” things, including a different (and very effective) philosophy on Fourth Downs. He let the officials know of his displeasure for their poor performance and the incessant reviews but did so controlling his own emotions. There are a lot of head coaches out there who would not have retained their cool, given what was going on out on that field. Plus, taking a knee at the end instead of tacking on another seven points to look better to the voters in the polls – well, that’s classic and classy Kirk.

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Please remember, as always, these are subjective observations and open to debate and discussion more often than not. Agree or disagree – that’s part of the fun of college football.

The final game stats are below on the following page.

Iowa-North Texas Week Content is at