The Final Exam – Purdue 24 – Iowa 15

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By John Patchett (   11/21/17

The Iowa – Purdue Senior Day Game is in the books. It was a huge fail as the Hawkeyes appeared to be out-prepared, out-played, and out-coached. This game was all-around pretty much of a disaster – especially for this late in the 2017 season. It’s time to grade that final exam…


Offense       D

Iowa’s Offense was worse than inconsistent – it was pretty much bad all the way around – for the second straight week. 1.625 points per quarter over the last two games is not going to win few, if any, games in major college football. And what’s worse is that it is regressing. Teams still don’t respect Iowa’s passing game, load the box, blitz, etc. – you know the routine – and Iowa’s Offensive coaches apparently can’t figure out how to solve that.

  • Quarterback B-
    • Nate Stanley was lucky to be walking Sunday morning after taking a beating behind the line of scrimmage (six sacks). He did throw one pick but finished by completing 16 passes on 33 attempts for 176 yards and one TD. Those stats should point to a win more often than not. But, alas…
  • Running Backs B
    • The ButWad Combo of Akrum Wadley and James Butler turned in solid performances in their last game at Kinnick Stadium – but Nate Stanley was sacked a whopping six times for losses totaling 38 yards. Wadley finished the day with 83 yards and one TDon 22 carries – Butler with 40 yards on seven carries. But Iowa’s Offensive Line (and the coaches) couldn’t solve Purdue’s 3-4, 4-3 Defense and that cost dearly.
  • Receivers (WR & TE) B-
    • Stanley completed passes to seven different receivers (once again) for 176 passing yards and one TD. The tight ends were rediscovered after disappearing at Camp Randall Stadium: T.J. Hockenson in particular looked really good and Noah Fant caught Iowa’s lone passing touchdown. The wide receivers, though, were too inconsistent with too many drops (also, again).
  • Offensive Line D
    • Didn’t do enough to open holes for the running game. Iowa is now 0-11 since the start of the 2015 season when failing to rush for at least 100 yards – it finished with just 82 in this game. A lot of that blame can fairly be placed on the O-Line’s performance in my opinion. And C James Daniels had another early snap – his third in the last two games and two of those resulted in turnovers. Don’t know what’s going on there but it shouldn’t be happening in games 11 and 12 of the season.

Defense       C-

Iowa’s Defense has struggled the last two games – and you can fairly blame some (if not much) of that on Iowa’s lack of offensive anything. But the D has become too leaky in the secondary other than Josh Jackson – and with Amani Hooker still out of action due to injury. Iowa held PU to just 100 yards rushing – but gave up 229 and three touchdowns through the air. Not good, Bob…

  • Defensive Line A-
    • Iowa got four sacks and limited the Boilers rushing yards. So the D-L pretty much did its job.
  • Linebackers B
    • Great play by Josey Jewell and solid by the other two seniors Ben Niemann and Bo Bower. But Bower in particular contributed a couple of times to PU’s success through the air.
  • Defensive Secondary D
    • Pretty bad – other than Josh Jackson. Iowa allowed the Boilers receivers to shine. Manny Rugamba was bad – all day long – in what is probably the worst performance of his career. He lost his starting job because of it – and deserved to do so. If only Jackson could play both CB positions simultaneously the Hawkeyes would really have something. Plus Iowa really needs SS Amani Hooker to recover from his injury and return to the lineup.

Special Teams        D

The only reason this isn’t “F” is because of Miguel Recinos and Iowa’s kick return game.

  • Place-Kicking          A
    • Repeating myself weekly here, but PK Miguel Recinos continues to be a team-strength. Even as the weather has become “Novemberish” he has continued to kick well and the kickoffs are a team strength.
  • Punting F
    • Colten Rastetter is just pretty much bad at his job and getting worse it appears. If Ferentz isn’t going to play Ryan Gersonde than it seems clear (to me at least) that Iowa’s starting punter the next two games should be Nate Stanley – he’s probably the best punter on the team anyway.
  • Punt Returns F
    • MVB’s judgment was inexplicably impaired for the second consecutive week – then there was the muffed/fumbled punt that led to Purdue’s final score of the game.
  • Kickoff Return B+
    • Ivory Kelly-Martin was good, again, and Ihmir Smith-Marsette had a great return in the fourth quarter that set up Iowa’s final score – two true freshmen that bode well in this department for Iowa’s future.


  • HC Kirk Ferentz Fail (Pass / Fail)
    • Two weeks in a row. But head coaching in this game was pretty bad. The team did not appear to be adequately prepared or ready to play – Nate Stanley said that in his post-game media appearance. But anyone with two eyes could see the same thing. Highly questionable decisions on choosing to start on Offense after winning the coin flip, then taking the wind in the fourth quarter rather than the third, had a lot to do with this loss. Then the “football dumb” choice to go for two after the last Iowa TD – instead of taking your one point PAT and still having a chance to recover an onside kick and tie the game – there’s just no other way to describe it the “dumb”. I suppose you could be generous and term it “inexplicable” but I’m not feeling particularly generous at this point in the season. Moreover, in his post-game presser, based on his own words, Ferentz appeared clueless. The natives are getting very restless – again.
  • OC Brian Ferentz F
    • Pretty much bad all the way around. Questionable play-calling in numerous instances and it took Iowa’s O-Line Brain Trust nearly four quarters to even figure out a way to try to slow down Purdue’s relentless blitzing. Iowa’s Offense has averaged 1.625 points per quarter in the last two games. Initially I gave him a “D” but on further reflection changed it to a well-deserved “F”.
  • DC Phil Parker C-
    • It’s hard to be overly critical of Iowa’s Defense when the Offense is completely inept. Nevertheless, this was far from the best game of the season defensively. Iowa was leaky in the defensive backfield – which Phil personally coaches. The start of the second half was an unmitigated disaster for all of Iowa’s secondary not named Josh Jackson.

Prefense Defensive Player of the Week

There were a couple of options. But it was Senior Day and, once again, LB Josey Jewell shined: 13 total tackles to lead both teams, two sacks, three tackles for loss. What a career for someone that was pretty much passed over by major college football programs coming out of high school (and nearly passed over by Iowa as well). You can clearly say now, in retrospect, that when the Hawkeyes signed Jewell they found a diamond in the rough.

Prefense Hand Sanitizer and Surface Protectant – Remember, the best defense is Prefense.

T&K Roofing & Sheet Metal Coach of the Week

We’re not giving an award this week. Nobody deserved it after that performance in the Purdue game.

T&K Roofing & Sheet Metal – Building Strong, Building Safe Since 1962.

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 – Purdue Week Content is at