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The Final Exam: Iowa 17 – Minnesota 10

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By John Patchett (   10/30/17

The Iowa – Minnesota Game is in the books. The Hawkeyes play their third 17-10 game of the season but this time it’s a win at Kinnick Stadium last Saturday. And Floyd of Rosedale remains in Iowa City for at least another year. It’s time to grade that final exam…


Offense       C+

Iowa’s Offense was better – at least at the start of each half – which is a big improvement. In fact, it was the first time all season the Offense scored on its first drive in each half of a game. It’s just that it couldn’t score otherwise – except for one field goal (which turned out to be pretty important). But something’s better than nothing – especially compared to the debacle at Northwestern. More consistency

  • Quarterback A
    • Another passing TD for Nate Stanley. And the one interception was about as bizarre as it gets, bouncing off Ihmir Smith-Marsette’s face-mask and into the hands of a Gopher defender (who, based on still photos, didn’t even complete the catch). 190 yards through the air with 15 completions spread to eight receivers and a 45 yard thing of beauty to TE Noah Fant for the TD.
  • Running Backs B-
    • James Butler’s return from injury seemed to help Akrum Wadley and the running game in general. Wadley finishes with 70 yards rushing and a 4.4 YPC.
  • Receivers (WR & TE) C+
    • As noted above, Stanley completed passes to eight different receivers and Fant gets redemption for dropping the last pass in Evanston. But, again, too many dropped passes on catchable throws.
  • Offensive Line B
    • The Line gave up no sacks and generally gave Stanley the time he needed to throw his passes. Better run blocking in this game, too – but still considerable room for improvement in that regard.

Defense       A

Iowa’s Defense did just about everything it needed to do. It held Minnesota and its trio of running backs to 142 yards rushing vs. its season average of 188. And while WR Tyler Johnson finished with 92 yards receiving, 63 of those came on one catch – the only big play Iowa gave up the entire game.

  • Defensive Line A
    • 4 sacks and a fair amount of pressure throughout the game. Never gave the Gophers QB much time to do anything.
  • Linebackers A-
    • Back to their old form with Josey Jewell leading the way once again – 11 more tackles to pad his B1G lead in that category.
  • Defensive Secondary A
    • The entire secondary was good nearly the entire game, minus the one 63 yard completion. Josh Jackson was terrific – again – and Manny Rugamba had a pretty solid game. The safety play was borderline outstanding – both by Amani Hooker and Jack Gervase who started in place of Brandon Snyder.

Special Teams      B-

Very cold – and pretty windy. So considering those factors, it was a decent performance.

  • Place-Kicking A
    • PK Miguel Recinos hit the important field goal late to give that extra three points of cushion.
  • Punting C+
    • The cold and wind seemed to impact Ryan Gersonde more than it might have. Colten Rastetter, who appears to be the designated “rugby-style” punter was able to tell the wind “never mind” a few times. The Gophers could only get a total of four yards on punt returns. Iowa will take that any day – any team would for that matter.
  • Punt Returns B
    • Matt VandeBerg returned to the starting role he held before Josh Jackson took over that responsibility early in the season. MVB was solid – nothing special – but solid.
  • Kickoff Return B
    • Ivory Kelly-Martin had three returns for 60 yards. I keep saying this, but he sure looks like he is going to pop one of those for a TD before the season is over.


  • HC Kirk Ferentz Pass (Pass / Fail)
    • The team seemed better prepared from the outset this week. Now if the Offense can just get more consistent.
  • OC Brian Ferentz C+
    • A huge improvement from the Northwestern Game. Used 1st Down passes on the two opening drives – going away from tendencies. Then seemed to stop doing that much of the rest of the time. Would have been a B- but for the press box outburst at Halftime. I will be stunned if the Big Ten doesn’t hand down some kind of punishment since it was directly aimed at the replay booth personnel. I suspect it was a pretty awkward conversation between father and son and being more “professional”.
  • DC Phil Parker A
    • He just keeps quietly (well, maybe not quietly on the sidelines) going about his job and in terms of holding down opponents’ scoring this is heading towards one of his better defenses since becoming DC.

Prefense Defensive Player of the Week

CB Josh Jackson. He had four PBUs to go along with three tackles and the tipped pass in the end zone that resulted in Gervase’s interception, snuffing out one of the few threats Minnesota had the entire game. He’s getting better by the game and its really turning Iowa’s defensive secondary into a team strength.

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T&K Roofing & Sheet Metal Coach of the Week

Phil Parker again. He’s going to have to build a bigger awards case if this keeps up.

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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.

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