The Final Exam – Iowa 45 – Illinois 16
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By John Patchett (firstname.lastname@example.org) 10/10/17
The Iowa – Illinois game is in the books. The Hawkeyes pulled away in the Second Half at Kinnick Stadium last Saturday. It’s time to grade that final exam…
Iowa’ Offense got off to yet another slow start but picked up steam as the game progressed and crushed it in the Second Half. The Hawkeyes scored 21 points in the Fourth Quarter and have now outscored opponents in the Fourth Quarter this season 67-20. 441 yards of Total Offense is hard to complain about. Would have been an “A” except for the slow start thingy that needs fixing sooner rather than later.
- Quarterback A-
- Three more TD passes for 15 and only his second pick of the season. That kind ratio will get you lots of post-season accolades.
- Running Backs B+
- Akrum Wadley was got un-corked after two frustrating weeks and he moved into 10th all-time in Iowa history with 2246 rushing yards. Toren Young also had a nice game in his first start. Would have been an “A” except for Ivory Kelly-Martin’s fumble in the First Quarter.
- Receivers (WR & TE) A-
- 250 yards receiving is pretty darn good as are three TDs through the air. Stanley spread the wealth to seven different receivers (well, technically Tyler Wiegers hit the seventh one near the end of the game).
- Offensive Line B+
- Much improved in this game with Tristan Wirfs getting his first start and players getting back into their best positions. Still more gelling needed – and it was against Illinois – but definitely something to build on.
- This “bend but don’t break” thing is getting a bit ridiculous. Surrendering 446 yards of Total Offense to an offensively-challenged young Illini team is unacceptable. And, yes, I get that it’s only the final score that counts – and they also played way better in the Second Half – but Iowa’s D like Iowa’s O needs to get off to a faster start.
- Defensive Line C
- Just one sack and almost no pressure the entire game. Guys need to be much better than this.
- Linebackers B
- Josey Jewell tied for leading tackler again despite an apparent shoulder injury and missed PT, but Bo Bower re-emerged to get better tackle balance among the linebackers.
- Defensive Secondary B
- I was tempted to give the back end an “A” because of Brandon Snyder’s 89 yard pick-six and Amani Hooker’s pick at the goal line. But Josh Jackson looked a bit out of sorts, especially in the First Half. So a “B” seems more accurate for this game.
Special Teams A
You have to like what you’re seeing.
- Place-Kicking A
- PK Miguel Recinos continues to play well – in all phases. And oon-side kick was a thing of beauty.
- Punting B-
- True Freshman Ryan Gersonde finally got the start and did OK. Iowa only punted three times. Let’s see how he develops – particularly with respect to consistency which was Colton Rastetter’s problem.
- Punt Returns No Grade
- Not a factor in this game.
- Kickoff Return No Grade
- Also not a factor in this game.
- HC Kirk Ferentz Pass (Pass / Fail)
- “New” Kirk made an appearance in this game and ultimately it made a huge difference.
- OC Brian Ferentz B+
- See the Offensive Stats.
- DC Phil Parker B
- Situationally Iowa’s Defense continues to excel. But, hey, Phil – great Iowa Defenses don’t give up 446 yards to a team like Illinois – and let’s figure out the slow start thingy.
Prefense Defensive Player of the Week
Of course it has to be Safety Brandon Snyder. An amazing six month recovery from his ACL injury in the Spring. An 89 yard pick six. Inspired and inspiring play the entire game.
Prefense Hand Sanitizer and Surface Protectant – Remember, the best defense is Prefense.
T&K Roofing & Sheet Metal Coach of the Week
Kirk Ferentz – or to be more precise “New” Kirk. A fake punt. An on-side kick. Excellent Halftime adjustments. Fourth win of the season. History tells us his teams play their best as October and November unfold. That needs to happen again this season because the November part of the schedule, especially, is a bear.
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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.
Iowa – Illinois Week Content is at HawkeyesMic.com/Football.