The Final Exam: Iowa 55 – Ohio State 24
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By John Patchett (firstname.lastname@example.org) 11/06/17
The Iowa – Ohio State Game is in the books. Or should we say the “History Books”. The Hawkeyes overwhelmed the Buckeyes in Iowa City last Saturday in stunning fashion. It’s time to grade that final exam…
Iowa’s Offense was inconsistent and more often than not unproductive much of this season. Against Ohio State – it was nothing short of amazing, dominant, and extremely potent. Iowa wore special alternate uniforms in this game and the performance by the Offense had some wondering who was actually inside those uniforms. But I digress.
- Quarterback A+
- Nate Stanley was brilliant, spectacular, almost perfect. Those passes that have been overthrown through the first eight games? Almost all were pinpoint in this contest. He completed passes with Buckeyes Defenders wrapped around his ankles, knees, and torso – didn’t matter. Five TD passes with no interceptions. A final QB rating of 179. 20-31 passes for 226 yards to seven receivers. How Stanley wasn’t named B1G Offensive Player of the Week is inexplicable. There should be an investigation. The only logical explanation in Russian interference in the voting.
- Running Backs A+
- Akrum Wadley was back to doing Akrum Wadley things. But this time it was against The Ohio State Defense. Couple of jaw-dropping runs. James Butler was also solid – and important in this game. Toren Young came in late and ran it right down the Buckeyes throats for an icing-on-the-cake TD near the end of the game – Ohio State knew what was coming and couldn’t stop it. 243 yards rushing against a Defense that was only allowing 107.2 per game.
- Receivers (WR & TE) A+
- Stanley completed passes to seven different receivers. The play of the tight ends, in particular, destroyed OSU’s Defense time and time again – Noah Fant and T.J. Hockensen combined for 125 yards and four TDs. Special commendation to Long Snapper Tyler Kluver who caught one pass for 18 yards – we’re not making that up (see below).
- Offensive Line A+
- Iowa’s Offensive Line has been inconsistent all season. Injuries, guys playing out of position. Mixing and matching. A Redshirt Freshman at Left Tackle. A True Freshman at Right Tackle. Ohio State’s Defensive Line is one of the best in the nation. It’s Defensive Ends in particular call themselves “The Rushmen” and came into this game with 30 sacks – they got just one vs. Iowa. Iowa’s Offensive Line played its best game of the season – by far – man-handling Buckeyes Defenders time and time again.
Iowa’s Defense set the tone on the very first play of the game – a pick six off Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett. It held the Buckeyes well below its offensive averages in – well – everything: 24 points (46.2 average), 371 yards of total offense (571.2 average), 163 yards rushing (244.4 average), and 208 yards passing (326.9 average). And so forth and so on. This was better than “bend but don’t break” – it was a nearly perfectly executed game plan. But for the goofy, un-called, failed fake punt late in the fourth quarter that immediately led to Ohio State’s last seven points from Iowa’s 22 yard line, the Buckeyes would have lost by 38 instead of “only” 31.
- Defensive Line A
- Only 1 sack but pressure all day long and several batted down and/or deflected passes (which seems to be becoming a thing for those guys this season).
- Linebackers A
- Jewell, Niemann, and Bower contained, covered, stopped, smothered – and combined for 21 tackles.
- Defensive Secondary A
- One of the best defensive games against a terrific group of receivers (wide receivers and tight ends) in college football. And then, there was Josh Jackson’s performance. Oh, yeah – and Amani Hooker’s pick six on OSU’s first offensive play of the game.
Special Teams A
The fake field goal play deep in Buckeyes territory was absolutely brilliant. The “Polecat” saw the holder complete a pass to the long snapper who tripped and fell down on the Ohio State two yard line for a first and goal. I think it’s highly likely that is one of the only, if not the first, time in history a long snapper caught a pass in an actual game.
The only thing that went wrong was P Colten Rastetter taking it on himself to run a fake punt that failed to get the first down from deep in Iowa’s own territory near the end of the game when Iowa already had the win in the bank. Dumb – even stupid. Disrespectful. Totally unnecessary. Couldn’t read Kirk’s lips when he grabbed Rastetter by the collar when he came off the field – but I’m pretty sure it was something along those lines.
- Place-Kicking A
- PK Miguel Recinos continues to be a team-strength. 7-7 PATs. 2-2 FGs. Effective kick-offs completely negating any OSU return possibilities. A very pleasant surprise for the Hawkeyes this year.
- Punting B
- For some reason Ryan Gersonde didn’t see the field. Rastetter did and he was adequate. Other, than, see above…
- Punt Returns n/a
- MVB’s fielding was solid – but zero return yards.
- Kickoff Return B
- Ivory Kelly-Martin was good, again, with two returns for 38 yards. Ihmir Smith-Marsette fielded one near the goal line and was smothered.
- HC Kirk Ferentz Pass+ (Pass / Fail)
- The biggest defeat for Ohio State since 1994 – the largest margin of victory ever for Iowa in the series – the most points scored by Iowa in the series. The fake field goal was mind-boggling – and brilliant. Beat the spread by 50.5 points (is that even possible?)!
- OC Brian Ferentz A+
- By far his best play-calling of the season (and of his career). Certainly, the best scheming against Ohio State’s vaunted and highly ranked defense the entire season. Repeatedly isolating Iowa’s tight ends on Ohio State’s linebackers was extremely productive time and time again.
- DC Phil Parker A+
- Great game plan and schemes, terrific in-game execution.
Prefense Defensive Player of the Week
There are several possibilities including one of the usual suspects – Linebacker Josey Jewell. But this week’s choice is Defensive Back Joshua Jackson who had a career type of game, elevating his season-long good play into the stratosphere in this contest: three picks off of Buckeyes Star QB J.T. Barrett – one of them a spectacular one-handed grab at the goal line, three solo tackles, and blanket type of coverage in the defensive backfield throughout the game. He was also named Co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
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T&K Roofing & Sheet Metal Coach of the Week
This week’s award is a three-way tie: Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, Offensive Coordinator Brian Ferentz, Defensive Coordinator Phil Parker. There’s no other fair way to do it. Terrific coaching for the game week of preparation and brilliant for the game itself – one of the best in recent memory.
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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 – Ohio State Week Content is at HawkeyesMic.com/Football.