Nate Stanley can lead the game-winning drive
It’s something that has been put in to question many times this season as the Iowa football team has had opportunities in each of their four losses this season to either close the game out or win the game and on every occasion, the Hawkeyes have failed. This isn’t necessarily all on Nate Stanley, but as the star quarterback with NFL aspirations, you expect him to be able to lead the game-winning drive in those situations. In two of the four losses, Nate Stanley threw interceptions (Wisconsin and Penn State), one of the four losses had multiple fumbles (Northwestern), and the last one was more or less a result of penalties (Purdue).
Moreover, it wasn’t just the last drive of the game that raised concerns it was the general inability of Nate Stanley to lead the drive that makes the difference between average quarterbacks and great quarterbacks.
Against Nebraska, Nate Stanley took a step in the right direction after a game where he consistently struggled throughout the day to hit his receivers.
On the last drive of regulation, Stanley showed moxie and grit. Although he only threw two passes on the drive, he completed arguably one of the biggest passes of his career on a clutch fourth down play where most in the building thought Stanley would be pooch punting the ball. Instead he completed a perfect pass to TJ Hockenson up the seam for ten yards to set up the Miguel Recinos game-winning field goal.
For a team that is 8-10 plays away from being 12-0 this season, this is the type of progress I like to see heading into next season.