In an early Big Ten Conference matchup, the Iowa football team defeated Rutgers 30-0. Here is a quick postgame recap and our initial impressions.
For the first time since the 2015 season, the Iowa football team is in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West. I get that this is just a technicality at this point, but after watching this game, I’m not sure it isn’t foreshadowing.
When watching this game, I thought back to what I said to a friend after last year. I wonder what Iowa would look like if they had their standard Iowa defense and just an average offense.
This…wasn’t an average offense. The Iowa football team looked good the second they were outside of the shadow of their own endzone.
Yes, the field position game that Rutgers played (and played quite well) slowed Iowa down quite a bit to the point that this game is over by halftime if Rutgers punting game isn’t so good.
Please note that Iowa was up 20-0 at the half, despite the Rutgers punting game.
With that in mind, kudos to new Iowa punter, Michael Sleep-Dalton, who didn’t let Iowa completely lose the field position game. Punting lost Iowa games last year, so this improvement was a very welcome sight.
Getting back to Iowa’s offense, here are some statistics, courtesy of ESPN, to summarize:
– Nate Stanley 16/28 for 236 yards, 3 TDs
– 37 rushes for 190 yards
– 4 Receptions for 113 yards for Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa’s leading receiver
– 434 Total Yards
There were mistakes. Nate missed a wide-open receiver in the first half, which would have been six, but got the TD a couple of plays later. He also hit a few deep passes, so I wouldn’t use this as a premise for the “Stanley doesn’t throw with touch” argument.
Additionally, towards the end of the first half, Iowa had the ball in the red zone with around 40 seconds left. Iowa did not call a timeout, which essentially put it all on one play which resulted in a holding penalty.
Can we really talk about mistakes in a game so thoroughly won? This, according to the FS1 broadcast, was the first time Iowa opened the Big Ten season up with a shutout since 1981.
The defense was…an Iowa defense. The national sports media doesn’t talk about it enough, but Iowa’s defense is consistently somewhere between great and elite. I know that the opponent was Rutgers, but they did drop 48 points last week.
Here is some statistics, courtesy of ESPN’s box score, that summarizes Iowa’s defensive effort:
– 0 Points given up
– 125 Total Yards given up
– 5 First Downs given up
– 8 Three-and-outs, 3 Turnovers (2 INTs & 1 Fumble Lost)
We didn’t see much of AJ Epenesa terrorizing Miami of Ohio, but we certainly saw it this week against Rutgers. He picked up a sack and seemed to be constantly altering throws.
A true sign of how dominating this performance was? How about an appearance from our backups with over 9 minutes left in the game? Petras actually had the opportunity to throw a few passes.
Last week, I said that it was too early to start booking your tickets to Indianapolis. If for whatever reason you decided to book them anyway, you should be feeling a lot better about your decision after this game. This was as dominating of a game as I’ve seen Iowa win in a long time. Go Hawks!