Known for being pretty tight-lipped, there was an interesting quote by an Iowa football player after Saturday’s loss that has me sensing some frustration.
It took nearly 120 minutes of play for the Iowa football team to get a touchdown after failing to score one against Michigan and being held to just two field goals for the first three-quarters of Saturday’s loss to Penn State.
Much of this could be blamed on offensive line play, specifically the interior offensive line, but there is other blame that could go around if we want to point fingers. Against Michigan, it was questionable play calling, and bad coverage reads resulting in turnovers. Versus Penn State, there were drops, untimely turnovers, and a return of some inaccurate passing.
The point is, the Iowa football team lost, and there’s a myriad of reasons why.
One, however, stands out a bit to me given a quote we heard after Saturday’s game.
Brandon Smith, when speaking to a reporter, had this to say:
Before I react to that, I want to introduce the caveat that I am not personally speaking for Brandon Smith, just giving my opinion.
Now back to the comment, you can tell the guy is frustrated, but what is he frustrated at?
To me, it boils down to Brian Ferentz and Nate Stanley. Time and time again this season Brandon Smith has proven that he has developed into a reliable wide receiver who is not just an insane contested catch kind of guy, but a better and more pronounced route runner as well. The Iowa football team just needs to give him a chance and call his number more. That falls on Brian Ferentz.
Now for Nate Stanley. He’s got to deliver a more accurate ball. Brandon Smith, who finished with 7 catches for 86 yards and 1 touchdown, made one of the best catches I have ever seen for his one and only touchdown. Had that ball not been delivered directly into the corner’s hands, though, it wouldn’t have had to be such a difficult play.
Moreover, earlier in the game with the Hawks beating on the door of Penn State’s endzone, Smith ran a beautiful slant route that created separation. If Stanley hits him in his hands instead of behind him at his feet, that’s a touchdown and we could be talking about the 5-1 Iowa football team instead of the 4-2 version.
If I am Brandon Smith, I’m frustrated as heck. What more does he have to do? As he said above, he can’t get the ball to himself.