Sure, Iowa just rocked the Hoosiers' world, 45-9. But how much do we really know? What was really important about beating Indiana? What does it all mean, Basil? The Takeaway has the answer.
Mike Daniels got up. First and foremost, Mike Daniels is okay. The reserve defensive lineman collapsed on the field following the Wisconsin game. It's unclear whether he lost consciousness, but the fact that he walked off the field under his own power is a blessing; sometimes they don't get up. Chalk it up to dehydration, heat, whatever, but be very glad the Hawkeyes aren't walking out of the tunnel this weekend with the decals off their helmets and #93 stickers.
Don't start jocking the Jewel Thief just yet. I know, I know. Dig that Hampton (spelled with an Ampton). 114 yards as a true freshman is no joke, and DAMN did you see that dive on the sideline? I know. But you don't win starting jobs by running it up on disinterested backups, which is what Hampton did--again. I think it's safe to say that even when Paki comes back, your #2 is still Hampton. But he's only showing occasional flashes when it matters. Do you really think Hampton can produce against a front seven like the Badgers'? Only if they've given up.
The staff can breathe easily--for a week. Iowa sure looked like a well-coached football team, didn't they? The passing game was crisp, Greene rumbled for over a hundy again (in three quarters and on a bum wheel, no less), and the line of scrimmage beloned to Iowa all game long. It was an ass-kicking of historic proportions; Iowa hasn't posted a larger road victory in the Big Ten since 1985.1985, as you may recall, was a good year for Iowa.
That's not to say, of course, that this is Iowa's best team since then or anywhere close. But it speaks to the overall level of dominance Iowa displayed Saturday, and that bodes well for this year and beyond. Be honest--there's no damned way that two months ago, you could have predicted Iowa would be 4-3 right now andstill favored over Wisconsin.
And at the same time, there's still no room for the letdown games that have plagued the Hawkeyes since, well, what? 2005? The only remaining game in which there's an obvious favorite would be the Penn State tilt, and Iowa's not winning that one. They could go 5-1, or they could go 0-6. Where this season goes from here will determine where the program goes from here.
Indiana found success by attacking one member of the Iowa defense, and only one. Regular readers of BHGP know exactly who the lone weak link of the defense is: FS Brett Greenwood. Being that this is--for all intents and purposes--the same ultra-conservative Iowa defense that Norm Parker was trotting out in 2002, offensive coordinators should know exactly what to expect Iowa defenders to do on 1st and 10 or 2nd and reasonable by now.
That in mind, it's clear what quarterbacks need to do to have success passing against Iowa--find Brett Greenwood, then throw at him. INSTANT SUCCESS. Don't be fooled by Greenwood's pick in the first half--he was merely the closest player to a tipped ball. I can't recall a single good play in coverage by Greenwood all week long. Iowa has multiple strong safeties who are capable of starting. You're telling menone of them can shift over to FS? Hard to believe.
So since Greenwood's spot in the secondary appears to be in no danger whatsoever, Parker had better be drawing up coverages to give Greenwood more help; he can't adequately cover a deep half by himself. If this means Spievey or Fletcher needs to start playing five yards further back to take away that easy corner route, that's one solution. Or take Edds off man coverage on the slot and have him cheat middle/deep so Greenwood can get to the sideline in time to make a play on the pass rather than tackle a guy after he makes a 15-yard catch. Whatever, dosomething.
It's easy to beat a team when they give up. I don't know if Kellen Lewis tells his team something nice every time they're in the huddle or if Ben Chappell slept with the offensive line coach's mother or what, but when Lewis stayed on the sideline to start the second half, Indiana's hopes--hell, their motivation--vanished. Iowa proved just two weeks prior that a 17-9 halftime lead is hardly a guarantor of victory, but unlike the plucky, undertalented, chess-loving Northwestern team, the Hoosiers simply rolled over.
That led to all sorts of second-half fun--for Iowa, anyway. The Hawkeyes held the ball for well over 20 of the second half's 30 minutes, and Jewel Hampton rushed for 85 yards in the fourth quarter alone. We're not saying Hampton would have kept that up for four or even two quarters if it was just him carrying the rock. We are saying Indiana flat out quit, tired of trying to fight a brutal front five.
From here, Iowa faces another team that quit in the second half, the newly woeful Wisconsin Badgers. Yo Bucky--what in the fuck? Remember that Wisconsin was in the top 10 just a few weeks ago; now, they're 0-3 in the conference, reeling from a 48-7 ass-kicking by Penn State (at Camp Randall!), and trying to figure out how the hell to win without a quarterback or any other means to stop a defense from teeing off on their tailbacks.
Their work is cut out for them, as Iowa has been downright unpleasant to opposing tailbacks. Indiana's top rusher was Ben Chappell, and that is not a typo. No player has rushed for over 100 yards on the Hawkeyes all season, and of the three rushing TDs they've given up on the year, two were on QB draws. Overall, Iowa gives up under 100 yards rushing per game on a measly 3.1 yards per carry, and that's having faced backs like Tyrell Sutton, LeSean McCoy, Javon Ringer, and A'Mod Ned. NED, PEOPLE. To say the Wisconsin offense has its work cut out for them is a mild understatement.
The line for Saturday's game is Iowa -3.5 right now, and we expect it to move in Iowa's favor by a point or two. Wisconsin is in total disarray, and the only sure thing about their quarterback situation is that it'll suck on Saturday. More on Wisconsin later this week as we bring in a guest expert to tell us more about the BAD-gers. SEE WHAT I DID THERE? DO YOU???