I am not writing this as a drunk (maybe), irrational Iowa fan. I am writing this as a genuine football fan. I think there is a beauty to well played football. This applies to both sides of the ball. I believe the “non-highlights” are far more important to the overall game than what Sportscenter would lead you to believe. With that said, here are some thoughts on where Iowa can make scheme changes moving forward:
The OL may not be up to the Iowa standard, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways around it. Moving McNutt (or Davis) to the slot for a few select plays and letting them run slants or out routes would slow down the opposing LBs and move a corner to the 3rd WR and put a LB (or nickle) on McNutt. The resulting match-up could provide the OL with the match-ups needed to spring Coker to the 2nd level, if not a straight advantage to abuse in the passing game.
On defense, I believe a 3-4 would be very beneficial this year. Since the front four is having trouble creating pressure, moving to a 3-4 would allow a lot of versatility not currently available. The 4th rusher would come from various positions (tough to ID), and the remaining 3 LBs could play zone to limit the crossing patterns that have burned us over the years. We have some speed and ability at LB (Morris, Kirksey, Nielsen) to make this scheme successful. If we stay with the 4-3, I still think the zone is a good idea. Play the zone shallow (5-7 yards from the line) and encourage the LBs to jump routes. Also play the MLB zone deeper to limit the seam. Additionally, have the corners force the action inside. This makes safety help easier and the shallow passes are taken away by the LBs.
I have many more X and O ideas, but I will save them for the comments if the discussion allows. These seem like they would have the biggest impact moving forward. I know the 3-4 isn’t going to happen, but moving our better receivers inside to create match-up problems seems plausible. Today sucked, and I hope we can make adjustments moving forward to avoid these chronic issues.