WELL, THAT BECAME A GLORIFIED SCRIMMAGE. So, this week we'll condense the usual two posts (one looking at offense, the other defense and special teams) into one.
THE READ OPTION. Hey, Jake Rudock kept the ball!
Probably shouldn't have, but there's one linebacker to beat and he's two yards off the LOS. Rudock needs to work on his reads and his was a good chance to do it. With the score at this particular moment though, you might like him to hand it off.
We did see Jake use his legs when a play breaks down.
Iowa had 1st and 20 on this play and set up a screen expecting some pressure. The pressure never came and Jake took the ball down and used the blockers set up to lead for Damon Bullock and gained 20+ yards. This is where Jake appears to excel, using his head. This is a veteran play by a guy that's got only four starts under his belt at the college level.
C.J. BEATHARD CAN RUN THE OPTION. Marc Morehouse had mentioned before on the On Iowa Podcast that players told him Beathard was the best among Iowa's QBs at running the "option" part of the play. He showed us why. It's important to note that Western Michigan had completely mailed it in by the later part of the game but Beathard showed some wheels. This keep came after a hand off to the back from the same look that WMU's backside crashed down and made the play in the backfield.
The kid can throw too. The quarterback race was close over the summer, how close though we really don't know for sure. Kirk Ferentz said the staff would be comfortable with any of their three quarterbacks but the nod went to Rudock early in fall camp. Again, it was late in the game and Iowa had a big lead but Beathard got single coverage on Powell on the outside and showed off that arm.
Iowa doesn't have a quarterback controversy, but, for a red shirt freshman Beathard looked pretty darn good. If something were to happen to Rudock you have to feel good about Beathard coming off the bench.
The defensive line got pressure and made WMU quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen make quick decisions and bad throws all day. The overall defensive performance was dominating and it started up front. I once played defensive end in high school so I love this play by Dominic Alvis.
Swim baby. Alvis abused the WMU left tackle for the entire first half as did much of Iowa's defensive front seven. This is not how to play left tackle. His weight was moving forward and Alvis took advantage.
When Iowa can get pressure they get turnovers. The back four didn't have problems with the WMU passing attack and ended with three interceptions, two going back for touchdowns. Again, it starts up front.
And how about those punt returns?
This is where the talent difference was most noticeable. Missouri State was a bad team but Western Michigan was probably as bad or worse. This Vine focuses mostly on the point after the catch but notice the spacing. WMU's punter couldn't get lift under the ball and that doesn't allow the punt team to properly set up getting down field. You'll see their coverage team scattered and leaving huge lanes for KMM. He took it and ran, literally.