HELLUVA SEASON GREG DAVIS. As a season progresses, it's an offensive coordinator's job to keep the playbook expanding. Greg Davis, the wise, experienced coordinator of many years is very well practiced in this. We saw last year the evolution of the Jonathan Parker jet sweep that ultimately resulted in two fake hand offs and a throw back screen near season's end. This season, we've seen the evolution again of several familiar looks (we also saw the jet sweep WR screen that would have been six if executed against Purdue).
Here we go:
Iowa's trips look with a QB waggle to the wide side. We see the RB lined up to the wide side as well as a lead block for CJ Beathard as he rolls to his right to find a wide receiver usually on a out route. But not so fast my friend. Iowa leaks out a tight end and after a solid run, has another first down.
Davis loves to use VandeBerg on the reverse. They've used him in motion from an I-formation look and here we see him split out in one of Iowa's shotgun looks. Hey, motion George Kittle to block. Smart. Also, watch the linebackers take the bait on the outside zone run from the shotgun. Iowa as still trying to find room to run inside and plays like this loosened things up.
LET'S NOT FORGET THE RUN GAME COORDINATOR.
Iowa's use of the outside zone has been a trademark of the Iowa offense since Kirk Ferentz arrived in 1999. It's still there and it still works. This season Iowa has excelled due to line play, excellent tight end and fullback blocking and good running backs. Watch above Iowa's left side get their first step and Macon Plewa seal the deal. Not seen are some bad angles by the Husker safety and linebacker but Jordan Canzeri's speed had something to do with that too.
Oh, did you want to see that again? Iowa runs the same run but out of a three wide formation the very next play. There's no tight end and a different fullback but same result. O-LINE PORN (and fullback) indeed.
This Iowa team finished the regular season ranked 32nd in the nation with 2,444 yards rushing in 12 games (203.7 ypg) and averaged 4.83 yards per carry. Four running backs and Beathard combined for 35 rushing touchdowns! That's the most yards since the 2008 team finished with 2,453 in 13 games. (If you're curious, the 2002 Iowa team had 2,784 yards in 13 games.) 2015 Iowa will at least be the second-best rushing team in Ferentz's 17 years.