Another weekend, another Monday, another Hawkeye victory. Here are the totally level-headed takeaways from the weekend.
1. New Kirk = Old Hayden
Much has been said about the changes of Kirk Ferentz over the last season + 2 games, but nothing has shown me more than a series early in the 4th quarter Saturday. Up 42-3 on the Cyclones, Kirk allowed GD Greg Davis to call 3 straight passes without firing him immediately after the game. Old Kirk’s head would’ve exploded at the thought of not milking the clock for the entirety of the 4th quarter with that sort of lead. I’d love to say Kirk encouraged the aggresivity (and hell, maybe he did), but the fact that Iowa didn’t totally shut down the playbook late in the bloodbath tells me perhaps New Kirk has a little Hayden DNA flowing through the veins. I could get used to scores like that every year.
2. Beathard For Heisman!
CJ Beathard's throws and QB sneak from the first half against Iowa State pic.twitter.com/HMdWKmebPb— Black & Gold Blood (@CJBForHeisman) September 12, 2016
The running game looked so (in my best Franimal voice) phenomenal in week one that CJ didn’t have to do a whole lot. We saw a lot more of the passing game Saturday than we did last week and it looked pretty damn good. CJB finished 19/28 for 235 yards and 3 TDs through the air to go with another TD on the ground. Not quite Lamar Jackson numbers, but a hell of a night if you ask me. CJ was pressured a bit Saturday and took more hits than I’d like to see, but his mastery of the playbook and the reads tells me this offense is going to be a well-oiled machine by conference play.
3. Vandeberg Hauls in Another
I’m not going to lie, I may have
screamed uttered a few curse words when I watched a perfectly thrown CJB ball hit Vandeberg between the numbers and bounce off his hands. But then the kid goes out and reels in an over the shoulder ball with a defender draped all over him and totally redeemed himself. It total, the senior finished with 7 grabs for 129 and a TD. After the game he (I’m just going to steel the pun from every publication in Iowa because I’m lazy) made the greatest catch of his life when he got engaged. Congrats to the future Mr. and Mrs. Vandeberg.
4. Jack Isn’t the Best Daniels
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re throwing a party, Jack is probably a fantastic Daniels to invite. Unless said party is in Kinnick Stadium on a Saturday night in September. With younger brother James sidelined with an apparent knee injury, Leshun Daniels Jr. did his thing. And it was glorious. He finished with 15 carries for 112 yards, including a magnificent 43 yard scamper for a TD. With CJ checking into the right playcalls and making the right throws, the line doing work (regardless of who is thrown in there) and a certain deity who shall remain nameless held at bay, it’s going to be a ton of fun watching Daniels and Wadley every week this year.
5. Joke of a Conference
By now, I’m sure everyone has seen the tweet from ISU wideout, Allen Lazard, saying outside of OSU the entire Big Ten is a joke of a conference. After Saturday, I think I feel good in agreeing that we know there are a couple jokes of conferences out there. The Big Ten ain’t one of them. A quick look at the recently released polls shows FIVE Big Ten teams sitting in the top 15 (top 13 if you want to get cute). No other conference has more than 3 (the ACC) and the vaunted SEC only has two (Bama is a legit #1, but Tennessee siting at 15 is the only other saving grace and they look sketchy at best).
Besides Ohio state the BigTen is a joke.— Allen Lazard (@AllenLazard) January 1, 2016
As for Lazard, he finished with an OK stat line based purely on volume (7 grabs for 111 yards with ZERO TDs), but he didn’t get anything working downfield and for the most part didn’t even try to mess with Desmond King. Oh and Allen, the Big 12 looks like a dumpster fire. Two top 15 teams, nobody in the top 10, and teams that are actually worse than Iowa State. Puke.
Iowa fans have been saying it for decades (or at least the last 18 years) that the series with Iowa State is a lose-lose. Sunday gave us confirmation. After throttling the Cyclones Saturday night, on a weekend when there were essentially no marquee matchups, the Hawkeyes actually FELL a spot in the Coaches Poll. Lose to Iowa State and the season is considered a
shit-show complete disappointment. Beat them by 39 and you can’t even hold your ranking when the rest of the top teams are playing FCS opponents. It is literally the definition of a lose-lose. It’s not going away any time soon, but this weekend was exhibit A for the prosecution in the case against ever scheduling ISU on a long-term basis.
7. Greatest Weekend Ever?
I vote yes. Thursday kicked off with the return of the NFL (thank you sweet little 5 pound 6 ounce baby Jesus!), Friday brought the return of the NCAA Football video games - at least I assume that’s what we saw out of Lamar Jackson, that couldn’t possibly be real life - and Saturday was utterly fantastic. Night game in Kinnick with the stadium striped, more than 40 football recruits on hand, a pair of hoops recruits (including the newest commit, Luka Garza) and the boys in black brought the noise. For once, in a game where Iowa should absolutely destroy Iowa State on paper, they did it. I honestly left Melrose re-thinking my season prediction, and specifically my call for Kirk and Co. to crap the bed in primetime against the Michigan Fighting Harbaughs. I woke up Sunday, and rather than feeling like the morning after Christmas, it was more like the day after Thanksgiving with a plethora of delicious leftovers to stuff your face. And the NFL delivered with a slew of tight games and huge comebacks. If only my fantasy team could say the same.
Happy Monday everyone. Saturday will be here before you know it. We can survive this, together.