I promised all of you that I would start tempering my expectations when it comes to Iowa Football. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I nailed it. Let’s recap:
Iowa started the game just as they did last week against Wisconsin. On the first two drives, Iowa’s offense went as such: incomplete pass (Fant with a big drop to start the game), short run into loaded box, incomplete pass (air mail by Stanley), punt; Short run into loaded box, Pass completion (16 yards... PROGRESS!), penalty (whoops), short run into loaded box, incomplete pass, sack, punt.
In between those two mind numbing drives, Iowa had Purdue locked down and punting but were called for roughing the kicker. That seemed to allow the Boliermakers to click. They moved the ball down field with ease, converting multiple third down conversions. Facing second and goal, Elijah Sindelar scrambled right and found D.J. Knox in the endzone.
7-0. Everything is ok.
On Purdue’s second drive, things started to look bleak. Sindelar got himself into a rhythm (yet again on third down) and I was doing everything I could to convince myself that the Iowa defense would bend and bend and bend but not break as they have all season long.
Thankfully, Josey Jewell wasn’t about to let his last game at Kinnick go down that way. After a few missed tackles and poor pass protection by his senior linebacking partner, Bo Bower, The Outlaw took over:
Back-to-back plays from The Outlaw Josey Jewell on Senior Day pic.twitter.com/95h00V8Xe3— Chris Hassel (@Hassel_Chris) November 18, 2017
I’m pretty sure Terry Wright might want to press charges for that hit after the game.
Those two plays seemed to have woke up every single Iowa senior on this roster. On the next offensive possession, James Butler found a hole for 25-yards to flip the field position (and a wonderful pooch punt by Nathan Stanley). Nathan Bazata did this:
Wadley immediately takes his first hand off from the 50-yard line up the gut for 15-yards and Supermans his way for a third down conversion. Meerkat catches one of the best throws I’ve seen Stanley make all season long on a crucial fourth down conversion:
And who else but Wadley capped off the drive for a touchdown.
Purdue eventually shoots themselves in the foot on a drive that looked like it would surely end in points (intentional grounding penalty on a Flea-Flicker-gone-wrong) and punt the ball back to Iowa.
Of course, we convert a first down, give up a sack and take this bad boy into the half.
Despite the Boo-Birds and a drunk Matt Millen, I would be doing you all a disservice if I don’t mention the first half Jewell put on tape. As of this very moment in this write up (again, real time folks because I take my blog recaps seriously), The Outlaw has two sacks, three pass break ups, nine tackles and has drawn a holding call.
I promise all of you that were not able to watch this, that Iowa was going down a rough path before Jewell turned it on. I’m going to miss this kid so much.
In the amount of time it took me to write those last two paragraphs, Manny Rugamba took it upon himself to get completely MANHANDLED by Anthony Mahoungou. Sindelar ran four straight plays right at the corner that resulted in three completions (one of which was a 42-yard touchdown) and a pass interference penalty.
On 3rd-and-6, Ihmir Smith-Marsette faded down the left sideline, tracking an absolute dime from Stanley and CAUGH... OH NO! Another drop. Would’ve, should’ve been a 25-yard completion to move the chains. Instead, Iowa punts... horribly again.
Iowa subs in Michael Ojemudia in for Rugamba and Purdue doesn’t give a damn. They go right at him for 35-yard completion. A play later, Iowa puts in Matt Hankins in and Mohoungou runs a perfect route for a 16-yard touchdown.
21-9. I will not get angry. I will not let this ruin my Saturday. I am strong. I am strong. IamstrongIamstrongIamstrong.
Purdue threw at Josh Jackson one time if my calc is right and he almost snagged another one handed INT. Since then, they’ve destroyed the left side of the field.
Guys... ugh. Whatever. Nope. I can’t. Breath. BREATHHHHHH.
On this rendition of “How do we make the offense not move the football down field so we can make our defense more tired”, Iowa had another drop on first down by Matt VandeBerg. They ran up the gut on second for a yard. Then, for some god forsaken reason, Brian Ferentz called a QB run on third. They didn’t pick up the first, in case you were wondering.
Colten Rastetter (who has been hot vomit in a bag all game but I’ve been trying to focus on the positives but can’t anymore), punted for 19-yards bringing his average on the day down to 25-net yards per punt.
You know what? I’m just going to give you some bullet points from here because I LITERALLY CAN’T:
- Purdue punts it away after Iowa switches Josh Jackson onto Mohoungou a drive too late
- Wadley passed Mark Weisman for 6th in career rushing yards
- With nine minutes left on the clock in the third quarter, Iowa (down 12 mind you) milked the clock down to 3:40 before an errant snap that went flying past Stanley for the second week in a row forced them to punt. That’s so Iowa.
- Purdue is forced to punt deep in their own endzone and it goes 68-yards (career high for whoever that punter was). After a run that goes for maybe a yard, Stanley gets sacked for what feels like the 10th time in this game. After a 34-yard punt from Rastetter, Purdue successfully flips the field after being buried in their own damn endzone. What a cluster...
- Jewell, now with 11 tackles in the game, tied Chard Greenway for fifth all-time. He is also just the third player in program history with three season of 115 tackles (Larry Station and Abdul Hodge). This is my lone bright spot.
- Iowa gets the ball back (with the wind in case that matters to you) and 13:55 on the clock. Two Timeouts. And I’m currently looking up movie times for Thor: Ragnarok.
- Iowa gets a first down after a fumbled snap by Stanley. Nick Easley immediately drops the first down pass with room to run (four total on the day). How does BF and Co, follow that up? A run to the short side of course!
- After another long third down conversion, Stanley gets picked off after a circus catch. With nothing working and no sense of urgency, it’s safe to say with over eight minutes left, that this game is OVAHHHHH
- The Iowa defense did their job yet again and then Matt VandeBerg muffed the punt. Purdue recovered. This has been yet another disgusting display of ineffective and boring play calling and horrible coaching.
Purdue wins. Iowa loses. I really don’t want to watch them play Nebraska.
OH WAIT... I’m back.
Kirk Ferentz — after scoring a touchdown with a minute left in the game — elected to go for the two point conversion down nine fucking points. Yes, you need to go for two eventually. I hear you. But you also have to keep yourself in the god damn game RIGHT NOW!
These last two games are absolutely unforgivable in my most humble opinion and it’s all on the ENTIRE coaching staff.
Be nice to each other in the comments. Everyone else is up for grabs.