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Iowa Football: A.J.’s Annihilations; Big House of Horrors

Defense was solid in an uninspiring loss to the Wolverines.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 05 Iowa at Michigan
A.J. Epenesa (94) with a sack on Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson.

The Hawkeyes lost their first game of the season as they fell to 4-1 after losing to Michigan 10-3 on the road. A.J. Epenesa picked up his second sack of the season and the defense did more than their job holding Michigan to just ten points

Last week I tried to educate you on the super volcano and this week we’ll try a little more science to try to distract you from the offensive shortfall against Michigan. Here’s an article on the physics behind the big hits that we all enjoy so much.

There’s not much I can add to what’s already been said about Michigan. The defense was great and the offense was a stinking pile of garbage.

One thing I do wonder is whether Epenesa could use a few downs off over the course of a game. I believe he played every snap on defense against Michigan and the question is would he be a little more fresh at the end if he sat out 10 or 15% of the snaps, especially obvious running plays?

Iowa defensive end AJ Epenesa (94) battles Michigan lineman Jon Runyan (75).
Shivansh Ahuja

Also, it looks like Epenesa has at least some responsibility for containment and that is slowing him down from getting to the quarterback. Players like Michigan’s Kwity Paye and Ohio State’s Chase Young look like their only job is to get to the quarterback as fast as they can while their teammates take responsibility for any running action. It would be nice to see this role fall to Epenesa.

2018 Annihilations: 10.5

2019 Annihilations: 2

This Week Last Year: Iowa 42, Indiana 16

Epenesa had two tackles and a sack in a big win at Indiana.

Up Next: Penn State

The way Penn State has been playing, the Hawkeyes are going to have to try to throw a shutout against the PSU offense in order to have a chance. Watch for Epenesa and teammates to have a strong showing on the nationally televised night game. The Nittany Lions may key on Epenesa, as you can see by the triple block last year, but that should open up opportunities for others.