The Hawkeyes’ Friday demolition of all things Gophers was an anti-climactic ending to what I thought was going to be an entertaining game. I guess it still was entertaining, but it actually became a little boring. The outcome was decided so early, I forgot to sing “In Heaven There is No Beer” to my empty room (and my dog). Now that’s saying something. Into the grades:
Spencer Petras accomplished the most important thing for a starting quarterback. He went 1-0 on the night. That said, his stat line of 9-18, 111 yards, 1 INT, 1 TD leave a whole bunch of somethings to be desired. Spence is well on his way to becoming the dreaded “game manager”. Thankfully, Brian Ferentz is listening to the masses and no longer has the California signal caller throw it 50 times. I will be in disbelief of that catastrophic decision on BF’s part until I am in heaven not drinking beer. Hawks need more out of this position. We know that a switch will not happen.
Tyler Goodson had himself a night. 20/142 and 2 TD’s. Mekhi Sargent also had a terrific night. Nine rushes for 86 yards and a tuddy.
Iowa’s passing game was not needed. Our stats will reflect this. Possibly for an entire season. Nico Ragaini scored on a one yard rushing TD, Ihmir Smith-Marsette caught a touchdown, and Brandon Smith exerted his will on the cowering rodents as he helped spring big runs with great blocking. I just changed the grade from a B- to a B. When we win, the Professor is in a very good mood.
I thought about simply typing, “Did you watch the game?” The boys up front allowed zero sacks and allowed our running backs to amass 235 yards on the ground for a 6.7 yard average. That was borderline bullying behavior. Also of note, Tyler Linderbaum has two tackles on the season. Obviously both from Petras interceptions. I don’t know about you, but if I pick off a Hawkeye ball, I’m immediately looking to see where this dude is on the field. I would then go full-fetal position. I bet secretly the ‘Baumer likes when we throw picks. Dawgs gotta EAT!
Zach VanValkenburg led the way with 3 sacks. Daviyon Nixon added another. Tanner Morgan never got into a rhythm. Mohamed Ibrahim had a nice night on the ground, toting the rock 33 times for 144 yards.
Nick Niemann, Seth Benson and Jack Campbell had a nice night. The Gophers never really seemed to threaten. It was nice to get Campbell back. He would have helped against Purdue. This group is improving.
Riley Moss and Jack Koerner each picked off Tanner Morgan. I feel like I can just copy and paste that going forward. These two are becoming (already there?) ball hawks. Kaevon Merriweather, Matt Hankins, and Terry Roberts are playing solid ball, especially in run support. Dane Belton had two pass breakups.
Special Teams: B+
Tory Taylor (a lock to virtually make it to New York for the Heisman Trophy Award) had another Tory Taylor day, averaging 44.3 yards per punt. Keith Duncan seemed mortal, missing a 50 yarder. I think he’s just playing us. I’ve heard that he has been getting trolling tips from Jordan Bohannon this offseason. KD knows that last year was kinda boring. Gotta spice things up a little and keep Hawk fans on our toes. Well played, Mr. Duncan. Well played.