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Iowa Football Stat(s) to Watch Recap: Northwestern

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Did the Hawks clean up their penalties and stop NW’s run game?

Northwestern v Iowa
51 passes?!? B. Ferentz, please report to your dad’s office.
Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

A week ago, the Hawkeyes hit all the marks on the stat to watch and still came up short thanks to a slew of penalties and a pair of turnovers. This week, we were looking to correct those mental errors and put and emphasis on run defense. Here’s a look back at how the Hawkeyes fared in another disappointing loss.

Fewer penalties

Going into the Northwestern game it was evident that the Hawkeyes needed to play a more disciplined version of football than we saw vs Purdue. If you remember, and we can’t forget because that’s how we roll, the Hawks had 10 penalties for 100 yards. My prediction was that after emphasizing this all week during practice, the Hawks would make fewer careless errors. I was looking for 3 penalties for less than 25 yards. The black and gold ended the day with 3 penalties for 20 yards. I wish I could feel good about that. But... nope.

Zero fumbles

Iowa had two costly fumbles against the Boilers. Ball security was much better, at least of the fumbling variety. I wish the Hawkeye running backs would have been given more opportunities to fumble. Or something like that. I’m a little salty about having our QB throw the ball 51 times in his second start. That was inexcusable. Even if NW had 23 men in the box, Iowa football doesn’t throw the ball 51 times with Chuck Long.

Decent run defense

The final stat to watch focused on the Hawk defense limiting Purdue’s run game. Northwestern ran all over Maryland the week before. The Hawkeyes gave up a pretty big number on the ground, 185 yards, but the 60 attempts averaged out to only 2.4 yards a carry. Isaiah Bowser toted the rock 25 times for 85 yards (3.4). I’m not a huge fan of Ol’ Pat Fitz, but he at least had the wherewithal to run the ball more than 23 times. Have I mentioned that Spencer Petras threw the ball 51 times in his second ever start?

51 ?!?!?!?

Iowa was much improved in the penalty category, didn’t fumble, and held the Wildcats to 2.4 yards per carry. It would have been enough. Except for that whole 51 passes thing.