It’s not often that two undefeated B1G teams clash and not long into the game it feels like Rocky’s manager is throwing in the towel.
It was a good thing the game was played at night; most kids had already been put to bed. If not, many kids would be getting up extra early on Saturday morning to check on the welfare of Franklin. Let’s get into the position grades for Iowa’s Friday night everyone-gets-a-football frenzy.
Spencer Petras went and did it. To start the season he was consistently pulling in C’s. He jumped to a B against Colorado State. Against Maryland Big Spence moved to the head of the class. All he did was pass for 259 yards (21 of 30) and three scores and rush for 2 more TD’s. Petras did not turn the ball over and the Hawks got a road win. That’s “A” work for number 7. The biggest test of Petras’ football life is coming up with Penn State coming into the Kinnick classroom.
Tyler Goodson had a very good day on the ground and an excellent day through the air. Goodson finished with 151 all-purpose yards. His 67 yard TD reception was a simple, beautiful example of putting your foot in the ground and making one move. Paydirt.
Also, it was nice to see Ivory Kelly-Martin have a good game. Here he shows a nice burst, balance, and ball protection by switching the ball to his outside hand.
After two fumbles against Kent State, I K-M showed the fans that he can make plays and spell Tyler Goodson (he has already shown the coaches and his teammates this). Kelly-Martin had 74 total yards on the day.
Iowa’s increased use of true freshmen Keagan Johnson and Arland Bruce IV continues to provide a spark to the Hawkeyes’ wide receiver corps. Keagan Johnson will come up big against Penn State as Brian Ferentz has kindly determined that it’s not fair to utilize both of these ubertalented frosh during the same game! Don’t say Brian isn’t a compassionate coach. Bruce had 6 catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Tyrone Tracy also made it into the scoring column with a 7 yard reception. Charlie Jones and Nico Ragaini totaled 63 yards between them.
Iowa got solid play from the tight end position. Sam LaPorta caught 5 balls for 49 yards. Luke Lachey was targeted twice with no receptions. Josiah Miamen hauled in a nice catch for 22 yards.
Coming off a “D” letter grade against Colorado State, Iowa’s offensive line had much to prove against a better opponent. The Hawkeyes played a cleaner game up front. Iowa rushed 42 times for an average of 3.5 yards and 3 touchdowns. Two of these TD’s came on Iowa’s best play (at least while Tyler Linderbaum graces us with his presence), the quarterback sneak. The O-line allowed two sacks on the day. As Kyler Schott gets his legs back under him, and Iowa’s tackles continue to gain valuable experience, this group has the potential to go from a liability to a strength by year’s end.
Statistically speaking it was a quiet day for Iowa’s defensive line. There were zero sacks, zero QB hurries, and only 1 TFL (Zach VanValkenburg). Iowa’s defense didn’t feel like it was on the field more than a few plays before Maryland’s quarterbacks decided to play Barney with the Hawks and share the ball. This grade could very well be higher, but let’s stick with a B+ if for no other reason than our front line has and will play better.
Esteemed readers, you could probably read the above (DL) for the linebackers as well. Jestin Jacobs led the Hawk backers with 4 tackles on the night. Jay Higgins recovered a fumble (Hawk! Hawk! Hawk!) for the good guys. Penn State can throw the ball around the field with the best of them. Next week may look similar statistically to this week as far as Iowa’s linebackers are concerned.
This is my first plus grade I have given. Granted, much of what happens on the back end of a defense is the result of what the defensive line and linebackers do. That said, Iowa’s defensive backs caught nearly the number of passes as Maryland’s wide receivers. Riley Moss, Kaevon Merriweather, Terry Roberts, Jack Koerner, Dane Belton, and Quinn Schulte all were on the receiving end of Tagovailoa’s passes.
Much of the second half was NSFW TV for Maryland fans; especially the loved ones of Maryland QB’s Taulia Tagovailoa and Reece Udinski.
Special Teams: A-
Iowa’s special teams continue to be special. Caleb Shudak banged field goals from 41, 38, and 32 yards. He also converted all 6 of his extra points. Charlie Jones continues to pile up kick return and punt return yardage (86 total yards). Tory Taylor averaged 43.2 yards per punt. Special teams could very well be the difference in next week’s top 5 tilt against Penn State.
Is it Saturday Yet?
So, Hawk fans. What say you regarding the position grades? I watched a good amount of Penn State’s game on Saturday. They have an elite (can I use this, PJ?) wide receiver in Jahan Dotson. He is 5’11”, 184 pounds and has 6 TD’s on the year. As he goes, Penn State goes. As always, Go Hawks!