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Iowa Football Position Grades: Iowa State

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The Hawkeyes made it 6 straight against the Cyclones

Parker and his Defense won the day

The Hawkeyes won a hard-fought game against Matt Campbell’s Iowa State Cyclones. It is well documented that Iowa has won 6 straight against the second best team in the state. After an offseason hearing about how great the Cyclones are, the Hawkeyes hung an “L” on the team that has turned its back on its school colors. I get it that black is a color that is a popular, especially with youth and recruits. That said, can you even imagine Kirk Ferentz trotting our boys out there in purple, orange, red, green, etc...? Campbell and the Boat Rower are good football coaches, but it amazes me that they feel like they need to make changes to the history of their schools. I guess as Hawkeyes we should like it. They can focus on black uniforms and oars, and our coaches can focus on winning. Here’s the report card for the Hawk-Cy game:

Offense

QB: C+

It is difficult giving letter grades to Spencer Petras. A quarterback who wins a game should be given a letter grade boost. Also, one who does not turn the ball over should get a boost. On the day Petras’ numbers were pretty pedestrian. He was 11-21 for 106 yards and 1 TD. Iowa football is about defense, special teams, and not giving the football away. Petras has done what is expected of him. This week may go a long way in showing us what we have. Do the Hawkeyes have more than a game-manager at this position? I think so, but we would feel more comfortable if we can see this. I’m afraid until the game dictates Big Spence slinging the ball around, we will continue to see modest numbers from Petras. If we keep winning, it’s all good.

RB: C+

Iowa State has some good athletes and they played an aggressive brand of football. Tyler Goodson had his work cut out for him on the day. He rushed 21 times for 63 (2.6 yard average) yards and a score. Goodson had two catches for 9 yards. A solid day, but not the type of day we would expect. Ivory Kelly-Martin does a nice job of spelling TGood with 8 carries for 29 yards (3.5). The biggest stat of the day was zero fumbles for the running backs after a two fumble day against Indiana. The Hawks had a fullback sighting with Monte Pottebaum rumbling for 8 yards on two carries. Love me some big fellas toting the rock!

When fullbacks win, we all win!

WR: C

Once again, assigning a letter grade to an Iowa offense is a bit of a challenge. Charlie Jones hauled in a fantastic touchdown and ended the day with two catches for 36 yards.

Tyrone Tracy had two catches for 12 yards. Pretty quiet and at times non-existent production from this group. Once again, is this a product of Iowa’s offensive philosophy? I would say yes. If it weren’t for this, I would bump this letter grade down.

TE: C+

Iowa’s tight ends go to work every day. They become excellent blockers by the time they move on to the next level. The Hawks got two big plays from the tight end position against the Cyclones. Sam LaPorta had one grab for 21 yards and Luke Lachey had 17 yards on a catch. There is only one football to go around, but it would be nice for the Hawks to spread things out a little more and get more production from its pass catchers.

OL: D+

Iowa is replacing two experienced tackles. Also, Kyler Schott’s injury has hurt the interior of Iowa’s offensive line. At Iowa, though, it is expected that our offensive line does great things. Iowa’s O-line allowed 4 sacks and had just 108 yards rushing on 39 carries (1.7 yard average). That’s not going to cut it against a Wisconsin, Penn State, or similar team.

Defense

DL: A-

Iowa’s front line of defense accumulated two sacks on the day, and 4 quarterback hurries. John Waggoner also had two pass break ups. Heisman candidates (cough - cough) Brock Purdy and Breece Hall made little impact on the game. Hall is a stud. I have yet to see anything from Purdy that shows me he will play in The League. Iowa’s D-line is gaining invaluable experience and performing at a pretty high level the way it is. Props to Coach Bell.

LB: A+

Goodness gracious these Hawkeye linebackers make plays! Jestin Jacobs forced a fumble, Jack Campbell had the scoop and score, and Seth Benson had a pick. Not a bad day at the office. These guys were all over the field. A shout out to Coach Seth Wallace for having these guys prepared and hungry.

DB/CASH: A

Iowa’s defensive backs continue to be a serious problem for opponents. Matt Hankins had a nice game of catch (Field of Dreams) with Brock Purdy with two interceptions. The only time the Cyclones looked like a threat the Hawks were playing differently right before the half. The team formerly known as the Cardinal and Gold marched down and scored a quick touchdown. You know that Phil Parker will bring that score up about 858 times the rest of this season as motivation. Not that Phil needs any extra motivation.

Special Teams: A+

Iowa’s special teams weren’t even fair to the color-confused birds/weather phenomena on Saturday. Tory Taylor booted the ball 8 times for an average of 51.1 yards. Taylor also placed 5 balls inside the 20. Caleb Shudak hit field goals from 50 and 22, and he converted all three of his extra points.

On to Kent State

Upsets happen all of the time in sports. Iowa is heavily favored to win this upcoming game. If the Hawks take care of business it would be tremendous for Iowa to open things up a little bit and share the wealth offensively. If for no other reason we would make ourselves harder to scout. Also, it would be nice to get a big lead and then substitute players freely to develop our depth. Kickoff can’t come soon enough. As always, Go Hawks!