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BALL HAWKIN’: IOWA 34, INDIANA 6

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The Hawkeyes used defense defense and more defense for the opening victory

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The #18 Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0, 1-0) took advantage of a late-arriving defense while maximizing their own in a 34-6 win over the #17 Indiana Hoosiers (0-1, 0-1).

On the Hawkeyes first drive, Tyler Goodson took a bread-and-butter zone run to the boundary 56 yards before 2 minutes elapsed from the clock. On the ensuing Hoosier possession, Riley Moss had his first of two pick-sixes (picks-six). The 14-0 lead set the tone for the rest of the game as Iowa never really had to dip an inch into the ocean of their playbook and the defense wreaked its usual havoc on the Hoosier offense.

The Hawkeye offense sputtered much of the first quarter before a Spencer Petras throw to Sam LaPorta got Iowa into IU territory and Iowa was able to take advantage. A Goodson wildcat run gained another first down before a nifty QB draw had Petras in the end zone with some added drama.

His leg hit Tyler Linderbaum’s helmet as he dove into the end zone which left both a little nicked. Linderbaum visited the tent and made quick work of the exercise bike before being his almost-usual self (a couple shotgun snaps were slightly awry) while Petras looked a little off the rest of the way.

An Goodson fumble was quickly rectified by Moss’s second interception returned for a touchdown. Penix threw his third, just two plays later to Dane Belton.

Kirk Ferentz probably would have shook on a gentleman’s agreement to run the ball straight ahead and trade punts for the final 31 minutes except Tom Allen chose violence by calling three timeouts to ice new place kicker Caleb Shudak. He made it to go up 31-3 into half.

It played out much like that gentleman’s agreement would, though, with the teams trading a couple FGs in the 4th quarter and IU pulling Penix in the fourth quarter after looking shaky all game. Iowa’s defense probably could have had six interceptions during Penix’s time.

Much can and probably will be made of Petras’ performance (13/27, 145 yards). He looked much like he did last year. Some good throws, some bad, but no game-breaking mistakes in a game which was never in doubt. The offense struggled in the normal course of action with just 302 yards before garbage time set in.

But you don’t need a world beater at QB when you have a defense full of them. Iowa had the IU offense in their sights all day and did their thing.

Other thoughts:

  • Really weird garbage time possession for Alex Padilla with a option route incompletion & tripping over the center.
  • Iowa’s wideouts weren’t all that involved as Sam LaPorta had as many receptions - 5 for 83 yards - as the top 3 receivers.
  • Wildcat looked average as Iowa’s run game lacked diversity overall. Don’t really need it when your defense spots you 14 points.
  • Charlie Jones’ gravity is incredible. Great in the return game (85 total yardage) but even more impactful by forcing kicks away from him and limiting that yardage. He did go to the tent after a 4th quarter return Iowa probably didn’t need.
  • I’m not concerned about fumbles (Goodson & Ivory Kelly-Martin each had one) but my ears are perked.
  • Playing from ahead is fun.
  • The under was never in doubt.

Full disclosure that this quick recap was written with my toddler ticking down to his bed time. Play nice in the comments