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Iowa Football Position Grades: Indiana

We are back for another year of grading our position groups

You’ll never guess what grade Riley Moss got for his performance on Saturday.

Wow! That was a butt kicking! Our boys dominated “Indinia” from start to finish. The defense came out smelling like a Rose (too soon?) while the offense has some work to do. Let’s take a look.

This jersey sums up the game for the Hoosiers



Spencer Petras finished with a stat line of 13-27-0 for 145 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns. Pretty underwhelming. Petras did have a couple of dropped balls, and in my opinion (shared by the coaches, I’m sure) the biggest stat for a quarterback is the final score. Petras fired a number of balls out of bounds that other passers may try to force. We’ve seen this movie too many times to know that Iowa coaches this into their quarterbacks up, right, left, and down. The big early lead dictated the play calling, but I was hoping to see a more vertical passing game utilizing our wide receivers. Stay tuned. Alex Padilla came in for a few plays. This was just a snapshot but all of Hawkeye Nation collectively thought, “We need more snaps for our backup in case Spence gets banged up because that was an ugly possession!”

RB: C+

On the day Tyler Goodson and Ivory Kelly-Martin gained 153 yards. Pretty solid. However, two things. First of all, TGood busted a 56 yard score but he had pretty tough sledding other than that. Second, both Goodson and Kelly-Martin fumbled. You can’t fumble the football and expect to win. Both players ran hard and Goodson’s hurdle was quite athletic. The running backs need blocking, but the letter grade reflects what was stated.

WR: C-

Obviously many things have to happen for a wide receiver to actually get the football. On Saturday the position seemed kind of like an afterthought. Nico Ragaini had two catches for 21 yards and Tyrone Tracy, Jr. had two for 15. Tracy also had two nice runs for 14 yards. I would love to see Keagan Johnson get some run with this first group.


Tight End University got some nice production from Sam LaPorta and Luke Lachey. LaPorta hauled in 5 balls for 83 yards. That’s an excellent day. Here was a catch and run by LaPorta that was reminiscent of T.J. Hockenson.

LaPorta could/should have had a bigger day, however as he dropped a few balls. If you touch it, you have to catch it. Lachey caught one ball for 15 yards. Iowa always has and always will have great blocking tight ends who can also make plays. This grade would be an A without the drops.

OL: B-

This grade was a pretty tough one for me. Iowa broke in three inexperienced linemen against a veteran Indiana squad. Petras was sacked twice on the day. If you throw out Tyler Goodson’s 56 yard run, he averaged 2.9 yards on the other 18 carries. His scoring run, though, was a thing of beauty with the big boys mauling people.

On the day, Iowa’s backs ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns. The Hawks ran for 6 first downs and Iowa was one for one on its only 4th down conversion. Iowa was able to get pretty conservative with a big lead early on. Indiana was able to focus a bit more on stopping the run as Iowa was fine shortening the game.


DL: A-

Spoiler alert. Every Iowa defensive position group is getting a high mark after holding a good Indiana team to two field goals. The Hawks’ defensive line had some new faces from last year. Lukas Van Ness collected the one sack from the group, but there were a number of hurries. John Waggoner was active with 4 tackles including 1.5 TFL. Noah Shannon also collected 4 tackles on the day.

LB: A-

The Iowa linebackers did an effective job limiting much of what the Hoosiers were trying to do. Statistically the numbers are spread out with Seth Benson leading the way with 10 stops, including 6 solo stops. Jack Campbell collected 6 tackles on the day. Jestin Jacobs had 3 solo tackles and 1 assist.

DB/Cash: A

Iowa’s back end pretty much bullied Indiana signal caller Michael Penix, Jr. Here Riley Moss gets his first pick 6 of the day.

Here Penix finds the wide open Riley Moss for his second “Reverse Touchdown” on the day. Penix and Moss have developed excellent chemistry, it seems.

Dane Belton, Iowa’s Cash player, had 4 tackles on the day and an interception. Jack Koerner, always around the ball, had five tackles and 2 pass breakups. Michael Penix was tabbed by some as the best returning QB in the B1G. He will have nightmares of Kinnick going forward.

Special Teams: A

Caleb Shudak was 4-4 on extra points and 2-2 on field goals. Shudak’s long was from 41 yards out. Future Heisman finalist Tory Taylor punted 6 times for a lofty average of 49.5 yards. Fearless punt/kick returner Charlie Jones totaled 85 yards on returns. He got dinged up; hopefully he will be ok for this Saturday’s tilt against the Cyclones. If not that may be an opportunity for Arland Bruce IV to see the field.