Listen: when I started this endeavor it was partially tongue-in-cheek and partially “hey, maybe Iowa is good enough at enough things on the margin offensively to be an offense which continues to skirt by.” Instead it’s turned into a weekly reminder as to just how dire this thing has gotten.
Against Illinois, it was hard to envision the Iowa Hawkeyes having a worse combination of stats but somehow! Iowa came away with a victory in turnover margin turnovers. Unfortunately, Kirk Ferentz’s brand of simply ... not turning the ball over really isn’t getting things done like it used to. Prior to last year’s conference championship game, Iowa went a blistering 34-4 in games where they turned it over one or less time, including a genuinely incredible streak of 18 straight wins.
Since then, and including that game, Iowa is 2-3.
The joke between Ben & me in The Pants Party as it pertains to certain matchups is that it is akin to two guys holding out their fists in hopes that their opponent runs fast enough into their fist, they get knocked out. That comparison has basically turned Iowa football games into staring contests as their opponents have wised up AND dodged some bullets. I mean, there’s a non-zero chance that the Iowa/Illinois game plays out differently if a fumble gets returned for a TD.
But life isn’t fun when you’re relying on your defense to score points for you. You’re setting yourself up for failure.
Onto the numbers...
Here are the stats from Saturday via Team Rankings.
Last week in complementary football
50% - Win or loss: hahahaha Bert is back and salting the earth. Iowa makes winnable games look like Sisyphusian efforts.
33% - turnovers, time of possession, & offensive touchdowns: One turnover in the final minutes, 28:55 in possession and 0 offensive TDs: 29th, 77th, and 125th. At least one of the seven teams who didn’t have a touchdown was the team Iowa played. Another one is in the same state.
17% - 3rd down conversion, yards/carry, completion percentage, QB sacks: 5 of 17 (100th) was rough and the intertwined nature of the 1.7 YPC (122nd) and 5 sacks (115th) are rougher. Completion percentage (50%, 110th) took a big step back after last week.
All together, That gets the Iowa’s complementary football score to ... (.50 * 0) + (.33 * .11) + (.17 * .15) = .16.