Welcome back to Stock Watch where I continuously fill up the “Stock Up” category with defensive studs and somehow get proven week after week that yes, this offense can get worse! This week is no different friends. I want to address something though before we get started. I know watching this team is getting tough, I’m sure many of you have gotten to the point where there are a myriad of other things you would rather be doing with your Saturday’s than watching this team throw offensive football back 100 years. Just forget about the offense though and give this defense the love they deserve. There are several seniors on this defense that we all will look back while watching future teams and say, “man, can you imagine if this team had Jack Campbell?” We are granted an opportunity every week to watch defensive dominance, let’s not forget that.
Campbell was all over the field on Saturday and for the umpteenth time, proved his impact is directly responsible for the last three years of defensive dominance. Campbell finished the game with 9 tackles, a low number in Captain Jacks book, but he helped position the defense for success. It must also be noted that several times during that stellar defensive display in the first half, Campbell’s speed ran down running backs down the line of scrimmage who were about to break free. Jack also hauled in an interception in the second half which will be a huge data point in his case for the Consensus All-American team. The offense is terrible yes, but don’t let that rob you from watching this Hawkeye legend dominate his last 5 or 6 or....7..... opponents.
The senior from Ames didn’t make many plays this game, but the one he did make was huge. Evans’ sack of CJ Stroud resulting in a fumble that he took to the house gave Iowa it’s only lead of the game. It’s a shame that play was never going to have a chance to possibly join those of Adrian Clayborne at Penn. St or Tyler Sash’s interception vs Penn. St as plays that we Hawkeye fans play on repeat year after year. Just like with Campbell, Evans deserves your eyeballs the rest of the season. An undersized Iowa kid who transitioned from QB in high school to Defensive end, Evans stands for everything that is good with “amateur” athletics.
Another Senior on the defense who has proven to all of us that they care about leaving the jersey in a better place. Nobody exemplifies that more than Kaevon Merriweather. He was constantly flying into the box to stop the Ohio. St rushing attack as well as being in the right place in the back end. Stroud and Harrison were able to hook up on a couple of plays that only Stroud and Harrison could have made. They’re great, and that happens. That’s not Kaevon’s fault.
As with Campbell and Evans, this senior deserves your viewership the rest of the way. It’s been mentioned in this article before that without Kaevon’s leadership back in 2020, Iowa could be in an even deeper hole than it is now. Give this man your attention. He deserves it.
Noah Shannon/ Logan Lee
These two defensive tackles share a spot this week for their combined effort against the Buckeyes’ rushing attack. The two Illinois natives combined for 5 tackles including 1.5 for a loss. The tremendous effort they put forth to clog the middle of the line is a big reason Ohio. St finished with only 66 yards rushing on 2.2 yards per carry. If the Hawkeyes are to go bowling this year, these two will have to repeat Saturdays performance against the run reliant Big Ten West teams on the schedule.
Offensive Coaching Staff:
This is seemingly becoming a weekly ordeal now in Stock Watch. As I have said in past iterations of Stock Watch, I’m no longer putting Spencer Petras on this list. It’s not fair to do that to a player who clearly is not a D1 starting quarterback yet gets trotted out there game after game after game after game after game after game after game. I wrote game seven times because... yeah, seven games this season this has happened. The kid has no shot to succeed when he steps on the field. Here is the best example as to why that is. The first play of the game, after a freaking bye week mind you, the best play Brian Ferentz can draw up is that stupid sprint out down the line of scrimmage, with a quarterback who CAN’T THROW ON THE RUN?!
Brian also has Spencer sprinting to the toughest side of the field for a right handed quarterback to deliver an accurate pass...
It’s absolute clowning at this point. All I did was laugh while sitting alone in my apartment.
The cracks in the offense are now canyons, too wide to repair in 2022 it seems. Even worse yet, the body language on the field is fleeting. Multiple times Saturday receivers were open on crossing routes, only to be ignored completely. Never even glanced at. Arland Bruce IV in particular was getting visibly frustrated as he threw his hands up several times. There is no fix on offense this year, but this defense is worth watching. Their effort must be recognized in the moment and applauded. Who knows, maybe they can claw us to an 8-4 record yet. They are elite. Now let’s see if they can be legendary.