That was a cold one. I was in attendance at Kinnick North with my son(Hayden), brother, and nephew. PJ Fleck did us a huge favor by throwing the ball, and the Hawks’ defense created two turnovers to beat the favored Gophers. A shoutout to the three Hawk fans that sat in front of us that said they are BHGP readers!
Iowa’s offense has been abysmal this season. Our offensive line has been bad. Our offensive coordinator is hopefully coaching his third to last game for the Hawks. Our quarterback play has been terrible. Through all of this, there has been one constant. Spencer Petras has proven himself to be a tough individual. I hope like heck that Spencer gets a terrific ovation on senior day. He deserves it. On the day Petras threw for 221 yards on 15 of 24 passing (63%). Petras also scored on a sneak. It was not an easy day to throw the football and Petras played well and led us to a road win.
The Hawks’ backs had a quiet day on the ground. Kaleb Johnson rushed 8 times for 43 yards (5.4 yard average). Leshon Williams ran 11 times for 38 yards (3.5) and Gavin Williams ran twice for 8 yards (4.0). The Hawks had some success throwing the ball, but we never quite got the running game on track.
Iowa’s wideouts didn’t catch a ton of balls, but some of them came at the right time. Brody Brecht had a multi-catch game (ok, it was only two, but that sounded better) and 21 yards. Nico Ragaini had one catch for 11 yards. Ragaini had a ball that was a little high that he was unable to catch. It would have been six points had he hauled it in. Arland Bruce IV had one catch for 7 yards.
Iowa’s tight ends had themselves a day against the Gophers. Luke Lachey had five catches for 77 yards. Sam LaPorta had four catches for 95 yards including this beauty.
Addison Ostrenga had his first career catch for six yards. LaPorta left the game with an injury. The Hawks will need Lachey and Ostrenga to step up if LaPorta is not able to go against the Huskers.
The Gophers only sacked Spencer Petras one time. The Gophers did not have any quarterback hurries. Two mistakes on snaps lost 16 yards for the Hawks. Iowa does not have an offense that can make up for those mistakes. Iowa averaged only 2.1 yards per rushing attempt. This is a group that needs to take a huge leap next year.
I think Iowa’s defensive line is pretty darn good. I also think that Minnesota’s offensive line is quite good. I know that Mo Ibrahim is a dang dude. Big Mo had 263 yards on 39 carries (6.7). Over the last three games, Ibrahim has toted the rock 107 times. PJ is running him into the ground. John Waggoner had six tackles to lead the defensive line. Logan Lee had five tackles, and Noah Shannon added four. Joe Evans and Yahya Black each had three tackles. Deontae Craig recovered a fumble.
Even though the Hawks gave up just 10 points, the defensive grades aren’t great as the Gophers ran over us all day. The Gophers possessed the ball more than ten minutes longer than the Hawkeyes. Jack Campbell is really good at footballing. He had ten tackles, 1 QBH, a forced fumble, and the game-winning interception. He also had a touchdown taken away on what should have been a pick six.
Seth Benson had seven tackles including 1 TFL. Jay Higgins had four tackles.
The Hawkeyes were led by Cooper DeJean and Quinn Schulte with seven tackles. Riley Moss had two pass breakups, including the game-winner that Campbell intercepted. It’s not ideal football when your defensive backs are making so many tackles. The Gophers got to Iowa’s second level all day long. The Hawks held Gopher quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis to just seven completions for 87 yards.
Special Teams: A
Freshman Drew Stevens kicked two field goals including the game-winner with 28 seconds left. It wasn’t pretty, but it was three points. He also converted his one extra point. Tory Taylor punted five times for a 42.4 yard average. He once again had a punt downed deep in enemy territory.
Cooper DeJean is becoming a weapon on both punt teams. Coop had two returns for 24 yards. I would think that DeJean will return punts for the rest of his career as he is a natural back there.
Let’s kick Nebby to the curb and head to Indy. All we’re asking for is a chance. Let’s go Hawks!