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The complementary football scorecard: Nevada

The Hawkeyes improved from last week. Will they continue to perform well as we head into Big Ten play?


The Iowa Hawkeyes got the win and looked better doing it. The offense moved the ball & found big plays and improved in pretty much every area we’d want to see. The scale of that improvement? Hardly impressive but at least everything is going in the right direction.

What’s it all mean? Who knows. Nevada had a rough week of practice with California wildfires forcing them inside to the Reno convention center & there’s reason to not buy into the dead cat bump from that plus a game which featured three stoppages. Before lightning struck, though, Iowa had three scoring drives and just one three-and-out which is a huge improvement. No turnovers. Ultimately, I think that’s what Kirk was searching for Spencer Petras in Saturday’s game.

Here are the stats from Saturday via Team Rankings.

Last week in complementary football

(Reminder of the weightings here and stats here)

50% - Win or loss: Iowa got the W. I want to see Iowa post more 50-burgers but ... Kirk Ferentz is still in charge so the only way those are going to happen are if Iowa’s starting in plus territory a bunch. The Hawks’ best field position was Nevada’s 40 after a 13-yard punt return for Arland Bruce IV. By my count, Iowa got TDs each time they started with 55 or less yards to go.

33% - turnovers, time of possession, & offensive touchdowns: The Hawks were one of 32 teams who didn’t have a turnover in their prior game. Iowa’s quick (!) TD drives (!!) limited their ability to control the clock and ended with an almost perfect split at 29:57, good for 67th. Iowa’s three touchdowns were the most they’ve scored this season but still ranked just 57th. Four of the top seven touchdown-scoring teams were from the Big Ten (OSU, Wisconsin, Minnesota, & Michigan).

17% - 3rd down conversion, yards/carry, completion percentage, QB sacks: It was Iowa’s best game in each of the three categories but how they ranked relative to the nation tells the story of Iowa’s offense. They ranked 45th in both conversion percentage and yards/carry with a 43.75% rate and 4.8 YPC, respectively. Petras’s 53.85% completion ranked Iowa 109th & the 3 sacks allowed put the Hawks in 90th.

All together, That gets the Iowa’s complementary football score to ... (.50 * 1) + (.33 * .69) + (.17 * .45) = .80.

The non-winning portion of Iowa’s week was .30, which rated well above the Week 1 win’s “score” of .14. If extrapolated across the season, it would be in line with the “normal” Iowa football season from 2017-2021. Unfortunately, it was Iowa’s best game so far.

Next week, we’ll build out the season-long numbers and take a look at where the rest of the conference stands as everybody will have played one conference game.