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The complementary football scorecard: South Dakota State

Even without official rankings, it’s hard to envision a worse offense no matter the curve Iowa’s graded on. Got the dub, though.

NCAA Football: South Dakota State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to envision a worse game offensively than what we saw on Saturday. 0 touchdowns. 1-of-2 on field goals. A couple turnovers which created a six-point swing. It honestly pains me to type it out considering the opponent and what it mayyy mean for Iowa’s future.

The most optimistic read is that “hey, they came out with a win despite all the warts” and can still go on to have a successful 2022 campaign while pointing to the 2009 UNI game. Well, in that one, Iowa had twice as many yards, a starting running back who ran for 4+ yards-a-pop within a run game who had over 100 before subtracting sack yardage, plus a QB who completed over 60% of his passes (for nearly 300 yards!). There were good things to take from a tight-as-hell result.

Best I can determine from Saturday is that Leshon Williams had only 5 of his 24 rushes go for 0 or less yards behind a line which left a lot to be desired and a defense loading up to stop the run. That’s progress over last season. Everything into the sun.

Anyways, since last week was an FCS opponent, Team Rankings doesn’t keep track of Iowa’s statistics. The logic is that playing FCS opponents skews data as 1 of 12 points in a regular season. Hopefully for Iowa, that proves to be the case with Saturday serving as the low point in the Hawkeyes’ 2022 season.

Last week in complementary football

(Reminder of the weightings here and stats here)

  • 50% - Win or loss: Iowa won. With the weighting having it as 50% of the final “grade,” that puts Iowa 83% of the way to a passing grade. The only Big Ten teams who lost were those playing Big Ten teams, including road underdog Rutgers.
  • 33% - turnovers, time of possession, & offensive touchdowns: Iowa had two turnovers (56 of 97 teams had less against FCS competition in their last game); possessed it for 30:16 (would rank 48th of 97 teams); and 0 TDs (all but six teams scored one so... 92/97)
  • 17% - 3rd down conversion, yards/carry, completion percentage, QB sacks: 23.5%, 1.58, 44.0%, 2 sacks. Good for ... 84th, 91st, 89th, & 52nd.

All told .50 + .11 + .03 = .64.

A season-long complementary football aggregate of .14 or worse has been achieved twice among Big Ten teams in the last five complete seasons: Illinois in 2017 & Michigan State in 2020. Neither sniffed a winning record.