clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Iowa Football Position Grades: Purdue

Hawkeyes improve to 5-1, but that doesn’t mean everyone gets a passing grade.

Michigan State v Iowa
Hawkeyes beat Purdue. Head to Wisconsin.
Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

It is no secret that I love the Iowa Hawkeyes. I have two Tigerhawk tattoos and my 19-year-old son is named Hayden. Like many of you, I could wear Hawkeye garb every day for close to two months straight without repeating an article of clothing. I did realize during Iowa’s 20-14 win against the Purdue Boilermakers that I don’t necessarily enjoy watching the games as much as I did in the past. I love defense and special teams. I get a lot of joy from watching those units. Offensively? Nope. We have been watching the same movie for four years now. The Hawks did have two huge offensive plays on Saturday. Kaleb Johnson’s 67-yard house call was well-blocked, and Deacon Hill’s 22-yard scoring strike to Erick All was a thing of beauty. Other than that? Not much happened. Nor has it for a long, long time.



I really didn’t want to go with an “F” for this. A “D-” is bad, but when you think back to the game, an “F” sounds about right. In his first start, Deacon Hill was erratic. There were again a few dropped balls, but Hill was throwing long, short, wide, and everywhere in between. I had hoped that Cade McNamara was going to elevate this position. He did (even though he was never healthy), but we are now back to hoping to complete a handful of passes a game.


Welcome back, Kaleb Johnson!

When KJ gets a hole like that, he’s making a house call Every Single Time. His running style reminds me of Eric Dickerson.

[Due to the NFL’s copyright rules, we aren’t able to show the highlights of the former Mustang/Ram here, but it’s worth going to YouTube to check out the comparison.]

Johnson rushed for 134 yards on 17 carries (7.9) and the score. Kaleb also caught one pass for 13 yards. Leshon Williams ran 13 times for 74 yards (5.7).


I’m getting tired of this. These guys can’t throw it to themselves, but Deacon Hill’s interception did go through Seth Anderson’s hands. It wasn’t a perfect throw, but once again, two hands on a ball, you have to catch it.


Should Iowa get rid of the wide receiver position?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (24 votes)
  • 54%
    Iowa already got rid of the position
    (251 votes)
  • 40%
    We have wide receivers?
    (184 votes)
459 votes total Vote Now

TE(U): A

Before giving out a grade to Iowa’s current tight end, former Iowa tight ends Sam LaPorta and George Kittle recorded five touchdowns between them on Sunday. Luke Lachey will be joining that fraternity, and Erick All is our best player on offense. All is as strong and as fast as any Hawkeye tight end I have ever seen, and my fandom goes back to Jonathan Hayes. All had five catches for 97 yards and one touchdown. Here are two big plays made by All (and they were Big Deac’s best throws as well).


This one was tough for me. Iowa’s offensive line gave up just one sack. Also, Kaleb Johnson’s 67-yard touchdown run was beautifully blocked. There were also numerous plays that went for no gain or for losses. Consistency remains elusive for this group, but there are glimmers of hope. For the grade, I could be talked into a plus or minus either way. Your thoughts?



Iowa’s defensive line dictated the outcome of the football game. Logan Lee was doing his best Roy Kent impersonation (He’s here. He’s there. He’s...) collecting ten tackles including two sacks and 2.5 TFL. Joe Evans had six tackles, one sack, and four TFL. Yahya Black, Aaron Graves, Deontae Craig, Ethan Hurkett, and Max Llewellyn all made their presence known. If the NCAA decides to reverse its ridiculous course on Noah Shannon, this position group will become deeper and even stronger up the middle. #FreeShanzo


Jay Higgins continues to have an All-B1G season (and more). Jay had 12 more tackles and an interception. It’s great to see a loyal young man rewarded like this. He is a great role model for student-athletes. Higgins is third in the FBS with 12.3 tackles per game. Nick Jackson is acclimating nicely to Phil Parker’s defense. Jackson collected seven tackles and had a pass breakup. Purdue averaged just 2.4 yards on the ground.


Jeff Brohm is gone, but Purdue still likes to throw the football around. The Boilermakers attempted 40 passes with 25 completions for 247 yards and a score. Cooper DeJean made a very pivotal play intercepting this pass and setting Iowa’s potent offense up in great field position.

Quinn Schulte led this group in tackles with eight. Xavier Nwankpa and Jermari Harris each had six stops.

Special Teams: B

First, the bad news. Drew Stevens had one field goal blocked, and he also missed from 44 yards out. Missed field goals are not uncommon in the college game. At Iowa, it is a rarity. Iowa’s success depends on special team greatness. Stevens was two for two on extra points and made field goals from 27 and 23. Tory Taylor averaged 47.3 yards on six punts. One of Taylor’s punts was a bomb, but the Hawks gave up a long return on it. Tyrone Tracy entered the game averaging around 30 yards per kick return including a score. The Hawkeyes did not give up any kick return yards.

On to Wisconsin:

I had us losing to Wisconsin in my preseason prediction. Being without our QB1, TE1, and RB2 makes me feel even worse. However, there are plenty of stories of players like Deacon Hill beating their former squads. If our defense (when do we start calling our defense our primary offense?) can get a score, the Hawks can “steal” a win against Bucky. As always, Go Hawks!