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Catching up on the complementary scorecard

Iowa continues to win in absoutely unique ways

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

It’s been a few weeks since I occupied this space recapping Iowa Hawkeyes statistics in this space. I missed the Western Michigan and Penn State games taking in the scenes of Northwest Arkansas and couldn’t bring myself to editorialize stuff I didn’t see.

The Hawks have been absolutely wonky since the last time I went through these stats. The scripted drives have been subpar and signs of life from the Western Michigan seem impossible to replicate.

I’ve been thinking: it’s objectively great to wins games like the one against Michigan State how they won against them. Our Hawks overcame injuries but kept the opponent out of the end zone and capitalized on just enough mistakes to beat a hated enemy. The issue is that seems to be the only way Iowa wins anymore. Kirk Ferentz clings to those eight-point leads in wildly effective, if frustrating ways.

I mean, the only reason Iowa took steps forward in all seven stats are because the game against Penn State was just ... that ... dreadful.

Here are the stats from Saturday via Team Rankings.

This season in complementary football

(Reminder of the weightings here)

Note the numbers in the parentheses are Iowa’s percentiles in each week. I missed capturing them the week after PSU so those are blank but are almost certainly near the bottom.

2023 Iowa football complementary football stats

Opponent Win? Turnovers TOP Offensive TDs 3rd Down Conversion YPC Comp % QB sacks
Opponent Win? Turnovers TOP Offensive TDs 3rd Down Conversion YPC Comp % QB sacks
Utah State Y 0 (99) 31:12 (69) 3 (61) 35% (41) 2.4 (23) 55% (27) 1 (75)
@ Iowa State Y 1 (74) 26:30 (22) 1 (25) 36% (46) 3.9 (53) 60% (29) 1 (83)
Western Michigan Y 2 (44) 33:53 (80) 5 (92) 33% (43) 5.9 (83) 50% (23) 4 (20)
@ Penn State N 4 14:33 0 11% 1.2 38% 3
Michigan State Y 2 (34) 26:12 (23) 1 (16) 15% (4) 2.3 (19) 44% (5) 1 (79)

The numbers net out to: .625 for this week. This is where the win really makes this look fine before realizing that without the win, it’d have been .125. After all, Iowa’s best ranking was QB sacks and then turnovers. Yikes!

Looking ahead to Purdue’s opponents’ numbers:

Turnovers: 1.2 (86/131)
Time of Possession: 29:57 (74)
Offensive TDs: 3.6 (90)
3rd down conversion: 46.6% (109)
Yards/carry: 4.1 (71)
Completion percentage: 57.8% (33)
QB sacks: 3.4 (12)

Purdue is strongest as a pass defense, though their sack number is a smidge inflated due to 6 (!!!) against Illinois in that beatdown. The key will be taking what they’re given in the run game - a healthy Kaleb Johnson goes a long way here - which should help Iowa stay ahead of the chains. That should help them capitalize on the Boilers’ 3rd down defense.

From there, it’s just getting into the end zone.

See you there.