Well that was interesting.
By now, you all have probably poured over the stats and asked yourself the same questions. How? Why now? Did something change? Why couldn’t they do this all season? Is Deacon Hill turning a corner? Was the coaching staff right in believing in him (kind of like Iowa’s version of Jalen Mil...lolololol sorry I get excited)? Did Kirk take the training wheels off Brian? Did Brian finally break through to this offense? Did someone finally realize that Kaleb Brown exists? Did someone ask the players “what would you like to run?” or “what kind of plays do you think are successful for what we have available”? Or did BF just get lucky? Can you be lucky while going 9-18 on third down and 2-2 on fourth? Has the offensive line finally solidified itself? Over 38 minutes of possession time and zero three-and-outs...HOW HOW HOW?
Or was this just a good gameplan against a not so great Rutgers team that was battling the players as much as they were battling this amazing fan base who were absolutely relentless at Kinnick Stadium?
I don’t have the answers for you. Wish I did.
But what I do know is that it was fun to finally see SOMETHING out of the unit that in every other college town is in charge of producing points. We’ve all been saying it all year long, if the offense can just figure out a way to score 14-to-21 points per game, Iowa’s defense and special teams and coaching philosophies (flipping the field and daring a team to drive 80+ yards on Phil Parker’s defense) is going to be enough against this schedule and possibly enough to give them a fighters chance in Indy.
That point was proven Saturday in a total team win.
I can’t be the only one that felt the entire Hawkeye team collectively exhale in relief the minute Iowa went up 12-0. Sure, being up six was probably PLENTY for Iowa to get to 8-2 against this Rutgers team, but going up 12-0 with an entire quarter left to play had to have felt like absolute bliss for the defense. They were finally off the hook.
And that’s the best part about this team - there was no relenting even after they KNEW the cat was in the bag and the bag was in the river. They just kept about their business, but it almost felt like they did it with an even nastier edge than before. I suppose it’s easier playing football without a puckered you know what.
That’s true complementary football.
Look, Brian Ferentz is done as the OC here. But I think I speak for most of the fanbase and readers here when I say that I would be thrilled with him giving everyone a middle finger on his way out. An “I’ll prove you wrong” attitude is ultimately a giant win for all of us and if it means he gets a job on another staff when it’s all said and done, good for him. The guy is a Hawkeye at the end of the day and it seems like a lot of former and current players like the dude. I truly hope he finds success... it just cannot be as the OC of this program any longer.
Speaking of BF middle fingers, it was brought to my attention by the former SpoCo Radio host DCIII that Brian Ferentz seemingly didn’t wear a single Hawkeye logo on the sidelines Saturday and I didn’t really see anyone else notice it. Look for yourself.
I’m here for the temporary all black, no logo BF revenge tour. Let’s just hope he’s here for it too.
One last thing - I cannot wait to see what Kirk Ferentz does from here. He was emotional after this win and for good reason. Iowa won in an absolute route, are in full control of their own destiny and when it was all said and done, it kinda felt like the Hawkeyes took Rutgers to the ol’ woodshed (those 22 points felt like 50!). But when this season is over and the Bowl Games are finished, this season is going to bring us one of two things for our football future:
- There will be legit opportunities to make the expanded playoff with the Kirk/Phil/LeVar regime because KF realizes that he needs to let go of the offense and bring someone in that can actually complement his Top-10 defensive and special teams units. He will provide that new coordinator full autonomy to implement, call and recruit for his OWN OFFENSE and this will in theory make Iowa a year-in and year-out contender to make the 12-team playoff and ultimately cement Kirk’s legacy in Iowa City as the GOAT.
- He doubles down and thinks he knows more than everyone else...and is now hardened, emboldened and enraged from how the new AD handled the firing of his son. He refuses to let go of his offensive philosophies and keeps his thumb pressed against the new offensive coordinator that he probably promotes from within (he maybe even brings Brian back as an offensive line coach and muddies the waters even more as an extra F-U). He has a point to prove that will ultimately force the fans and university to revolt and sour on him completely before his contract is up.
I don’t see any other way this plays out. I truly hope and I truly believe it will be the former. He has to let it go and bring Iowa into the 2000’s. He has to figure out a way to get that offense humming again if he wants this program to continue the sustained success he’s worked to hard at establishing. Every single Iowa fan I know is all for Kirk staying for as long as he would like. Hell, I know multiple people that cry every time he cries. After seeing him in the post game interview and podium after Saturday’s win, how could you not feel that emotion from him. You can tell how much he loves this.
We just need you to make it a little easier on yourself, KF! Having an offense that is still conservative by nature but able to move the ball would be a godsend. Help you, help you and let it happen.