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Iowa Football Position Grades: Iowa State

The Hawkeyes move to 2-0 on the young season.

Syndication: The Ames Tribune
Hawkeye State!
Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s always been a Hawkeye state. It will be a Hawkeye state going forward. That said, Matt Campbell has brought respectability to Ames. The Hawks and the Cyclones went head-to-head in a physical football game with the Hawkeyes winning 20-13 (the author predicted this score earlier this week). That prediction and three bucks will get me a cup of coffee most anywhere, so I’m feeling pretty good about that.


QB: C-

Cade McNamara did what veteran quarterbacks are supposed to do on the road, he won. On the day he was 12 for 22 for 123 yards (55%), 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception. I have a great deal of confidence when Cade drops back to pass, but he’s not where he will be once he gets more comfortable and his leg injury heals (hopefully). I love how Cade stands in the pocket and keeps his eyes on his receivers even when he knows he’s going to get hit. McNamara missed a wide open Seth Anderson on a deep ball that would have been six. His interception came on a pass that was intended for Nico Ragaini in which Ragaini was tackled before the ball arrived.


Welcome to getting a lot of carries moving forward, Jaziun Patterson! Patterson’s north-south running gave the Hawkeyes a serious boost on the ground against a very tough Iowa State defense. Patterson hit his holes quickly and finished with 86 yards on 10 carries (8.6). This 59 yard run by Patterson was Iowa’s longest gain of the day. It was blocked well and Patterson did the rest.

Patterson also found the endzone with Iowa’s only offensive touchdown. Kaleb Johnson struggled on the day gaining 28 yards on 15 carries (1.9). I would expect the two backs to have an even share of the reps going forward.


Iowa’s passing attack is never going to be geared toward putting up big numbers. It does feel like our guys can compete this year, so there is some progress. Nico Ragaini led the wide receivers with two catches for eight yards. Seth Anderson caught one ball that was high; he gained 14 yards on the play. Diante Vines caught one ball for seven yards. I’d love to see Kaleb Brown involved more in the passing game going forward.

TE(U): A-

The Hawkeyes played four tight ends on the day. Luke Lachey led the Hawkeye pass catchers with three receptions for 58 yards. Erick All hauled in three passes for 32 yards. Both Lachey and All will get drafted to The League to continue Iowa’s legacy as Tight End University. Steven Stillianos and Addison Ostrenga both were very effective blockers.


Iowa’s offensive line looked better to me against Iowa State than it did against Utah State. The fact that Iowa State is better than Utah State is an accomplishment to build upon. Iowa averaged 3.9 yards on the ground. Cade McNamara was sacked once and hurried four times. There were some plays where Iowa’s receivers ran slower-developing double moves, and Cade Mac had a clean pocket. Iowa’s season will come down to how this unit progresses. The improvement was noted, Hawks.



Iowa’s defensive line has not put up the sack numbers I expected, but they have done an excellent job of making plays. The Hawkeyes were held sackless, but Ethan Hurkett had two TFL’s and five total tackles, and Joe Evans had five tackles (1 TFL), a pass breakup, and two QBH’s. The Cyclone rushing game averaged just 2.8 yards per carry.

Evans was everywhere in his last game in his hometown of Ames.

LB’s: B

Iowa got solid production from its linebackers against Iowa State. Nick Jackson looked more comfortable in his second start; he collected nine tackles and had a QBH. Jay Higgins had seven stops and one pass breakup. Kyler Fisher tallied five tackles including .5 TFL. It will be interesting to see who steps up as the Hawkeyes need to develop some depth at this position.


All-everything Cooper DeJean finished with ten tackles, .5 TFL, and 1 pass breakup. Deshaun Lee played his second good game, tallying nine tackles and two pass breakups. Quinn Schulte had six stops including one TFL. Sebastian Castro made the play of the day stepping in front of a Rocco Becht pass and making a house call.

Special Teams: A

Iowa’s special teams once again made an impact on the game. Logan Lee blocked Iowa State’s first field goal attempt. Iowa’s Drew Stevens was 2 for 2 on field goals (28, 34) and 2 for 2 on his extra points. Tory Taylor punted six times for an average of 46.3 yards.

It was not a pretty game in Ames, but when Kirk Ferentz and Matt Campbell face off, it’s going to be an old-school slobberknocker. It did not disappoint on that level, if you like physical football. I expected the Hawks to beat the Cyclones. It will be important for the Hawkeyes to improve on some things heading into our third game of the season. In 2013 the Hawks beat PJ Fleck’s Western Michigan team 59-3. Prior to that, Iowa had lost 19-28 in 2007, and by a score of 21-27 in 2000 to the Broncos.