clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Iowa Football Position Grades: Penn State

Penn State is much better than Iowa.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Penn State
Hawks fumble on national stage
Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that Ohio State beat Notre Dame on Saturday night with a one-person advantage. The Irish had 10 defensive players on the field. I mention this because it feels like Iowa’s offense has been facing 12 defenders for the last number of years. I watch quite a bit of college football including Division III ball (shout out to Macalester College and the MIAC) and I have never seen ineptitude like we see each week from Iowa’s offense.

After Saturday’s 31-0 shellacking (I predicted 30-10), my take was that the difference came down to the two offensive lines. Penn State’s was tremendous, and Iowa’s was atrocious. Also, I’m not sure where I thought those ten points were going to come from. On to the grades:



Iowa’s quarterbacks went 6-16 for 56 yards. Both Cade McNamara and Deacon Hill fumbled the football. I’m going with this for the grade, but our offensive line is to blame for everything. It starts with the head coach, the coordinator, and the position coach in that order. Kirk Ferentz, Brian Ferentz, and George Barnett are not getting it done offensively.

RB: D-

With Kaleb Johnson and Jaz Patterson out, it wasn’t going to be easy for Leshon Williams and Kamari Moulton. With our offensive line not doing much of anything, the Hawks rushed for 20 yards on 17 carries (1.2) Moulton put the ball on the ground but the Hawkeyes recovered it. I’d give this group an “F” based on the stats, but they didn’t have any holes.

WR: D-

See above. I don’t even feel like typing more than this.


Luke Lachey and Erick All will both be very good NFL tight ends. Lachey is out for the year and All had three catches for 35 yards. All coughed the ball up trying to fight for extra yards and the floodgates burst open.

OL: F-

I have done these grades for three years or so. I don’t recall giving this grade before. Iowa’s offensive line was run over and around all day long. Iowa allowed three sacks, six QBH, and averaged 1.2 yards/rush. The good news is that we were so bad, that the guys didn’t get tired out. Running only 33 offensive plays does have its advantages. Kirk Ferentz is (was?) one of the best offensive line coaches in the world. Brian Ferentz was a good offensive line coach. I’m sure George Barnett is a great person, but Iowa needs something different. Ultimately this falls on Kirk’s plate.


DL: C-

Iowa didn’t sack Drew Allar even though he threw it 37 times. The Hawks’ Ethan Hurkett had his name called many times; he ended with nine tackles. Joe Evans and Yahya Black played solid games. They both collected seven tackles. Evans had 1 QBH. Logan Lee had six tackles and Deontae Craig recorded five with a QBH.


Iowa’s linebackers weren’t perfect, but they played their guts out. Jay Higgins amassed 18 tackles. Nick Jackson had 13 tackles including 2.5 TFL. Kyler Fisher had seven tackles and 1 TFL.

DB/Cash: C

The longest play the Hawkeyes gave up was 19 yards on the ground and 16 yards through the air. Iowa isn’t as solid in coverage as we are accustomed to, but this position group did not lose the game for us.

Special Teams: C

There were mistakes made on special teams that Iowa normally doesn’t make. The Hawks muffed a punt when our downfield blocker was hit by a punt. Also, the Hawks gave Penn State an automatic first down on a field goal attempt by leaping over the center. The Hawkeyes were fair-catching kickoffs, even though there appeared to be a potential return to be made. Tory Taylor had one of his best days statistically punting seven times for a 52.3-yard average. Drew Stevens didn’t need to get off the bus.

What’s Next?

Penn State is more than likely the best team we will face this year, certainly in the regular season. I still think the Hawkeyes can get to Indy. We may face Penn State again. Hopefully, by that time we have an identity for our offense. Come to think of it, we do have an identity for our offense, I just don’t care for it. Props to our defensive guys once again. You played the equivalent of two ballgames out there in the rain. Respect.

Despite all of this, it’s great to be a Hawkeye.