Happy Returns in Hawkeyes Rout

The Iowa Hawkeyes obliterated Western Michigan on Saturday in Kinnick Stadium, a rout that was sparked by back to back punt returns for touchdowns by Kevonte Martin-Manley.

He’s the first player in the Big Ten to do that since Garcia Lane of Ohio State in 1983 and just the third in league history. It was that kind of day for Iowa when most things went right during the final three quarters of the game.

Senior cornerback BJ Lowery returned two interceptions for touchdowns, Jake Rudock threw two touchdowns and a backup quarterback not only played, but looked good in the win calling his own number on several zone reads and showing why people love his arm and upside.

It was the first time Iowa fans could sit back and actually enjoy a game where they outcome was not in doubt by halftime for the first time in a real, real long time. So long that it inspired this tweet from one of our followers:

The offense wasn’t exactly a well-oiled machine, but they chipped in along the way despite sitting their starters for the fourth quarter of this game. Jake Rudock was 10-15 for 134 yards and two scores, including a pretty 29-yard strike to Damond Powell in the third quarter. He continues to make good decisions and is more than just a game manager, but he can certainly be that for Iowa.

CJ Beatherd relieved Jake Rudock and did a solid job, showing off his big arm on a near 60-yard hookup with Damond Powell where Powell ran a simple fly route; no fakes, pure speed and Beatherd had to give it all he had and the ball hit Powell in stride. It was one of the prettier Iowa passing plays since the Hawkeyes comeback against Pittsburgh in 2011.

Jordan Canzeri led Iowa with 73 rushing yards on 13 carries. Leshun Daniels was behind him with 13 carries for 54 yards. Both of those players lost fumbles but the fact Iowa was involved in a blowout, it allowed the to come back in the game and respond to their mistakes.

Iowa’s defense continues to impress, allowing just 74 rushing yards on the day and not allowing a first down until the second quarter. WMU was just 1-14 on third downs on this game.

Western Michigan is not a good football team but they have played two common Iowa foes; Michigan State and Northwestern. The Spartans have one of the ten best defenses in the nation and allowed 204 yards in their 26-13 win. 14 of MSU’s 26 points came from the defense, the same total Iowa got from their defense on Saturday. Click on the links of those teams to see the box scores from those match ups.

This is the type of win that Iowa needed, one to sort of flush out their pipes. The first quarter was still rather atrocious offensively, since Iowa decided to keep running into eight and nine man fronts and not attacking the seams or vertical routes. But somebody made a play, which ignited the team….and Iowa never took its foot off the accelerator.

Iowa will face off against 4-0 Minnesota next week. Don’t pay too much attention to their box score as their starting quarterback, Phillip Nelson, did not play and they wen’t all ground game this week. Nelson is a dangerous thrower, to be sure. It might actually be a game worthy of the regional ABC television slot it occupies, and a 2:30 central kick.

Iowa improves to 3-1 with the win after starting last season 2-2 before peaking at 4-2. Iowa began the 2011 season with a 3-1 record then lost in game five at Penn State. Look for more notes and quotes later today and into the evening.

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  • OhBoy

    So now that Canzeri and Daniels had enough carries to actually show what they can do, I will second the notion that Weisman is a bruiser, but these two should see plenty of touches the rest of the way. (It might be worth noting that Weisman fumbled in his first action of the year, too, against N. Ill. The only backs who never fumble are the ones who never play.) Bullock should be the 4th RB and see most of his PT in the WR rotation. And I guess Damond Powell is just as fast whether he knows every syllable of the playbook or not.

    Great to see Beathard in real life, although I’m guessing it was hard for KF to break his nation-leading streak of 15 straight games without using the backup QB. But streaks are made to be broken. Having seen Beathard air it out to Powell and hit him in perfect stride going full speed was awesome, and Beathard showed he’s not afraid to tuck it and pick up some good yards. Now that the curtain has been pulled back, it’s easy to see why choosing a starting QB was pretty much a coin flip. I like Rudock, but it’s nice to have Beathard, too, although for how long is a question for another day.

    And thank goodness the good guy had the Hawks take a knee with a minute and half to go on the 4 yard line. Losing 59-3 is SO much better for WMU than 66-3. Keep rowin’ that boat back there in Kalamazoo… And it’s nice to no longer be winless against the Broncos.

    Now we’ll see if the coaches can take talent that seems about equal to everyone in the league except OSU, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and shake things up in the Big Ten.

    • louie

      Daniels should definitely be the back up.I disagree on Canzeri.I don’t think he should get any carries in big ten.he is not a big ten back.he’s too small.he looked good vs. a nobody that has smaller players.Daniels should get 10-15 carries a game.the fumble he had was a good defensive play that would had any of our backs fumbling.

      • HNStaff

        Louie, didn’t Daniels play against those same nobodies?

        • louie

          that’s true ,but if you can judge talent at all you can see that Daniels is big time.Kind of like the first time I saw Hampton play,and he just wasted away on bench behind Robinson.Canzeri is a scat back ,and would be good at catching ball out of back field.he would be good back in lower tier conference.same could be said for Bullock.

          • Tim Schoh

            You’re biased. Canzeri is avging 4.9 yds per carry just like Weisman. Daniels is avging 4.4. To say Canzeri should get no more carries strips you of all credibility

          • westsidebill

            Tim:

            Number of carries MIGHT make a difference too. Take out Canzeri’s TD run and then check his average. Canzeri is NOT a full-time or half-time back; he’s a 3rd down scatback at best.

      • GP

        Just because Canzeri isn’t a big bruiser doesn’t mean he isn’t good enough to have a role on this team. Oregon doesn’t have the biggest backs either but they seem to get by just fine. He’s shown not only this game but even against OK in the bowl game he started that he’s a player. You can say he’s not your style of back. But he’s clearly a capable D1 football player that is capable of touching the ball 10-15 times a game if need be.

        • westsidebill

          Canzeri looked OK on a couple of runs; he looked average the rest of the time. Still don’t understand the love that so many seem to have for him – he’s done little in 3 years here.

  • westsidebilltx

    RE: Ferentz’s comment about Beatheard playing (the other links are closed):

    It was a cheap shot at media AND fans that dared to question his non-use of any other QB other than JVB last year despite horrid returns on JVB’s play AND the fact it wouldn’t have made a single difference in the team’s ability to win. To fans that are sick of the “let’s make everything close and competitive, even against weak teams – and then lose to them” crowd, it was unnecessarily snide considering it’s been rather rare that KF’s teams have actually dispatched weaker competition so thoroughly. So call me whiny all you want, but let’s see how the Hawks look by the end of the year. It’s been a LONG time (2008) since they actually improved as the season progressed.

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