Hawkeyes (Mostly) Dismantle ISU

I was not expecting that.  What we witnessed for 55 of the 60 minutes on Saturday night was a brutal beating in football parlance.

Iowa ran at will against Iowa State, punishing them in a way that we have rarely seen since Iowa State actually made this a rivalry 15 years ago after snapping Iowa’s 15-game series winning streak. Some late game special teams and secondary gaffes made the final score of 26-20 much closer than it actually was.

The Hawkeyes still have a lot to clean up and they’ll have another very beatable foe next week before Big Ten play begins, but this was the kind of ‘feel good’ win this team needed.  This was something the Iowa fans needed in more ways than one, too.

A) It’s always good to beat Iowa State
B) It’s even better to destroy them
C) It was good to have a performance like this after last week

Iowa beat Missouri State last week in a game that really didn’t feel like a win; fans were moping and wondering just what kind of year this would be.

While everyone is still wondering what kind of year this will be, a dominant win against Iowa State on the road is real good medicine. It was a healthy dose of Mark Weisman and the Iowa running game that basically could have run for positive yards on every play.

Iowa’s game clinching drive that began at the start of the fourth quarter went 15 plays for 73 yards and ate up 7:38 on the clock. It was old school, give the ball to Sedrick Shaw 1995-type of domination and looked like this:

Domination. Don’t just take my word for it, here are two Cyclone fans:

Paul Clark probably died a little bit typing that, too.

Following that drive, which left less than eight-minutes in the game, Iowa had 359 yards to 179 yards for Iowa State. 67 of Iowa State’s yards came on a missed tackle by BJ Lowery when Iowa blitzed on third down in man to man coverage. Iowa had run 76 plays to Iowa State’s 43 at that point in time, too. Iowa had 21 first downs to just seven for Iowa State at that point and the score was 27-7 with 7:05 to play.

ISU would score two more touchdowns and the Hawkeyes will need to keep working on man to man coverage and clean tackling on the back end. Iowa State also executed an onside kick recovery in this game which seems to happen a few times per year against the Hawkeyes.

So in the end it was like a reverse Monet; from far away it doesn’t look to good but when you analyze things close up, it wasn’t bad. It still wasn’t great, but it didn’t have to be:

-Iowa ran the ball 60 times out of their 83 plays
-Mark Weisman carried the ball 35 times for 148 yards
-Iowa was 11-20 on third down conversions
-ISU was 5-14 on third downs
-ISU was held to just 59 yards rushing on the game
-Iowa ran 83 plays and controlled the ball for over 38 of the 60 minutes

Jake Rudock continues to impress the heck out of me. The kid has a great head on his shoulders and is the best looking young QB Iowa has had since Drew Tate and probably Matt Rogers before that. While Ricky Stanzi flashed and impressed as a sophomore in 2008, Rudock is more in control of the offense and looks more confident in himself than Stanzi was that year. Stanzi also had more targets to throw to, or rather targets that would hold on to the ball; Iowa added four more drops to their season tally tonight with three of them coming on third downs which effectively killed the drive. Two of them were by CJ Fiedorowicz, another by Tevaun Smith and the last by Jacob Hillyer. Rudock finished 14-23 for 160 yards and if those four passes were caught, he would have been 18-23 for around 200 yards. He has a very bright future at Iowa and he’s going to be the starter to the end of the year as long as he stays healthy.

Weisman looked like he was having a ball out there and was actually looking for contact late in the game. He’s gonna need some time in the ice bath as he’s had 85 carries in three games for 425 yards, which is nearly 142 yards per game.

No Cyclone had more than 26 yards on the ground as the Hawkeye front four did work in this contest with Carl Davis leading the way. He’s really come into his own this year and he was drawing some double teams in this contest.

What should we take away from this game? Or rather, what do I take away from it?

Iowa likely gained some confidence and learned more about itself. We knew all spring and summer that this Iowa team’s strength was going to be in its power running attack. After three games, Iowa is running the ball nearly 65-percent of the time, so that is on the mark. Rudock is a better quarterback than I thought he would be, much better; but Iowa’s wide receivers are more challenged than I expected them to be and I wrote they would be the most challenged unit of the Ferentz era….which is saying something.

Iowa is still struggling to score points despite dominating much of the past two games; the Hawkeyes have now gone 10 games without scoring 30 points.

The defense definitely takes away some much needed confidence from this game, even though that was the worst offensive line they’ve seen this year. Yes, I think Missouri State’s offensive line was better than what ISU had out there most of this game. While Iowa could very well be a three or four win team itself, I think Iowa State is going to struggle to win even one game this year.

In the end, the Hawks rushed for more than 200 yards for the third straight game, the first time that has happened since 2002. They emerged from the game relatively healthy and they are riding a two-game winning streak for the first time in nearly a year. They have the look of many Ferentz era teams, in that they may be an improving team week to week this year.

The big question will be what is their ceiling?

  • BearHawk83

    I see wins against Western Michigan at home, Minnesota on the road, Purdue on the road, a split at home with MSU/Wisconsin… hard to say right now and an opportunity to beat Nebraska on the road. Iowa has a really unique team this year. If they can keep their confidence up and go into Michigan State with a 4 game winning streak, they could have a pretty good year. When you look at this schedule, everyone is beatable. It’s all about managing the work load and keeping mistakes too a minimum. I can honestly say, I’m optimistic. Its hard not to be after that performance tonight.

    • Josh Yelland

      Can’t agree more. That MSU/Wisky split would be nice, rather have the Wisky win. Again, outside of OSU (a win for the ages) we shouldn’t be written off so easily.

  • jeff buck

    Feel exactly the same about Rudock. Funny isn’t it? Very muted praise of him coming into this season, very measured. What the heck was that about? On thing about his background that isn’t highlighted enough is that he led that big noise high school in Florida to two state titles. That’s a big stage, and Rudock now plays like a guy who’s taken a lot of snaps on big stages. He has a real different look, somehow, but what he brings really reminds you of Drew Tate…. Why did we not play Daniels and Powell?

    • Bozo

      “best young QB since Drew Tate”…. not “he reminds me of Drew Tate.

      • Josh Yelland

        Rudock is his own Drew Tate

  • hawki5120

    My big Concern coming out of the game is Weisman. He is a blast to watch but he takes a heck of a beating running the way he runs. Keeping this pace up all season without getting hurt is going to be tough. I agree totally about Rudock. If he continues to improve he could end up very good. I liked a shot of him on the sideling last night. You could see he was mad but he still kept his cool.

    • jeff buck

      I was thinking the same thing. Still, Greene played pretty much the same way, and it worked out. It’s a matter of chance, but….

    • Josh Yelland

      I hope there is no reason we can’t rest him second half Saturday

  • really

    Iowa State is horrible. This game was no more fun than Missouri State. Iowa is a joke, Ferentz and staff have no clue, and when Iowa starts playing actual football teams, it’s gonna get uglier than 1973.

    • Joyce Lee

      it’s obvious that you are not a TRUE blue Hawk Fan.

  • Panther

    No Daniels. No Powell. Great job on the onside kick…again. Congrats on beating the team that UNI beat. But at least Iowa got a trophy. Cool stuff. Enjoy it. Western Michigan gave NW a pretty tough time. No confidence at all that Iowa can beat the Broncos next week. None. Are we having fun yet?

    • Joyce Lee

      stay off of this website.

    • dave7605

      Panther fans are pathetic. Nice failed attempt at acting superior to Iowa. When was the last time UNI actually beat Iowa? Probably before you were born which isn’t saying much since by judging your post I am guessing you’re maybe 5 years old.

      • Mark Schwarck

        The Panthers have beaten Iowa one time back in 1898, it was 11-5. Iowa has not lost to UNI since…14 straight. Panther needs to realize he/she is not talking about the Cyclowns.

  • Seriously?


    If this is satire or sarcasm, it’s awesome. If its’ serious, maybe it’s time to check the kool-ade. After all, you admit that ISU probably won’t win a game all year, so what’s so awesome about what Iowa did Saturday in Ames?

  • Beat Purdue?

    You people think Iowa can beat Purdue? Did you watch that ND-Purdue game? ND barely managed a 7-point win and had to score 21 in the 4th to manage that. Iowa has struggled to survive against the two worst teams on their schedule, and two of the worst in the universe, and you think Iowa will just show up and beat Western Michigan, Minnesota and maybe Michigan State? It must be glorious to be so delusional. I hope you folks have a padded room ready. I think you may need one as soon as next Saturday afternoon when the Hawkeyes lose, again, to Western Michigan.

    • Joyce Lee

      ru an Iowa State fan? Sound like it.

      • Josh Yelland

        That dude may have an extra cell phone or two on him.

  • Grady

    Rudock has impressive poise, no doubt. But as someone studying to become a pediatric cardiologist, you have to figure the easiest thing he did this week was probably hand off to Weisman 60 times on Saturday night.

  • qchawkeye

    Seriously cmon. They only thing this team needs are wins. Who really cares how they are winning and if it was pretty or not. We are 2-1. All that matters!! Lets get behind our hawks and CHEER CHEER CHEER!!!!

  • Hawk7458

    Jon, you picked the Clone’s to win.Your pretty tough on Ferentz.


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