Saturday night in Iowa City the Iowa Hawkeyes put to bed any arguments concerning how good this team really is with a complete dismantling of the 22nd ranked Penn State Nittany Lions by a margin of 24-3. To be honest, it wasn’t even as close as the final score may indicate. I mean, our Defense did outscore their offense after all. That fact alone kept me a little stiff in the shorts all weekend long.
Offensively the Hawks did what they needed to do. Ricky Stanzi threw a modest 16 of 22 for 227 yards and a TD (also one rushing) with only one interception (that was glaringly reminiscent of last season’s poor-decision-extravaganza). DJK and Marvin McNutt combined for 9 catches for 157 yards and a TD, and Adam Robinson proved once again that WE DON’T NEED BRANDON WEGHER by rushing for nearly 100 yards and a TD.
One point of concern I would like to air out is our complete lack of offense in the 2nd half. Okay, so we were up between 14 and 17 points at that juncture, and our Defense is second to none, but why must we constantly rely on our defense to hold our lead? Kirk Ferentz (please don’t be mad Kirk, I love you) and company insisted on just pounding the run game into 8 and 9 man fronts the majority of the 2nd half. Why not build our lead? Give us a big cushion to rest on. Run up the score, please.
I realize the arguments against that tactic, i.e. make no mistakes/turnovers, let the Defense do what they do. That’s all good and well but what happens if, God forbid, the other team breaks a few big scoring plays? Or, and I know we would all be shocked to see something like this (insert sarcasm here), our special teams melts down and hands the damn game over. We have quite a few offensive weapons. Let’s use them for 60 minutes. Just a thought, coach.
Defensively, the game went about as expected. Total Domination. Enough said.
Okay, not enough said. I for one can’t stop talking about how well the Hawkeye Defense played. Penn State’s Evan Royster never stood a chance. Freshman quarterback also, no chance. And guess what Big Ten, ADRIAN CLAYBORN IS BACK BITCHES! 10 tackles, 3 for a loss, and 1 sack by the dreadlocked destroyer earned him Big 10 Defensive player of the week (again) this week. He just imposed his will on nearly every down, as did the rest of the front four.
The Lions only put together two decent drives all night, one of which was aided by a bullshit roughing the passer call which negated an interception, and the other which was stifled by an epic goal line stand at the one yard line. I’d also like to mention again that Shaun Prater’s pick six in the 4th quarter resulted in Iowa’s Defense outscoring the whole of Penn State’s offense. So I guess I take back what I said Kirk. Who needs an offense when your Defense is that good?
On a sadder note, I think we all may have witnessed the last step into true senility by the legendary Joe Paterno. You’re really going to punt to ball at midfield with just over four minutes left in the game, down by 2 touchdowns? With no timeouts?! I love you Joe Pa, but enough is enough. Maybe it’s a more simple explanation than alzheimers or advanced macular degeneration. I don’t know. It could just be that he knew what we all already knew; that the game was already over.
I’d like to give a quick shout-out to all the Iowa fans in attendance Saturday night for pulling off the black-and-gold coordinated seating. Two words: Fucking Awesome. Something tells me that visual masterpiece may have started a new tradition in Iowa football.
Next up comes my least favorite week during football season, our bye week. What the hell am I supposed to do next Saturday? Root on Iowa State? I hardly think so. Maybe it’s time to check out a UNI game this year.
Anyhow, nobody gives a shit what I’m going to be doing so let me tell you what the Hawkeyes will be up to. The bye week gives our boys an extra week to prepare for Denard Robinson and the Michigan Wolverines on October 16th, 2:30 Central time.
Until then Hawkeye fans, bask in the underrated glory that is 15th in the country and climbing back, and enjoy being undefeated in conference play.
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