Saturday, October 26, 2013

11 Thoughts on Iowa vs. Northwestern

1. I'm going into this game with high hopes, and if there is one thing Northwestern is known for, it is destroying Iowa's hopes with stupid luck and chicanery.

2. I love when Iowa plays at a fast pace, because it is unlike anything any other team does. They don't spread teams out; they keep things even tighter and just pound the ball to help set up their play action. It is aesthetically pleasing for somebody who loves watching a good run game.

3. Rudock is very good at running the sneak. If they don't stack the middle, he shoots in right behind his center. If they do stack the middle, he just takes his time and goes behind his guard or tackle depending on where he can find some space. A guy like Cam Newton will always be great at sneaks with his athleticism and leg power, but being patient works for less athletic quarterbacks. Tom Brady is an excellent example of this, but I promise this will be the only Brady/Rudock comparison I make today.

4. Iowa used James Morris as a spy this week, which is a way better use of a fourth rusher considering the lack of rush they have been able to generate with their defensive line. Learning lessons from last week is a very positive step forward. It also doesn't hurt that he made a great play on a delayed rush with a sack on Colter.

5. Northwestern showed that although Iowa can handle power running, speed running with misdirection can pick up yardage, especially if the quarterback is a key part of the running game.

6. It is very tough for me to be critical of Iowa's strategies, because it's never poor; it's just often not good enough. That is why it seems as though any time an offense gets a penalty, they can never recover to get that first down. Teams can get ten yards on Iowa, but they'd shut teams down if they changed the rules to go 12 yards.

7. Meyer missed the kick against Northwestern, because these things always happen against Northwestern. He never had a chance.

8. I am glad that even Kirk pointed out that Rudock made the right call on his interception at the end of the game. Trying to thread the needle there is well worth the risk, as an interception did not put Iowa in any danger, and if he is able to complete it, they are set up to try a field goal as time expires in regulation. It's a situation where stats can be deceiving.

9. The touchdown pass to Fiedorowicz was a well designed play. In man coverage, you know the man in coverage has to protect on inside breaking routes, so all he had to do was loft it out there  and count on his tight end having a step on his man.

10. Desmond King makes plays. I am super excited about his future, as he may be the first cornerback since Jovon Johnson who will get crunk on the field.

11. 5-3 is very solid. This team plays everybody tough, and nobody is claiming that Ferentz should be fired. It's a good time to be a Hawkeye.

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