Saturday, November 2, 2013

7 Thoughts on Iowa vs. Wisconsin

Spoiler alert: Iowa lost to Wisconsin. Just like always, they hung around for three quarters before clearly not having enough in the tank to compete in the fourth. Even though there were a lot of negatives, there were still some positives mixed in there.

1. The biggest thing that stood out from the first quarter was Kirk Ferentz's decisions on fourth down. He went for one but punted on two occasions where they definitely should have gone for it. It's frustrating, but it's Iowa, and it's always been Iowa. He has shown more willingness to go for it as time has gone on, but it's still frustrating how often he punts, especially, because Iowa's plodding offense puts them in 4th and 4 or less more than most teams.

2. Iowa trusted their secondary a lot more than they have in past games. This is an area where I wish I had the All-22 tape, because everything with receiving and secondary work is near impossible to judge from what you see on television. I haven't watched enough of Wisconsin to know how their passing game operates, but Iowa felt comfortable trusting their secondary and sending blitzes, and it really paid off. 

3. With that being said, Stave is not a real dangerous quarterback, and the Hawkeyes were also able to do that due to the great job they did on first and second downs by stopping the run and forcing them into 3rd and long situations.

4. Wisconsin's first touchdown was on Tanner Miller. It looked like Cover-3 (Corners take deep outside thirds, with a safety taking the deep middle third of the field), and Desmond King plays the outside third, so his job is to filter him to the middle and let his safety take care of things. Miller got fooled by Stave's eyes and committed to one side of the field, Stave looked back and put a nice throw out to Pederson for the touchdown. 

5. Impressive thing about CJ Beathard is that he has excellent pocket presence. He can wait until the very last second to throw the ball. Bad things about CJ Beathard is he throws the ball too low which caused some issues. The bigger problem that I see is that he seemed to stare down his receivers before throwing the ball. Some deceptive eye movement could treat him very well down the line.

6. The big run by James White near the end was caused by John Lowdermilk just being late to close up that hole. That's the problem with Iowa's roster, they have to be perfect on technique, because they are not the most athletic guys in the world. 

7. It's the same old story with Iowa. Although I feel the offense is leaps and bounds better than last year. There is still the gigantic issue of them not involving their most talented group of players which is tight end. Why not just keep three tight ends, put them in a trips formation and mess people's worlds up. Not only would it be a dominant run formation, but you can vary their routes enough to confuse coverage and get the ball out to your best receivers. 

Iowa needs to understand that they can recruit/develop tight ends. The only great athletes that they get are going to come from the island of misfit toys. Damond Powell is a great athlete, but they got him from a JUCO, and he can apparently only run two routes. They're not getting game breaking tight ends, so Greg Davis needs to adjust his scheme to fit his personnel, because the personnel is clearly not going to fit his scheme.

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