OBSERVATIONS ON A THRILLING COME
FROM BEHIND 32-26 VICTORY OVER THE HAWKEYES!
1-One could certainly build a case
for why we shouldn't be ranked in the Top Ten even though we are
and will be after this win. However, we must remember that all
teams who win championships also have some close calls. This just
happened to be one of ours. On the bright side, we came from behind
twice, down 7-20 and 21-26, and pulled out the W!
2-Hayden Epstein's 51 yard field
goal was HUGE! It was a good thing that Carr decided on the field
goal rather than the pooch punt. The 6 point cushion forced the
Hawkeyes to go for a touchdown against our defense rather than
to get set up for a game-tying, overtime producing field goal.
Epstein had one bad punt and he did miss an earlier field goal,
but he came though when we needed him.
3-The key difference in the game
ended up being Time of Possession. We had better than a 5 minute
advantage over the Hawks. The yardage was nearly equal in total
yardage and rushing yardage. 14 first downs to 13 for the Hawks;
296 total yards to 300 for Iowa.
4-Marquis Walker!!! Wow, what an
awesome touchdown grab! Especially great considering he dropped
a sure touchdown catch on the play before. 6 more catches and
49 for the season. We are really lucky to have him. Ben Sapp really
did a nice job on him overall, and had a great pick just before
halftime. Sapp did tire late in the game though, fortunately for
us and Walker made some great 4th quarter catches.
5-John Navarre really had an off
game, but came though in the clutch when we needed him. The two
picks didn't look good plus he had a few "almosts."
Overall, he was 16 for 38 with 2 touchdown throws to go with his
2 picks for 233 yards. In his defense, we had at least 3 or 4
dropped passes. Iowa stopped our running game, and dared us to
beat them with the pass. Truly great composure and patience persevered.
11 of 21 on 3rd down conversions compared to only 5 of 15 for
6-Another difference maker was the
77 yard bomb to Tyrece Butler. What a back-breaker for the Hawks
and what a way to get a first catch as a new contributor to our
offense. Welcome, Tyrece!!!
7-Our running game sucked big time.
36 rushes for 63 yards, pathetic! This was our 7th game, and still
not even close to a 200 yard rushing day. Kudos to the Hawks!
Great game plan to stop our running game and dare us to beat them
with the pass.
8-Turnovers nearly killed us! We
had 4 fumbles, but only lost one and two interceptions with numerous
dropped passes and a few almost interceptions. Disaster was very
close. Championship teams do not do these things late in the season.
Perhaps, the bye week contributed to a lack of sharpness, but
if we don't improve, the Spartans and Buckeyes will feed off these
9-Kudos to the Defense!!! Ultimately,
they won another won for us. They held on the last drive when
it counted. They also held after we went ahead 29-26. It wasn't
their fault our offense fumbled after the defense held after going
ahead 21-20 either. Except for the reverse punt return, and the
adjustment to a very athletic quarterback (Banks); the defense
was solid. Foote had 15 tackles including 3 sacks. What a performance!!!
Brackins had 11 tackles, his first time in double digits this
season. Marlin Jackson had 8 tackles plus one critical pick. Credit
the Hawkeyes for a great job on pass protection, they held us
off most of the day. Except for our blitz package and the tremendous
speed of Foote, our pass rush still is mediocre to poor.
10-It really hurts our team and
especially our defense to not have Julius Curry. What a remarkable
athlete! He is our fiercest hitter on defense, and an awesome
punt returner. We really need him back for the Spartans and the
11-It was great to see Seymour catch
a TD and Bell getting more involved in the offense. Bellamy had
a great first catch of the game, but was non-existent for the
rest of the game. It was also great to see Bowman play much more
and contribute on defense. I'm pretty sure I saw Pearson play,
but the game day live didn't show him participating.
12-Brandon Williams again looked
terrible! We really need more depth in the backfield. It'll be
nice after Shazor is off redshirt plus having more recruits including
Cooper contributing back there. Did anyone notice that LeSueur
didn't play much back there?
13-Kudos to Zach Kaufmann and Manning
for the block and recovery for the touchdown. Unfortunately, what
the Lord giveth
, the next thing we see C.J. Jones taking
the reverse all the way negating this great play. The best thing
you can say about our special teams was that neither Khahil Hill
nor Fred Russell took one back on kickoffs.