Bring Down the House: Iowa vs. Iowa State Takeaways

Iowa beat Iowa State 31-17 and City High beat Ames.

Jonathan House, Sports Editor

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I’m back after a six month hiatus, and it feels great, and it’s great because football is back too!

This fall, I’m going to give you the low down on college football. 

When Iowa plays Iowa State on Saturday in football, it is a great game, but now with the Little Hawks playing Ames High School on the same weekend, it gave us one of the single greatest weekends of the year for the state of Iowa. The Hawkeyes won their bragging rights back with a 31-17 win in Ames, to improve to 2-0, and 41-22 all time against the Cyclones. The Little Hawks also won the Little CyHawk trophy beating Ames 26-10. In the trophy’s two year history, when the Little Cyclones won, so did the Cyclones, also, when the Little Hawks won, the Hawkeyes won on Saturday. Here are my five takeaways from Saturday.

  1. Going with Beathard over Jake “Checkdown” Rudock was a good decision. For the last two years, Jake Rudock has been the man under center for Iowa. In January, after much debate, Beathard was announced as the starting QB. Beathard has looked good in his first two starts, throwing four TDs, including three on Saturday, including what was pretty much the game winner to Riley McCarron. Jordan Canzeri would also tack on another one at the end off of the Desmond King interception. Beathard also made some nice plays with his legs, and hasn’t thrown an interception yet this year. Beathard is (3-0) as a starter now. In Rudock’s defense, he did win his first game at Michigan, 35-7 over Oregon State, however he went without a TD pass, and threw one interception.
  2. The O-Line is still a little shaky. We knew without Brandon Scherff that the O-Line would be a bit of a question mark. Against Iowa State, they struggled at times, Iowa State had some sacks, including one on a running play. They also were able to open up some holes, as they helped lead Iowa to 260 rushing yards. I think they are a little young and inexperienced now, but will continue to improve throughout the season. Kirk Ferentz is a good O-Line coach, and his teams usually end up with a solid O-Line by the end of the year.
  3. Drew Ott is a beast, but Iowa may struggle without him. Iowa’s star defensive lineman, Drew Ott went out with an injury in the first half, and was seen on the sideline without his pads or uniform, and had his left arm in a sling. Kirk Ferentz called him “Questionable at best”, but it could be a huge blow for Iowa. In the second half, Iowa was able to get a pass rush going, a promising sign, but I still am skeptical about the rest of this defensive line’s ability. Whether or not Ott is out for an extended period of time, they will need to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, especially heading into the Big 10 schedule.
  4. This Kirk Ferentz team looks like it’s not coached by Ferentz. Iowa tried another fake field goal, right before the half. It didn’t work, it didn’t make sense. Iowa probably should’ve taken the points in a close game, but I’m optimistic about the aggressiveness. Iowa also tried a flea-flicker, but it was well covered, and overthrown. Either way, this could be a sign of good things to come if Iowa plays to win, instead of following the status quo, and playing not to lose. I think many people of the Hawkeye faithful felt that Iowa’s conservative offensive playcalling hurt them in the bowl game and end of the Big 10 season.
  5. Special teams play was solid. Iowa played well on special teams. Kicker Marshall Koehn hit all of his extra points, and had a 49 field goal in the first quarter. Punter Dillon Kidd struggled last year, but looked good Saturday, averaging 47.4 yards per kick, including a long of 55. They also held Iowa State to only 44 kick return yards on two attempts, after they had almost 200 punt return yards against UNI last week.

 

Iowa also received five votes in the AP poll this week, another promising sign that good things lie ahead. Next week, Iowa plays a night game at Kinnick against Pittsburgh. If Iowa wins that, they’ll have a very good chance of being 4-0 and beating North Texas, before heading into the Big 10 schedule. The last time Iowa beat Iowa State, in Ames in 2013, they went (8-5) and went to the Outback bowl. The last time the hawks went undefeated in their non-conference schedule, was 2009, the year they went to the Orange Bowl.