Iowa's defense shuts down Wyoming's high-octane offense and the Hawkeyes cruise to the 24-3 victory.
You know how you've got a good team? When you make mistakes — plenty of them — and still win by 21.
The Hawkeyes shook off a miserable first quarter of offense and outclassed visiting Wyoming, 24-3, in Week 1 action. Nate Stanley threw three touchdowns in his starting debut, two to Noah Fant, and Akrum Wadley sparkled with 116 yards on 24 rushes.
The biggest performance, though, was by Iowa's defense. With star QB prospect Josh Allen coming to town, most expected a shootout of sorts. Instead, Allen's numbers were downright pedestrian: 23-for-40, 176 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs. Josey Jewell led the way with 14 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and fellow linebackers Ben Neimann and Bo Bower added 13 and 11, respectively. They simply never let Wyoming's offense get on track, not once.
Worth noting: Allen should have thrown a touchdown, as he found WR C.J. Johnson wide open in the end zone. Johnson couldn't catch it cleanly, and on further review didn't control the ball until he was out of bounds. That took a much-needed score off the board, and the drive ended a few plays later with a missed field goal. Which, if we're being honest, is about what you deserve when you're down 18 points, kicking field goals from the opponent's 30 and it's only 4th and 4.
Hey, you know who didn't drop a deep touchdown, is Nick Easley. ROLL IT:
Easley finished with team highs in catches (4) and yards (77); he looks like a positively competent option in the passing game. Iowa badly needed such an option, especially given the wasteland its receiving production had become after Matt VandeBerg was lost last season.
And speaking of which: hey there, VandeBerg! Welcome back! Two catches for 19 yards, not setting the world on fire, but every yard that comes from MVB this season is gravy.
This all said: not a great performance by the offense. Iowa had to overcome four turnovers, some of the boneheaded variety; that'll get cleaned up over the course of the season. The Hawkeyes only managed 263 yards of offense and 16 first downs. That won't win a whole lot of games.
And yet it won this game with ease, and Iowa's 1-0, baby. Never any doubt. GO IOWA AWESOME.