The Eternal Pessimist: Northern Iowa

By Patrick Vint on September 13, 2018 at 8:11 am
We are all Iowa State now

© Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

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We're screwed, people.

  1. It's been 120 years since Iowa last lost to UNI, an 11-5 defeat in a horrendous 3-4-2 season where Iowa's offense scored more than twelve points just once.  That team lost to UNI, Rush, Drake and Chicago, but after losing to UNI, it beat Simpson and Nebraska, then didn't lose a game for more than two years.  Kirk Ferentz is a student of history.  Kirk Ferentz knows this.
     
  2. This is probably why Iowa has been so excruciatingly close to losing to Northern Iowa over the last decade.  The season-opener in 2014 was a one-possession game, the 2012 game was decided by only eleven points, and the 2009 team needed to block two field goals on back-to-back plays -- to do something that had literally never been done in a college football game before -- to beat UNI by a single point.  It's been thirteen years since Iowa beat UNI by 20 points.  It's been twenty-one -- in other words, it's been Hayden Fry -- since Iowa last blew out the Panthers. 
     
  3. Iowa has Wisconsin next week, and hasn't needed much on offense to win its first two games.  If there's one thing we know about Kirk Ferentz teams, it's that they won't play their best cards in the non-conference season if they don't have to.  The problem is that Iowa doesn't seem to know when it needs to open the playbook until it's too late.  That was the story of 2016 North Dakota State, a third-week loss in which Iowa managed just 21 points.
     
  4. Add it all together -- UNI is due for a win over Iowa, UNI has played Iowa close over the last decade or so, Iowa is probably going to be vanilla on offense, and Iowa is set up for a trap game -- and all the trends point toward a monumental upset Saturday.  And UNI might have the personnel to pull it off, with Colton Howell under center and Marcus Weymiller (high school teammate of Parker Hesse) and Trevor Allen in the backfield.  They might not be the second coming of David Johnson, but you generally don't know you have a David Johnson on your hands until David Johnson is running through your defensive backfield.
     
  5. Oh God, one of these guys is David Johnson, isn't he?  There's always a David Johnson lurking on that roster.  David Johnson is the harbinger of history, the eater of worlds, and his minions will gobble us all up Saturday.
     
  6. Also, if we win we might get Gameday, and we know THAT can't happen, right ESPN?  So now it's history, recent close games, vanilla offense, trap game, David Johnson, Parker Hesse selling us out to his high school teammate, a running back who might be related to Terry Allen and angry he didn't get the Iowa job in 1999, and ESPN interference all working against us.  We've got no chance.
     
  7.  You can't spell 'illuminati' without a UNI.

PESSIMISM RATING: 112 HALF-EMPTY GLASSES OUT OF FIVE

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