The Good: All-Day Nate Stanley
No need for some deep analysis here as Nate Stanley was unquestionably the best part about Iowa’s football team on Saturday. There are approximately 25 highlights to choose from, but we’ll narrow it down to a few. First, this dime to Noah Fant, who made an even more impressive catch to give the Hawkeyes a 14-3 lead:
Later came a play reminiscent of the Ohio State play where Stanley threw a touchdown with a defender hanging onto his ankle.
Stanley finished the day 21/33 for 320 yards, six touchdowns, one interception and was only sacked once. His six touchdowns prompted GIA staff to try to find the last time an Iowa quarterback threw such an absurd number. We couldn’t find anyone who had done it under Ferentz. The reason we couldn’t find anyone under Ferentz was because no one has thrown six (or more) touchdowns since Chuck Hartlieb threw a single game record seven against Northwestern in 1987. Stanley’s 14 touchdowns over a four game period is a feat only matched by Chuck Long, who did it back in 1985.
Worth noting is that Stanley has visibly shown progression as a quarterback. His completion percentage is up from 55.8% last year to 62.1% this season. He’s averaging 8.47 yards per attempt (up from 6.94) and his rating is 20 points higher than in 2017. He’s also hitting those deep passes, scrambling and keeping plays alive.
He now has 41 career touchdowns, tied for 6th all-time and 3,972 passing yards, which is 11th all-time. I guess I never thought I’d be sitting here saying that Nate Stanley has the chance to go down as one of the greatest Iowa quarterbacks of all time, but here we are.
The Bad: Penalties
When Iowa wasn’t lighting up the scoreboard, it seemed like they were getting called for a penalty. Fant was called for pass interference and an illegal shift. Ojemudia got called for pass interference and gifted Indiana a touchdown. Hooker got called for holding a couple of times and there were a number of false starts. In all, Iowa tallied 11 penalties for 110 yards and gave Indiana four first downs. Such an odd lack of discipline for an average Big Ten game.
The Ugly: Whatever Tom Allen's Problem Is
I’m sorry but does Indiana Head Coach Tom Allen have some sort of problem with Iowa? Correct me if I’m wrong but the sideline had two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. And these came after a warning. The officiating was less than optimal on Saturday, but really guy? You have to get so mad you’re picking up penalties? Here’s a bigger question: Why wasn’t he ejected? If a player is ejected after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, why isn’t a coach?
When Kirk Ferentz realized that Tom Allen was, for lack of a better word, being a dick, he decided to what his old boss Bill Belichick would’ve done: Throw the ball. Hey, it’s not our fault Indiana can’t stop us. We figured the game was over when Iowa purposely took a delay of game penalty to get the 10-second runoff. However, Allen declined the runoff (as is his option) so Kirk decided to have Stanley chuck it deep. Indiana v. Iowa is the rivalry you didn’t know you wanted but as long as Iowa is going to keep running up the score, let’s get this rivalry going!