The Good: Offensive Line and the Freshman Playmakers
It was expected that Iowa would have their way with the Blue Raiders on the line of scrimmage on Saturday. Obviously, the Hawkeyes are a team known for strong offensive line play and with all due respect, the Blue Raiders are a Conference USA team. What was unexpected is that the Hawkeyes would march through middle Tennessee like George Henry Thomas and utterly demolish their opponent at the LOS. Of all of the stats that jump off of the page on Saturday, the rushing numbers tell the tale of the tape. Iowa rushed for 351 yards on 51 carries, a nice 6.9 YPC, and four touchdowns. Toren Young, Tyler Goodson, and Mekhi Sargent all rushed for at least 90 yards on 11 or more carries; Young leading the pack with 131 yards and 11.9 YPC.
Pass protection was equally superb, as seen here:
Nate Stanley could’ve made an omelet during that timeframe.
Tyrone Tracy Jr. led Iowa in receiving yards with 85 despite only catching the ball three times (a crisp 28.3 YPR). He dropped one he should’ve caught, sure, but he more than made up for it with his electric play, as seen in the aforementioned video. Tyler Goodson’s stats were mentioned above and here’s his day in one GIF:
Tyler Goodson dime cut pic.twitter.com/k55Teo8Kk4— Heavens! (@HeavensFX) September 28, 2019
It’s tough to come up with historical comparisons for Tracy and Goodson, two freshman playmakers the likes of which Iowa hasn’t seen since…ever? Tracy reminds me of DJK. Goodson reminds me of a more decisive Akrum Wadley. This was only the non-conference, sure, but even if these guys cede majority of the snaps to their elders come conference play, Iowa has some bright spots at RB and WR.
The Bad & the Ugly: Punt Coverage, Brian Ferentz Being Mean to Tyler Goodson
We’re going with an abbreviated bad and ugly as this was a complete blowout and any complaints would be trivial. Here are two stat lines:
Kyle Ulbrich, MTSU Punter: 7 punts, 300 yards, 42.9 AVG.
Iowa punt returns: 0.
Nico Ragaini hasn’t done anything so egregious as to lose his job because he hasn’t turned the ball over. And that’s great! The issue is that he consistently lets balls that he should fair catch go over his head and deep into Iowa territory. If you aren’t going to return the ball, that’s one thing. If you’re just going to let it go over your head so Iowa can get pinned deep that’s another.
And Brian Ferentz how dare you? Tyler Goodson worked to get you to the goal line in garbage time and you don’t let him get the tuddy? You let Petras sneak it (with help from Goodson)?
So he didnt get the touchdown. But want to know how much of a team player Tyler Goodson is? After carrying the offense on the drive, look at the effort to push Petras into the end zone on the sneak. So appreciated. #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/7PB9DPBLtb— Cody Hills (@ByCodyHills) September 28, 2019
For shame, sir.