Hawkeyes Shows Signs of Life in Win vs UNI
Iowa beat Northern Iowa 27-16 on Saturday in a game they were favored to win by roughly ten points according to some offshore lines.
The Iowa offense made some strides this week over what we have seen from the first two games, and for as bad as things were in those first two games, you’ll take any progress you can get.
Iowa put up 429 yards of offense against the Panthers, including 43 carries for 201 yards before they took a knee on the final play, losing a few yards. The Iowa offensive line was dominant all day long, their best performance of the season. The 4.8 yards per carry is something to be pleased with, especially when you consider that Wisconsin had 47 rushes for just 165 yards against these Panthers in the season opener at Madison two weeks ago.
A new ‘star’ was born on Saturday in the form of fullback converted tailback Mark Weisman. The walk on transfer from Air Force, who is not on scholarship, had 24 carries for 113 yards and three scores as he filled in for injured running backs Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon. Bullock was hurt early in the second quarter after his head collided with the knee of a tackler. He was knocked unconscious on the field and never returned. Garmon was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after he injured his elbow, appearing to have dislocated it when he fell on the ground after being tackled.
Enter Weisman, the back his teammates call ‘Juggernaut’ from X-Men comics fame, and he was too much for the Panthers to handle given how the Iowa offensive line was opening holes. Weisman made several Panther tackles pay the price for bringing him down, lowering his head and driving them into the ground; he knocked two Panthers out of the game. Before he was injured, Bullock was on his way to a career day having amassed 77 yards on 13 carries.
The Iowa defense, as it has the first two games, struggled in the first quarter. They allowed 10 points to the Panthers, more than Iowa State scored the entire game last week. However, they played much better in the second half, which has also been the case in each of the first two games. They held UNI to just three points in the second half and put up back to back three and outs to start the second half.
Iowa will have to get a lot better on offense if it wants to win more Big Ten games than it loses, but there were still plenty of plays to be made on this day that weren’t converted. They can get better and the offensive line will feel real good about themselves as they continue to get better.
Plenty to be pleased with but still a lot of work to do.