Rapid Reaction: Iowa dominates Illinois State
Final: Iowa 31, Illinois State 14
Telling stat: 37 total yards for Tre Roberson
We all heard about how the Indiana transfer was going to come into Iowa City and run all over the place. Well, the Iowa defense had other ideas. Drew Ott sacked him twice, one of which was blindsided hit that probably could’ve knocked him out of the game. Five first half sacks and nine tackles for loss told you all you needed to know about what the Hawkeyes did at the line of scrimmage. I’m guessing Roberson isn’t used to negative rushing yards.
Key play: C.J. Beathard dives for first TD in first quarter
That opening drive was exactly what Beathard needed to get some confidence going. He doesn’t lack confidence, but that opening score set the tone the Hawkeyes needed. For him to risk his body like that was exactly what Ferentz wanted to see after he named the junior his starter over Jake Rudock. There’s a new general in Iowa City, and if Saturday was any indication, that’s not a bad thing.
Kirk Ferentz cheered for on botched FG attempt
Did anybody else notice that first-half field goal attempt, Kirk Ferentz was cheered? That’s saying a lot about Hawkeye fans. They want to see some creativity from their head coach, even if it doesn’t work out. Now, that’s a move that’s much easier to make when you’re up a couple scores, but still. Ferentz even went for it on a fourth-down play with a Beathard sneak. There might be a few more gambles taken by Ferentz in 2015.
Iowa backs look ready to roll
Jordan Canzeri ran like a man on Saturday. But ironically, his running was mostly in the passing game. He nearly hurdled a tackler in the first half and looked completely healthy. He racked up 90 receiving yards and rushed for a score. Equally impressive was LeShun Daniels, who toted the rock 26 times for 123 yards. That’s exactly what Iowa needs from its two-back system.
What it means: Hawkeyes not playing down to competition
Iowa didn’t win a single non-conference game by double digits last year. This year, against the FCS runner-up, the Hawkeyes could’ve played down to their competition. Instead, they took away one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in the country and dominated the line of scrimmage. An FCS opponent it was, but that was a physical statement.
What’s next: at Iowa State
Some revenge against little brother Iowa State is needed. If the Hawkeyes play defensively like they did for most of Saturday, that won’t be a problem.