Iowa football: Stock report following Week 6
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but Iowa recorded an ugly win on Saturday. This time, the Hawkeyes knocked off Purdue 20-14 while completing just 6 passes without a completion to a wide receiver.
The issues that have plagued Iowa in the early portion of the season still exist, but the Hawkeyes are currently 5-1 on the season. The remaining schedule also provides some optimism for the team’s chance in the B1G West, but nothing is a given the rest of the way.
Without further ado, here is the full stock report coming out of Week 6:
ESPN BET is now live in Iowa
Use promo code SATURDAY to get your $250 bonus
Player of the Week: RB Kaleb Johnson
Johnson started the first two games of the season for Iowa but then missed 3 straight with an injury. Fortunately, he was cleared to go in Week 6 and made a major impact for the Hawkeyes.
Johnson led Iowa with a season-high 134 rushing yards and was efficient while averaging 7.9 yards on 17 carries. It is the 4th 100-yard game of Johnson’s young career, and it is his second-highest single-game mark. Johnson’s highest output has come against Purdue with 334 total yards in 2 wins over the Boilermakers.
Newcomer of the Week: TE Erick All
Even with the loss of Luke Lachey, Iowa maintains a tight end-focused offensive attack, and All has become a go-to target in back-to-back weeks. He delivered season-high numbers with 5 catches for 97 yards and a clutch touchdown to his tally against Purdue.
At some point, the wide receiver concerns for Iowa will either be addressed or hurt the team at an inopportune moment. But, either way, All is currently the go-to target within the offense.
Biggest surprise: Drew Stevens struggles
Stevens started his Iowa career by hitting 16-of-18 field goals a season ago and converting on all 24 PAT tries in the 2022 season. He is an efficient kicker, and that makes a pair of misses from Week 6 very surprising.
Those misses for Stevens included a blocked 49-yard field goal try and another miss from 44 yards. He did convert 2 tries in Saturday’s win — and Stevens is still 10-for-13 on the year — but converting on his misses would have made the finish less exciting.
Either way, there should not be many concerns related to Stevens’ performance moving forward for a player who is still 26-for-31 in his career.
Biggest concern: WR production
The bigger concern is that Iowa only completed 6 passes in a game (and it was not due to a low number of attempts), but the current output from the WR position is unacceptable. The Hawkeyes finished Week 6 without a single catch from the wideout position.
All had 5 of the 6 catches while the other went to Kaleb Johnson. In the end, production in any form is the end goal of the offense, but there is no way Iowa can compete with the heavy hitters in the B1G without forcing teams to respect the receivers on the outside.
Developing trend: QB inconsistencies
Cade McNamara was only completing 51.1% of his passes at the time of his season-ending knee injury, but there was a touch of optimism to his start against Michigan State in Week 5. After Deacon Hill relieved McNamara, Hill would make his first start in Week 6, and the results are hard to stomach.
Hill went just 6-for-21 throwing the ball for 110 yards, a touchdown and an interception. As a team, Iowa has now completed 45.9% of its passes with 6 total touchdowns through 6 games played.
Just in case it needs to be said, that efficiency must be improved. It’s also worth noting head coach Kirk Ferentz said the team never considered going to Joey Labas, so it looks like the position is Hill’s to grow into.
Key stat: 3rd-down efficiency
One area of concern moving forward for Iowa is 3rd down with Purdue converting 9-of-19 tries. On the flip side, the Hawkeyes were just 3-for-13 on offensive 3rd downs and recorded just 13 total 1st downs in the game.
If Iowa is going to maintain its method of winning games with defense, the Hawkeyes will need to do a better job of getting the defense off the field on 3rd down. Even if the offense struggles to score points, the unit will need to at least get more 1st downs in order to balance out the time of possession.
First impressions for Week 7
In Week 7, it will be a battle for the Heartland Trophy with Iowa traveling to face Wisconsin in Madison. That game is always a B1G battle, and this time around, the lead in the B1G West is up for grabs.
The Hawkeyes enter the game trailing Wisconsin in the standing with a 2-1 conference record. The Badgers are a perfect 2-0 to open B1G play, so the winner on Saturday will have the head-to-head tie-breaker and an early lead in the division.
It’s also worth noting Wisconsin is possibly the toughest remaining game on Iowa’s schedule. Nothing is a given with the brand of football the Hawkeyes play, but the back end of the schedule shapes up favorably.
After facing Wisconsin, Iowa will get 4 straight home games before finishing the year with a road trip to Nebraska. But for now, it’s time to focus on an always-important trophy game.