Iowa-Iowa State look ahead

NCHawkeye24

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I apologize up front, this post is probably going to be long. So for those that just like to complain about stuff I am giving you the ammunition to do so. I think we have picked apart the SDSU game enough here and we know that right now the offense is severely challenged; our offensive line is not cohesive, the quarterback is not very good and there is a massive shortage of playmakers on this side of the ball.

This week it appears we get Gavin Williams back and that is a big plus. He is the back on this team with the most experience and seems to be able to be the most adept at breaking tackles, which is something that he will need to do on Saturday for sure. However the news is not as good from the receiver room as it appears we will only have Bruce, Wick, Brecht and Jack Johnson, I guess, 3 of which have never caught a pass as far as I know. The main problem here is just the number of bodies to be able to run the formations and plays that we need. How many plays can Bruce, our best and most accomplished WR, run effectively? I am guessing 40, maybe 45? But the other glaring problem is that Bruce, as the best receiver, is going to line up mostly as the X receiver, although as from what we know now he is the best playmaker and that eliminates him going in motion, which I will get to in a minute. Brecht has the most obvious credentials to run out on the edge as the x, so does that free up Bruce to run more z? Wick looks to be a slot guy but we haven't seen him touch the ball so we don't know what we are getting here.

Now the tight ends. LaPorta and Lachey will be critical in this game and will have to play a lot of snaps. I venture to say we will see some Stilianos here as well, even though we haven't seen him, because of all the receiver options behind Bruce, LaPorta and Lachey, he is the only one to have really ever played. With the lack of receivers period, plus the lack of receiver talent, a third tight end will allow Iowa to load one side of the field, and more so if we can get Bruce in motion. But to do that we would have to either go empty or we would have to line one of the tight ends, probably LaPorta, out on the edge. Going empty would be a 3rd down only situation of course as Spencer is not a threat to run.

I think it is going to be critical to get Bruce on the move in this game. Against the 3-3-5 and not having a dominating offensive line, I think to move the ball at all we are going to have to create numbers advantages on one side of the field. Especially since Petras has such a tendency to stare down 1 receiver and rarely surveys the field, atleast you can keep the action over there. But I think it has to be with Bruce because as far as we know he is the only threat with the jet sweep and he would have to keep the defense honest by following him. Putting anyone else in motion is not going to have the same effect because they will not have to honor that speed. But by overloading the one side of the field with 2 tight ends, the z receiver in Bruce as well as Gavin Williams out of the backfield will give us the best chance to create some mismatches because it gives us the most number of options. We can run the ball here against a "fair" front and possible get Williams in a 1 on 1 with a safety. We can run the sweep. We can run a screen to Williams. The other thing it does is puts the x on the opposite side of the field in a 1 on 1 situation which could create a makeable at one point in the game. I am no offensive coordinator, but I do not think that we will be able to play vanilla against this style of defense because their 3 down lineman will occupy our 5 offensive lineman which in turn gives them a massive numbers advantage in pass coverage, 8-4. With no downfield threat, which is hard against that loaded back end anyway, they will be able to keep everything in front of them. Last year they gave Spencer on average, if I remember correctly, 2.3 seconds to throw, WITH ONLY RUSHING 3!!, and there is no reason to think that will be any different this year. So Spencer is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly and decisively. Can we give Spencer some easy reads and easier throws that hopefully he can execute? And before everyone jumps on him about how bad he sucks, face it, he is the best we have right now, as sad as that may be. (On a sidenote, you have to give that kid all the credit in the world to have such a positive attitude, say all the right things, and keep marching out there knowing that he really has no playmakers.)

Which leads us to BF. He is going to have to scheme some stuff up with a very limited cast. I know he can do it, he has done it before just maybe not to this extent. I think you totally discount the SDSU game because there was no need to do anything special to win that game, but, what everyone did find out is that we are not going to beat anyone playing vanilla with our base offense. While it would surely be nice to have KJ, Nico and Gavin Williams back, they are not world-beaters either and will not tip the balance of the scales with their involvement alone. Probably my favorite Hawkeye season was 2004 and that was because it was the one time where the Iowa coaches were forced to do something out of the box and they did so well while being so limited because of the complete lack of a running game. I think that is where this team is right now and the calvary is not coming, there is no freshman sitting on the bench, no transfers coming in. So, can BF manufacture 17-24 a game? You would have to think that there is a number in everyone's heads as to what they have to get, like KF going to Phil and asking him "Hey Phil, if we get you 14, can you handle it from there? Or what about 10?". I think that is where we are. That makes me more intrigued than ever to watch these games because there is no wiggle room on either side of the ball. It is going to be like watching a guy at the Masters, standing over an 8 foot putt on the 72nd hole, over and over and over again. Even on defense, there is no more bend. That isn't going to work with this offense. I guarantee you that they are going in to every game to pitch a shutout. They are not going in to just stop the other team, they are going to want to take the ball away and score. Tory is going to want to stick every punt inside the 5. They know they have to. That is the reality whether you like or not.
 
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Matt Campbell's last two trips to Iowa City he has scored 3 points and 3 points. I don't see Iowa State scoring more than 17 points this time around, but that just might be enough to win if we don't come up with a defensive or special teams score.
 

SDHawkDoc

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If another OC had this set of circumstances, and had insight and thoughtfulness, they would be considering multiple possibilities. Including the wildcat for more than a token number of snaps.
 

EpenesaEpenesa

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I think it’s similar to the Iowa/Michigan St game in East Lansing in 2017, but in Iowas favor this time. First year QB going on the road against a really good D will make mistakes. He makes enough and Iowa gets just enough points from those turnovers. I’ll even go with the same score, 17-10 Iowa
 
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NCHawkeye24

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If another OC had this set of circumstances, and had insight and thoughtfulness, they would be considering multiple possibilities. Including the wildcat for more than a token number of snaps.
I am not against the wildcat, but it would have to be with Cooper Dejean. That guy is a player. One would think that we could suffer the setback on defense because you would have to think that Nwankpa is better than anybody that we have on offense, so he could backfill that position. However, if I am Dejean, I dont want to do that, I know I am next in line for an NFL payday like Hooker and Belton.

Sidenote; everyone wants to rip BF and praise PP, but PP gets all the talent. When was the last time that we recruited a two-way athlete and he stayed on the offensive side of the ball? I know Lindy moved over, and Jones now, but those are on the lines. What about the skill positions?
 

SDHawkDoc

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Jan 27, 2013
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I am not against the wildcat, but it would have to be with Cooper Dejean. That guy is a player. One would think that we could suffer the setback on defense because you would have to think that Nwankpa is better than anybody that we have on offense, so he could backfill that position. However, if I am Dejean, I dont want to do that, I know I am next in line for an NFL payday like Hooker and Belton.

Sidenote; everyone wants to rip BF and praise PP, but PP gets all the talent. When was the last time that we recruited a two-way athlete and he stayed on the offensive side of the ball? I know Lindy moved over, and Jones now, but those are on the lines. What about the skill positions?
Exactly.
DeJean is THE guy to run that.

I don't think a player that is team first would argue that because his future potential might let him showcase at safety, particularly when he is not even a starter at that spot currently, he would forgo time on the field to help his team where it is most desperately needed.

He knows how to handle the ball at the qb position. A limited playbook with him out there for a dozen snaps has significant potential.

Even if it is a complete bust, it's well worth the potential upside to give it a shot.
 
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noStemsnoSTICKS

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I think it’s similar to the Iowa/Michigan St game in East Lansing in 2017, but in Iowas favor this time. First year QB going on the road against a really good D will make mistakes. He makes enough and Iowa gets just enough points from those turnovers. I’ll even go with the same score, 17-10 Iowa
Hard to argue with this.
 
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Exactly.
DeJean is THE guy to run that.

I don't think a player that is team first would argue that because his future potential might let him showcase at safety, particularly when he is not even a starter at that spot currently, he would forgo time on the field to help his team where it is most desperately needed.

He knows how to handle the ball at the qb position. A limited playbook with him out there for a dozen snaps has significant potential.

Even if it is a complete bust, it's well worth the potential upside to give it a shot.
This ^^^ and get Nwankpa in there at WR for a few post patterns down field to take the top of the defense. This stuff does not have to be complicated. Throw in a few 3 TE sets like we did successfully with Ohio State a few years ago and I think that would be enough to keep ISU off balance with schemes they did not prepare for.
 

jonesy5960

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Hawks 10-6. Defense with a pick 6. Iowa sets modern day record for most consecutive wins without scoring an offensive touchdown. Crowd goes wild after booing every offensive series. EL Assico instant classic.
 

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