IowaLaw's Post Game Analysis: Northwestern

IowasLaw

Team MVP
Gold Member
Nov 19, 2019
274
1,375
93
Kirk, Brian, and Petras and the homers on this board somehow feel vindicated after the staff elected to play Petras yet again, despite his body of work, in a decisive win against hapless 1-7 Northwestern. Yep, even after Petras went 6/14 for 49 yards and 2 ints in his previous outing, he still got the start.

Iowa is now .500, but their other wins come against 1-7 Northwestern, 2-7 Nevada, 4-4 Rutgers, and a IAA school.

Brecht is an Athlete, Right? - You want your WRs to be guys who can catch a ball in stride and gain yards after the catch, right? You especially want that out of a tall, super star multi-sport athlete. So why is it that any time a ball comes Brecht's way, his instinct is to dive/fall toward the ball, regardless of whether it's thrown right at his chest. Brecht is experienced by now and is finishing his 2nd season as a Big 10 WR. Presumably he's coached by a WRs coach every day. Yet I'm not sure he's gained a single yard after catch in his career because of his tendency to fall catch. On the plus side, his 3 catches vs. Northwestern doubled his career total. With even average coaching, he'd have that strange glitch fixed.

Questionable Personnel Judgment at RB & Other Positions - Just 8 weeks ago, the staff anointed Gavin Williams the team's #1 RB, Leshon Williams #2, and Kaleb Johnson #3 at the back of the depth chart. They did so after evaluating them day after day all spring/summer/fall. Looking back at their judgment, they had the depth chart completely backwards. Gavin probably isn't even the 3rd best back on the team and is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. Leshon is averaging just 3.7 while still getting about half the team's carries. Johnson, an after thought, is clearly the cream of the crop, averaging 4.8 yards (including 7.2 vs Northwestern). Casual fans are only able to see Brian/Betts picked the wrong guy because we've had the chance to see the backups perform on the field. It makes you wonder, though, about other mistakes in personnel at positions where the backups never take a single snap. The QB position comes to mind (has anyone ever seen Labas throw a single pass or avoid a blitz in his 2 years at Iowa? the guy was a scout team legend last year). If staff was so wrong in their RB evaluations, there must be others on the bench that shouldn't be.

Jay Higgins - Iowa's leading tackler against Northwestern was not Jack Campbell (the Big 10 leader) or Seth Benson (4th in the Big 10). It was unheralded Jay Higgins, who racked up a career high 12 tackles and is starting to come of age in this his junior year. Look for Higgins to take on a leadership role next year when Campbell and Benson graduate. Hopefully Jacobs will be back next year, and it'll be interesting to see who steps up for the 3rd LB position.

Bruce is Back - IowaLaw was hard on Bruce last week after some glaring mental mistakes on special teams and at WR. This week, Bruce redeemed himself by actually fielding the punts that he's back there to catch, and making some nifty moves to gain Iowa some much needed positive yards. 4 punt returns for 40 yards is no Charlie Jones, but it's a huge improvement over recent weeks where we needed every yard we could get. I still don't think Bruce is an every down Big 10 WR, but it would be interesting to see what a creative/qualified offensive coordinator could do with a guy like that. If he transfers to a Purdue type school next year to increase his targets, I wouldn't blame him one bit.

Brian Still Needs to Be Fired - I've seen some shortsighted fans magically change their tune on Brian because the offense put up a few easy points against a bottom feeder. News flash, even after Petras got to inflate his stats by taking every snap against a cupcake, the offense is STILL a national laughing stock, moving to just 129th out of 131 teams in total offense, 125th in scoring offense, and 122nd in 3rd down conversions. The "creativity" shown against an inferior opponent is lipstick on a pig. Iowa still can't score touchdowns and would still be a top 20 team with an average offensive coordinator.
 
Last edited:

the24fan

HR All-American
Jul 30, 2007
3,893
4,508
113
50
nods-yes.gif
 

WestCoastHawkI

HR All-State
Mar 4, 2021
527
995
93
I remember when Patty Fitz was revered on here and Northwestern owned us. Not so much any more.

Patty Fitz still owns us. They're having one down year. Let's win a few times in a row before we declare he no longer has our number.
 
Last edited:

Dargo

HR MVP
Jun 13, 2020
1,394
3,048
113
FIFY.

Even with an improved OC, we still have a terrible OL.

The OL is the biggest problem this year. Not the OC or QB.
They're all equally as bad. Petras sucks when he has time to throw, unless it is 5 yard dump offs underneath like he threw all day against NW, Brian is the worst OC in football at probably any level, and yes the line sucks. Guess who is in charge of all of that? Brian and Kirk.
 

no_one_

All-Conference
Aug 11, 2006
306
413
63
I’ve been wanting Petras benched all year but you have to admit he had a great game against northwestern. Sure it’s northwestern but give an honest assessment. Again, if I were coaching Petras would be 3rd string by now, I have little respect for his game.
 

isuisshit

HR MVP
Sep 19, 2021
1,255
1,893
113
vs. Northwestern doubled his career total. With even average coaching, he'd have that strange glitch fixed.

Questionable Personnel Judgment at RB & Other Positions - Just 8 weeks ago, the staff anointed Gavin Williams the team's #1 RB, Leshon Williams #2, and Kaleb Johnson #3 at the back of the depth chart. They did so after evaluating them day after day all spring/summer/fall. Looking back at their judgment, they had the depth chart completely backwards. Gavin probably isn't even the 3rd best back on the team and is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. Leshon is averaging just 3.7 while still getting about half the team's carries. Johnson, an after thought, is clearly the cream of the crop, averaging 4.8 yards (including 7.2 vs Northwestern). Casual fans are only able to see Brian/Betts picked the wrong guy because we've had the chance to see the backups perform on the field. It makes you wonder, though, about other mistakes in personnel at positions where the backups never take a single snap. The QB position comes to mind (has anyone ever seen Labas throw a single pass or avoid a blitz in his 2 years at Iowa? the guy was a scout team legend last year). If staff was so wrong in their RB evaluations, there must be others on the bench that shouldn't be.
insert obligatory "he practices better" comment here
 

hawkifann

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 5, 2001
38,942
17,263
113
I think if anyone is declaring the offense “fixed” or that Iowa no longer has problems is delusional. However - they deserve full credit for dominating a bad team. They absolutely controlled that game and for all the sh1t they’ve taken, they don’t deserve much from Saturday.

Not sure I get the piling on Betts here. Gavin Williams looked really good at times last year, particularly in the bowl game, then started this season injured. Leshun Williams became the starter and Kaleb Johnson has out-played both and he’s now the top dog. Isn’t this how it’s supposed to work? Or are we going to bemoan the coaches when the coaches don’t change the starters….but when they do, it’s because they failed first?

As for Brecht, he’s been disappointing, but he was hurt most of last year and misses a lot of offseason work because of baseball. He’ll either figure this out or not, but this is where not being full-time football would show up.
 
Feb 25, 2008
54,230
27,934
113
I think if anyone is declaring the offense “fixed” or that Iowa no longer has problems is delusional. However - they deserve full credit for dominating a bad team. They absolutely controlled that game and for all the sh1t they’ve taken, they don’t deserve much from Saturday.

Not sure I get the piling on Betts here. Gavin Williams looked really good at times last year, particularly in the bowl game, then started this season injured. Leshun Williams became the starter and Kaleb Johnson has out-played both and he’s now the top dog. Isn’t this how it’s supposed to work? Or are we going to bemoan the coaches when the coaches don’t change the starters….but when they do, it’s because they failed first?

As for Brecht, he’s been disappointing, but he was hurt most of last year and misses a lot of offseason work because of baseball. He’ll either figure this out or not, but this is where not being full-time football would show up.
Williams is still injured. I don't think he's been 100% at any point so far this season, much like Keagan Johnson.

But OP don't care.
 

Titanhawk2

HR Legend
Jul 14, 2011
12,542
5,719
113
Kirk, Brian, and Petras and the homers on this board somehow feel vindicated after the staff elected to play Petras yet again, despite his body of work, in a decisive win against hapless 1-7 Northwestern. Yep, even after Petras went 6/14 for 49 yards and 2 ints in his previous outing, he still got the start.

Iowa is now .500, but their other wins come against 1-7 Northwestern, 2-7 Nevada, 4-4 Rutgers, and a IAA school.

Brecht is an Athlete, Right? - You want your WRs to be guys who can catch a ball in stride and gain yards after the catch, right? You especially want that out of a tall, super star multi-sport athlete. So why is it that any time a ball comes Brecht's way, his instinct is to dive/fall toward the ball, regardless of whether it's thrown right at his chest. Brecht is experienced by now and is finishing his 2nd season as a Big 10 WR. Presumably he's coached by a WRs coach every day. Yet I'm not sure he's gained a single yard after catch in his career because of his tendency to fall catch. On the plus side, his 3 catches vs. Northwestern doubled his career total. With even average coaching, he'd have that strange glitch fixed.

Questionable Personnel Judgment at RB & Other Positions - Just 8 weeks ago, the staff anointed Gavin Williams the team's #1 RB, Leshon Williams #2, and Kaleb Johnson #3 at the back of the depth chart. They did so after evaluating them day after day all spring/summer/fall. Looking back at their judgment, they had the depth chart completely backwards. Gavin probably isn't even the 3rd best back on the team and is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. Leshon is averaging just 3.7 while still getting about half the team's carries. Johnson, an after thought, is clearly the cream of the crop, averaging 4.8 yards (including 7.2 vs Northwestern). Casual fans are only able to see Brian/Betts picked the wrong guy because we've had the chance to see the backups perform on the field. It makes you wonder, though, about other mistakes in personnel at positions where the backups never take a single snap. The QB position comes to mind (has anyone ever seen Labas throw a single pass or avoid a blitz in his 2 years at Iowa? the guy was a scout team legend last year). If staff was so wrong in their RB evaluations, there must be others on the bench that shouldn't be.

Jay Higgins - Iowa's leading tackler against Northwestern was not Jack Campbell (the Big 10 leader) or Seth Benson (4th in the Big 10). It was unheralded Jay Higgins, who racked up a career high 12 tackles and is starting to come of age in this his junior year. Look for Higgins to take on a leadership role next year when Campbell and Benson graduate. Hopefully Jacobs will be back next year, and it'll be interesting to see who steps up for the 3rd LB position.

Bruce is Back - IowaLaw was hard on Bruce last week after some glaring mental mistakes on special teams and at WR. This week, Bruce redeemed himself by actually fielding the punts that he's back there to catch, and making some nifty moves to gain Iowa some much needed positive yards. 4 punt returns for 40 yards is no Charlie Jones, but it's a huge improvement over recent weeks where we needed every yard we could get. I still don't think Bruce is an every down Big 10 WR, but it would be interesting to see what a creative/qualified offensive coordinator could do with a guy like that. If he transfers to a Purdue type school next year to increase his targets, I wouldn't blame him one bit.

Brian Still Needs to Be Fired - I've seen some shortsighted fans magically change their tune on Brian because the offense put up a few easy points against a bottom feeder. News flash, even after Petras got to inflate his stats by taking every snap against a cupcake, the offense is STILL a national laughing stock, moving to just 129th out of 131 teams in total offense, 125th in scoring offense, and 122nd in 3rd down conversions. The "creativity" shown against an inferior opponent is lipstick on a pig. Iowa still can't score touchdowns and would still be a top 20 team with an average offensive coordinator.
The only "vindication" is that Padilla has never proven to be a better option, and Petras did nothing on Saturday to hurt his chances. Actually a dumb start to a good post

I also think Gavin Williams limped off the field in the first quarter and has been somewhat injured all season
 

HawkDoggy

HR All-State
Nov 20, 2021
625
1,086
93
I think if anyone is declaring the offense “fixed” or that Iowa no longer has problems is delusional. However - they deserve full credit for dominating a bad team. They absolutely controlled that game and for all the sh1t they’ve taken, they don’t deserve much from Saturday.

Not sure I get the piling on Betts here. Gavin Williams looked really good at times last year, particularly in the bowl game, then started this season injured. Leshun Williams became the starter and Kaleb Johnson has out-played both and he’s now the top dog. Isn’t this how it’s supposed to work? Or are we going to bemoan the coaches when the coaches don’t change the starters….but when they do, it’s because they failed first?

As for Brecht, he’s been disappointing, but he was hurt most of last year and misses a lot of offseason work because of baseball. He’ll either figure this out or not, but this is where not being full-time football would show up.
As good of a post as I've seen in quite awhile.

Hopefully the improved execution and win against NW will transfer into visible improvement and increased confidence this week at Purdue. We'll see. A lot of players on Offense made plays that should boost confidence....even if it was against a very weak team. That includes Petras. If we are going with him, and certainly it appears we are, then I hope he gets decent protection and then executes. He made some terrific throws....and he also made a few plays with his feet.
 

sober_teacher

HR Legend
Mar 26, 2007
14,374
18,197
113
As good of a post as I've seen in quite awhile.

Hopefully the improved execution and win against NW will transfer into visible improvement and increased confidence this week at Purdue. We'll see. A lot of players on Offense made plays that should boost confidence....even if it was against a very weak team. That includes Petras. If we are going with him, and certainly it appears we are, then I hope he gets decent protection and then executes. He made some terrific throws....and he also made a few plays with his feet.

Agreed. As much as anything, the offense has clearly been lacking confidence, so hopefully having a game that they fully controlled gives them something to build on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HawkDoggy

HawkLogic

HR Legend
Feb 20, 2011
14,227
10,618
113
I would say Kaleb johnson/Leshon should be getting all the snaps while they are healthy. Gavin hasn't flashed much ability.

Colby at OT experiment did not work. Maybe Plumb is getting better...still not enough quality OT depth.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HawkDoggy

pistachio1999

HR Heisman
Nov 29, 2021
5,055
6,194
113
I would say Kaleb johnson/Leshon should be getting all the snaps while they are healthy. Gavin hasn't flashed much ability.

Colby at OT experiment did not work. Maybe Plumb is getting better...still not enough quality OT depth.
Colby is a much better fit at guard where they moved him to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bishop1971

BigDan21

All-Conference
Sep 27, 2014
488
586
93
The only "vindication" is that Padilla has never proven to be a better option, and Petras did nothing on Saturday to hurt his chances. Actually a dumb start to a good post
Disagree, I actually thought Padilla played better than Petras against OSU. Both stats and eye test watching the game support this. Yet Petras continues to start.
 

IowasLaw

Team MVP
Gold Member
Nov 19, 2019
274
1,375
93
@no_one_ - Petras did play a decent game, as I'm sure he plays well against the scout team. The problem is every QB they have faced has played BETTER than Petras. For example, Wisconsin's terrible QB was all world against them, going 20-29 for 300 yards and 5 touchdowns. Bottom feeder Nebraska threw for 355 yards against these guys. So I dare say any QB on Iowa's roster could have carved up that defense. For the future of the program, it would have been nice to see Padilla or Labas get a shot to show what they can do against a cupcake to gain experience.

@hawkifann - it doesn't concern you that the team's best RB started at the bottom of the depth chart just 2 months ago? Or that he is only playing more now because everyone has actually had a chance to see him produce on the field? Just like Iowa's freshmen phenom kicker didn't see the field until the inferior guy picked to play ahead of him botched one too many kicks? Who's to say Iowa's 3rd string QB wouldn't have performed better this season than Petras if he got a chance? We will never know. Personnel decisions by an extremely stubborn and egotistical coach are subjective and can often be wrong. Backups should always take snaps and get opportunities.

@EvilMonkeyInTheCloset - if Gavin Williams has been "hurt all year," why did he still get 16 carries just a few weeks ago (averaging just 3.6 yards per carry). Why is an injured guy still listed as "starter" in the depth chart nearly every week? If he isn't 100% healthy, and barely averages 3 yards per carry, there's no excuse for playing the guy if there are better, healthier backs on the bench. Again, it proves that personnel decisions are often wrong and the best players don't always get playing time...Williams is just the most obvious example because we have actually seen the body of work of each of the top 3 backs.

@BigDan21 - you are correct. Padilla absolutely played better than Petras in the little we've seen of him. In fact, it's not even close. Obviously he had jitters getting fed to the wolves taking his first snap in nearly 12 months at the Horseshoe after Petras dug him an insurmountable hole, but the guy dodged 3 sure fire sacks that Petras would have taken and throws a better ball. The fact that he didn't start against Northwestern is an embarrassment.
 
Last edited:

SDHawkDoc

HR Heisman
Jan 27, 2013
9,076
9,539
113
Again, more than one thing can be true.

1. Petras played his best game of the season

2. His best game of the season was against the worst team in the league with a terrible pass D

3. He remains statistically the worst QB in the league by a significant margin. QBR 26 and change, good for #119 overall per ESPN
 
  • Like
Reactions: not_mantiteo

uihawk82

HR MVP
Nov 17, 2021
1,200
1,395
113
Kirk, Brian, and Petras and the homers on this board somehow feel vindicated after the staff elected to play Petras yet again, despite his body of work, in a decisive win against hapless 1-7 Northwestern. Yep, even after Petras went 6/14 for 49 yards and 2 ints in his previous outing, he still got the start.

Iowa is now .500, but their other wins come against 1-7 Northwestern, 2-7 Nevada, 4-4 Rutgers, and a IAA school.



Questionable Personnel Judgment at RB & Other Positions -

Jay Higgins - Iowa's leading tackler against Northwestern was not Jack Campbell (the Big 10 leader) or Seth Benson (4th in the Big 10). It was unheralded Jay Higgins, who racked up a career high 12 tackles and is starting to come of age in this his junior year. Look for Higgins to take on a leadership role next year when Campbell and Benson graduate. Hopefully Jacobs will be back next year, and it'll be interesting to see who steps up for the 3rd LB position.

Bruce is Back - IowaLaw was hard on Bruce last week after some glaring mental mistakes on special teams and at WR. This week, Bruce redeemed himself by actually fielding the punts that he's back there to catch, and making some nifty moves to gain Iowa some much needed positive yards. 4 punt returns for 40 yards is no Charlie Jones, but it's a huge improvement over recent weeks where we needed every yard we could get. I still don't think Bruce is an every down Big 10 WR, but it would be interesting to see what a creative/qualified offensive coordinator could do with a guy like that. If he transfers to a Purdue type school next year to increase his targets, I wouldn't blame him one bit.

Brian Still Needs to Be Fired - I've seen some shortsighted fans magically change their tune on Brian because the offense put up a few easy points against a bottom feeder. News flash, even after Petras got to inflate his stats by taking every snap against a cupcake, the offense is STILL a national laughing stock, moving to just 129th out of 131 teams in total offense, 125th in scoring offense, and 122nd in 3rd down conversions. The "creativity" shown against an inferior opponent is lipstick on a pig. Iowa still can't score touchdowns and would still be a top 20 team with an average offensive coordinator.
You do remember that Gavin Williams had a pretty good season last year and a very good bowl game performance. So as a coach you might expect that to carry over with even more improvement. But this OLline has blocked terribly and GWilliams is more of a straight ahead power back who makes one move usually.
I think if you thought of that and how the coaches expected better blocking then Gavin would be #1 to start the season, and he has been dinged.

No argument about Brian F needing to be moved out of the OC/QB coach position. This team needs to get much better on offense to the tune of 400 yards a game. Higgins is playing well. Bruce should probably be a slot receiver who has a safety or Lbkr on him most times but we do not have many fast, 6 ft+ really good WRs on this team so he is doing his best.

I have wanted to see Labas all year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sober_teacher

hawkifann

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 5, 2001
38,942
17,263
113
@hawkifann - it doesn't concern you that the team's best RB started at the bottom of the depth chart just 2 months ago? Or that he is only playing more now because everyone has actually had a chance to see him produce on the field? Just like Iowa's freshmen phenom kicker didn't see the field until the inferior guy picked to play ahead of him botched one too many kicks? Who's to say Iowa's 3rd string QB wouldn't have performed better this season than Petras if he got a chance? We will never know. Personnel decisions by an extremely stubborn and egotistical coach are subjective and can often be wrong. Backups should always take snaps and get opportunities.

I guess I don’t get the hang up on the RB opportunities, it’s so much different than QB. For starters, it’s not a zero-sum game - every team rotates backs and it’s not at all uncommon for 2-4 RBs to get action in any given game. There aren’t many every-down backs in college or pro football.

Beyond that, if you look at the situation coming into the season - Gavin & Leshon were both back after having some success behind Goodson last year and it was clear that, if healthy, they’d be in line for time early and it was widely reported that Kaleb was a guy who could push for early time. Gavin started the year hurt (and has only played sporadically since), so Kaleb got a look maybe a little earlier than expected.

As a true freshman, Kaleb took the lead back role in his 3rd game (he wasn’t on campus until the summer, as he didn’t enroll early). That’s impressive….and he had carries in every game. Since the Nevada game, Johnson has out-carried Leshon in every game, and he’s had more touches in every game except Northwestern, thanks to 3 receptions to go with his 11 carries vs. Kaleb’s 13 carries.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because something is true today, that it’s been true all along. Knowing how people work, I have to assume that Kaleb Johnson has gained familiarity with the playbook, improved at pass blocking and is generally a better player than he was the first week of September - it’s not exactly a stretch to think that he’s improving and on an upward trajectory and not a complete, finished product at this point.

It’s also worth noting that Leshon has done some good things as well. Iowa needs to have 2+ effective backs in order to be good. It will be interesting to see the competition if/when Gavin Williams gets back to full health. He looked really good last year and I was excited to see him this year.
 

sober_teacher

HR Legend
Mar 26, 2007
14,374
18,197
113
I guess I don’t get the hang up on the RB opportunities, it’s so much different than QB. For starters, it’s not a zero-sum game - every team rotates backs and it’s not at all uncommon for 2-4 RBs to get action in any given game. There aren’t many every-down backs in college or pro football.

Beyond that, if you look at the situation coming into the season - Gavin & Leshon were both back after having some success behind Goodson last year and it was clear that, if healthy, they’d be in line for time early and it was widely reported that Kaleb was a guy who could push for early time. Gavin started the year hurt (and has only played sporadically since), so Kaleb got a look maybe a little earlier than expected.

As a true freshman, Kaleb took the lead back role in his 3rd game (he wasn’t on campus until the summer, as he didn’t enroll early). That’s impressive….and he had carries in every game. Since the Nevada game, Johnson has out-carried Leshon in every game, and he’s had more touches in every game except Northwestern, thanks to 3 receptions to go with his 11 carries vs. Kaleb’s 13 carries.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because something is true today, that it’s been true all along. Knowing how people work, I have to assume that Kaleb Johnson has gained familiarity with the playbook, improved at pass blocking and is generally a better player than he was the first week of September - it’s not exactly a stretch to think that he’s improving and on an upward trajectory and not a complete, finished product at this point.

It’s also worth noting that Leshon has done some good things as well. Iowa needs to have 2+ effective backs in order to be good. It will be interesting to see the competition if/when Gavin Williams gets back to full health. He looked really good last year and I was excited to see him this year.

Agreed, for the most part I don’t have a huge issue with how they’ve handled the RB room this season.
 

pistachio1999

HR Heisman
Nov 29, 2021
5,055
6,194
113
@no_one_ - Petras did play a decent game, as I'm sure he plays well against the scout team. The problem is every QB they have faced has played BETTER than Petras. For example, Wisconsin's terrible QB was all world against them, going 20-29 for 300 yards and 5 touchdowns. Bottom feeder Nebraska threw for 355 yards against these guys. So I dare say any QB on Iowa's roster could have carved up that defense. For the future of the program, it would have been nice to see Padilla or Labas get a shot to show what they can do against a cupcake to gain experience.

@hawkifann - it doesn't concern you that the team's best RB started at the bottom of the depth chart just 2 months ago? Or that he is only playing more now because everyone has actually had a chance to see him produce on the field? Just like Iowa's freshmen phenom kicker didn't see the field until the inferior guy picked to play ahead of him botched one too many kicks? Who's to say Iowa's 3rd string QB wouldn't have performed better this season than Petras if he got a chance? We will never know. Personnel decisions by an extremely stubborn and egotistical coach are subjective and can often be wrong. Backups should always take snaps and get opportunities.

@EvilMonkeyInTheCloset - if Gavin Williams has been "hurt all year," why did he still get 16 carries just a few weeks ago (averaging just 3.6 yards per carry). Why is an injured guy still listed as "starter" in the depth chart nearly every week? If he isn't 100% healthy, and barely averages 3 yards per carry, there's no excuse for playing the guy if there are better, healthier backs on the bench. Again, it proves that personnel decisions are often wrong and the best players don't always get playing time...Williams is just the most obvious example because we have actually seen the body of work of each of the top 3 backs.

@BigDan21 - you are correct. Padilla absolutely played better than Petras in the little we've seen of him. In fact, it's not even close. Obviously he had jitters getting fed to the wolves taking his first snap in nearly 12 months at the Horseshoe after Petras dug him an insurmountable hole, but the guy dodged 3 sure fire sacks that Petras would have taken and throws a better ball. The fact that he didn't start against Northwestern is an embarrassment.
Still nothing on the OL????????????????????????????? Colby to guard and Plumb in at OT? It was obviously a better combo. Sure Northwestern, but still it was much better in blocking.
 

uihawk82

HR MVP
Nov 17, 2021
1,200
1,395
113
Still nothing on the OL????????????????????????????? Colby to guard and Plumb in at OT? It was obviously a better combo. Sure Northwestern, but still it was much better in blocking.

Please give us your observations on the right side of the OLine. I want to hear them. I rewatched the game looking mainly at the offensive line when Iowa had the ball and the right side looked good.

I noticed a lot of just power blocking by the whole unit with Pottebaum and sometimes a tight end as H-back type blockers. If the power blocking went to the right then Pottebaum came from the right across the formation at the snap and trapped the left end or a left side linebacker. The tight end would take another defender.

It led to some nice cutback lanes.
 

Hwk-I-St8

HR Legend
Gold Member
Nov 10, 2009
13,777
9,776
113
Lower Slobovia
I guess I don’t get the hang up on the RB opportunities, it’s so much different than QB. For starters, it’s not a zero-sum game - every team rotates backs and it’s not at all uncommon for 2-4 RBs to get action in any given game. There aren’t many every-down backs in college or pro football.

Beyond that, if you look at the situation coming into the season - Gavin & Leshon were both back after having some success behind Goodson last year and it was clear that, if healthy, they’d be in line for time early and it was widely reported that Kaleb was a guy who could push for early time. Gavin started the year hurt (and has only played sporadically since), so Kaleb got a look maybe a little earlier than expected.

As a true freshman, Kaleb took the lead back role in his 3rd game (he wasn’t on campus until the summer, as he didn’t enroll early). That’s impressive….and he had carries in every game. Since the Nevada game, Johnson has out-carried Leshon in every game, and he’s had more touches in every game except Northwestern, thanks to 3 receptions to go with his 11 carries vs. Kaleb’s 13 carries.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because something is true today, that it’s been true all along. Knowing how people work, I have to assume that Kaleb Johnson has gained familiarity with the playbook, improved at pass blocking and is generally a better player than he was the first week of September - it’s not exactly a stretch to think that he’s improving and on an upward trajectory and not a complete, finished product at this point.

It’s also worth noting that Leshon has done some good things as well. Iowa needs to have 2+ effective backs in order to be good. It will be interesting to see the competition if/when Gavin Williams gets back to full health. He looked really good last year and I was excited to see him this year.

I thought about posting something similar, but your if your logic is directed at the OP, you're wasting your time. It's a classic case of "he's made up his mind, don't confuse him with facts". Throw in the fact that he's a troll and the story is complete. Sorry to break it to you. Nice post though....
 

hawkifann

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 5, 2001
38,942
17,263
113
I thought about posting something similar, but your if your logic is directed at the OP, you're wasting your time. It's a classic case of "he's made up his mind, don't confuse him with facts". Throw in the fact that he's a troll and the story is complete. Sorry to break it to you. Nice post though....
Fair….just couldn’t resist the draw to the “Post Reply” button.
 

IowasLaw

Team MVP
Gold Member
Nov 19, 2019
274
1,375
93
Still nothing on the OL????????????????????????????? Colby to guard and Plumb in at OT? It was obviously a better combo. Sure Northwestern, but still it was much better in blocking.
@pistachio1999 Uhhhh. What about the "OL???????" I'm not sure anyone could reasonably say they were "obviously better," knowing that you are comparing a performance against Northwestern vs their performance the previous 3 weeks vs. Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio State.

Did the OL suddenly open up huge holes with Colby to guard? Not really. Leshon Williams, whom I would imagine you think is pretty talented, had 11 carries for just 43 yards (3.9 yards per carry), often times being stuffed right at the line. Having a back average 3.9 yards per carry against the worst defense Iowa has faced all year is not good. By comparison, if you look at what Maryland did to Northwestern the week before, their lower-tier back had 180 yards (7.5 yards per carry) and 3 touchdowns against the mildcats. So no, I don't think the line magically improved after 7 games by switching a couple underperforming OL over. The line simply played against a much, much, much worse opponent than the week before which made every player on the roster look better.

@hawkifann - you continue to miss the point on personnel/playing time. Is it intentional? As stated, RB is merely the tangible example of personnel errors because it's the only position where the 3rd stringer regularly gets playing time. Fans can compare and contrast the #1, #2, and #3 and their stats speak for themselves. If your point is that younger guys often improve during the season and could ultimately pass older guys on the depth chart...then you successfully made my point. I agree Johnson may not have been the best back on day one but improved enough to clearly become the best back. This is likely true for many positions. Kirk's infamous "union card," or adherence to "body of work" instead of talent seems to disqualify younger guys from getting reps over inferior seniors like Petras (perhaps senior walk on Schulte starting at safety over some extremely talented younger guys is another example). It's highly probably that young guys like Nwankpa or Labas/May have improved exponentially faster over the past 3 months than the long-term system guys playing ahead of them. We just don't get to see what they can do on the field, whereas Johnson plays.