IowaLaw's Post Game Analysis: Rutgers

IowasLaw

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The Hawks soundly defeated the worst team in the Big 10 a week after defeating arguably the worst team in D1 football. It's nice to string together wins to build confidence, but we will know a lot more about this team after the level of competition improves next week.

3rd Down Play Calling. The Hawks went just 1-9 on 3rd down against lowly Rutgers? How is that possible? Incompetent play calling and a "check down" focused QB. Of the 9 3rd downs, many were 3rd and long. Instead of using common sense, Ol' Brian chose those occasions to call up a short screen pass, a run up the middle, or a 3 yard out well short of the sticks. Heck, the only 3rd down conversion of the day involved a catch where the receiver had to catch and run 6 yards before picking up the first. Even more frustrating, there have been multiple 3rd and long plays where Petras takes off running, then intentionally slides 5 yards short of the 1st down marker. Inexcusable in major college football. There is no benefit to picking up 2 yards on 3rd and 6. It's a turnover. How are these guys not taught that on 3rd down the objective is to move the chains, not gain 2 yards and punt? Those 2 yards do the punter no good.

Emergence of a Run Game. Perhaps we have low expectations after such poor results all season, but we saw glimpses of a run game. L Williams ran hard. Kaleb Johnson is a star in the making. In total, the Hawks still averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. They aren't going to be confused with Wisconsin or Michigan's run games, but they passed the eye test. True freshmen Johnson led the team in carries. Look for that trend to continue. Who knew the guy was also a stud kick returner, averaging nearly 40 yards per return on the day. He looked like Khalil Hill back there.

Moss Mistiming his Jumps. Moss is an all-American. Last year at this time of year he already had 3 or 4 interceptions. So what's changed this year? Are opponents throwing away from him? Yes, there is some of that. But there also seem to have been quite a few sure fire INTs that he just hasn't grabbed this year. There were two balls thrown right to him against Rutgers where he leaped way too early and allowed a touchdown on one and missed an easy interception on the other. Hopefully the pre-season hype isn't getting to him and he steps up big against the better competition ahead. We are going to need him.

Graves & Van Ness Brutalizing the QB. Those guys are studs. 2.5 sacks between them, and Van Ness was constantly in the back field laying hits on the QB. I'm actually shocked the Rutgers QB made it through the entire game still standing, because he was hit as often as I've seen a QB hit.

Defensive Backfield. Kaevon continues to get much of the media attention on defense. He stepped up big against Rutgers, with 2 fumble recoveries, an int, and a dropped interception that bounced off his hands. However, for the stat friendly position he plays, one would expect more productivity. He finished the day with just 3 tackles. By comparison, Schulte & DeJean had 7 tackles each. Overall, the defensive backfield is as solid as they come, and it's great seeing the depth start to develop, with Casto getting quite a few reps. But where's the 5 star freshmen? Even with two top CBs down, he's not getting reps.

More Lechey Less LaPorta. There were quite a few plays where Lachey and LaPorta ran similar routes with Lachey the deeper option and LaPorta the safety dump off option. Of course Petras is going to go the safe route more times than not, and as a result, LaPorta gets quadruple the targets. LaPorta finished the day with 4 catches on 9 targets, while Lachey had 2 catches on 2 targets. Don't get me wrong, LaPorta had a good game (despite 2 more drops to add to his team leading total), but it would be nice to see what Lachey, who is quite a bit bigger and stronger than LaPorta, could do if he got the targets LaPorta gets. As we've seen with Charlie Jones at Purdue, there is zero correlation at Iowa between a player's skill level and targets. It's more a function of who runs the shortest, easiest routes.

Punting Is Winning (Against Inferior Opponents). Four of Taylor's five punts were downed inside the 10 yard line. That's an absolute weapon when your offense can't seem to move the ball. The guy is a lot of fun to watch and a great, unexpected weapon for the Hawks to rely upon. Unfortunately, once we start playing opponents who can score on our defense, it's going to take a lot more than a good punter to win games.
 

HerkysDad

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Feb 15, 2014
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Kaevon likely dropped that last potential interception as that is what he should have done on 4th down with the line of scrimmage in better field position. Used his head for team’s benefit not personal glory.
Don't risk the fumble or possible injury on run back with game well in hand.
 

uihawk82

HR All-State
Nov 17, 2021
857
996
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The Hawks soundly defeated the worst team in the Big 10 a week after defeating arguably the worst team in D1 football. It's nice to string together wins to build confidence, but we will know a lot more about this team after the level of competition improves next week.

3rd Down Play Calling. The Hawks went just 1-9 on 3rd down against lowly Rutgers? How is that possible? Incompetent play calling and a "check down" focused QB. Of the 9 3rd downs, many were 3rd and long. Instead of using common sense, Ol' Brian chose those occasions to call up a short screen pass, a run up the middle, or a 3 yard out well short of the sticks. Heck, the only 3rd down conversion of the day involved a catch where the receiver had to catch and run 6 yards before picking up the first. Even more frustrating, there have been multiple 3rd and long plays where Petras takes off running, then intentionally slides 5 yards short of the 1st down marker. Inexcusable in major college football. There is no benefit to picking up 2 yards on 3rd and 6. It's a turnover. How are these guys not taught that on 3rd down the objective is to move the chains, not gain 2 yards and punt? Those 2 yards do the punter no good.

Emergence of a Run Game. Perhaps we have low expectations after such poor results all season, but we saw glimpses of a run game. L Williams ran hard. Kaleb Johnson is a star in the making. In total, the Hawks still averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. They aren't going to be confused with Wisconsin or Michigan's run games, but they passed the eye test. True freshmen Johnson led the team in carries. Look for that trend to continue. Who knew the guy was also a stud kick returner, averaging nearly 40 yards per return on the day. He looked like Khalil Hill back there.

Moss Mistiming his Jumps. Moss is an all-American. Last year at this time of year he already had 3 or 4 interceptions. So what's changed this year? Are opponents throwing away from him? Yes, there is some of that. But there also seem to have been quite a few sure fire INTs that he just hasn't grabbed this year. There were two balls thrown right to him against Rutgers where he leaped way too early and allowed a touchdown on one and missed an easy interception on the other. Hopefully the pre-season hype isn't getting to him and he steps up big against the better competition ahead. We are going to need him.

Graves & Van Ness Brutalizing the QB. Those guys are studs. 2.5 sacks between them, and Van Ness was constantly in the back field laying hits on the QB. I'm actually shocked the Rutgers QB made it through the entire game still standing, because he was hit as often as I've seen a QB hit.

Defensive Backfield. Kaevon continues to get much of the media attention on defense. He stepped up big against Rutgers, with 2 fumble recoveries, an int, and a dropped interception that bounced off his hands. However, for the stat friendly position he plays, one would expect more productivity. He finished the day with just 3 tackles. By comparison, Schulte & DeJean had 7 tackles each. Overall, the defensive backfield is as solid as they come, and it's great seeing the depth start to develop, with Casto getting quite a few reps. But where's the 5 star freshmen? Even with two top CBs down, he's not getting reps.

More Lechey Less LaPorta. There were quite a few plays where Lachey and LaPorta ran similar routes with Lachey the deeper option and LaPorta the safety dump off option. Of course Petras is going to go the safe route more times than not, and as a result, LaPorta gets quadruple the targets. LaPorta finished the day with 4 catches on 9 targets, while Lachey had 2 catches on 2 targets. Don't get me wrong, LaPorta had a good game (despite 2 more drops to add to his team leading total), but it would be nice to see what Lachey, who is quite a bit bigger and stronger than LaPorta, could do if he got the targets LaPorta gets. As we've seen with Charlie Jones at Purdue, there is zero correlation at Iowa between a player's skill level and targets. It's more a function of who runs the shortest, easiest routes.

Punting Is Winning (Against Inferior Opponents). Four of Taylor's five punts were downed inside the 10 yard line. That's an absolute weapon when your offense can't seem to move the ball. The guy is a lot of fun to watch and a great, unexpected weapon for the Hawks to rely upon. Unfortunately, once we start playing opponents who can score on our defense, it's going to take a lot more than a good punter to win games.

Hey, the running game adjusted stats not counting the sacks is about 4.2 yards per carry. That is pretty good but 4.5 is a good number for when Iowa has a really effective running game.
 

WinOneThisCentury II

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Once again Iowa Law...I believe these posts should be kept secret due to attorney-client privilege.

Your point on LaPorta dropping balls was well taken though. I saw BF yelling after he dropped that 3rd down pass for a first down in one of the fourth quarter possessions. He wasn't happy. The end zone pass was a really good pass and he got two hands on it. He needs to make that catch too. I have to tell you...I'd be targeting Lachey more and more...he's dialed in right now.
 
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DJ_Kool_Herk

Team MVP
Oct 10, 2021
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3rd Down Play Calling. There is no benefit to picking up 2 yards on 3rd and 6. It's a turnover. How are these guys not taught that on 3rd down the objective is to move the chains, not gain 2 yards and punt? Those 2 yards do the punter no good.

The benefit is we won't turn the ball over on a two yard run on 3rd and 6.
The point, for Iowa, isn't getting the first down.
It's not turning it over.
 

DJ_Kool_Herk

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Oct 10, 2021
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Kaevon likely dropped that last potential interception as that is what he should have done on 4th down with the line of scrimmage in better field position. Used his head for team’s benefit not personal glory.
Don't risk the fumble or possible injury on run back with game well in hand.
I thought that too, but he wouldn't have had far to go to get back to og line of scrimmage.
 

iahawks10

HR Legend
Nov 3, 2001
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Nevada beat New Mexico State. New Mexico State beat Hawaii. I stopped reading after that.

There are 261 D1 teams ranked in Sagarin and Nevada ranks #122. I’m guessing OP doesn’t know who or what makes a D1 team. His assertion that Nevada is “arguably” the worst D1 team in the country is foolish and that’s being nice. As you pointed out, they’re not even “arguably” the worst FBS team in the country.
 
Aug 30, 2001
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Rutgers is a ways from being good, but it hasn't been anywhere near the worst team in the Big Ten since Schiano returned in 2020. The standings bear that out.
 

Titanhawk2

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Jul 14, 2011
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Take out Petras and the average run was 4.2 yds/carry

Only one three and out, not counting the one at the end. That is improvement

The average third down play was 3rd and 9.5 yards. They seemingly cannot overcome a bad second down play
 
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Lots of hate for Iowa Law here but haven’t seen any of you arguing the substance of what he said. Other than the semantics of whether Rutgers and Nevada are the “worst” teams in the Big10 and FBS, vs one of the worst. Lol
Because there's no point in feeding the troll. His schtick is becoming more and more apparent to more and more posters, thankfully, and we'd rather spend time hijacking his threads rather than treating his posts seriously and trying to counterargue his intentionally negative/pessimistic spins........

Hopefully, that helps. :D
 

Bearhawk0505

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Mar 13, 2010
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Pretty good summary overall, but disagree with 3rd down play calling point. Pretty much the only way to lose that game was to turn the ball over on 3rd and long. With this team, screens/draws are probably the smart call to play complimentary football with our D and special teams. The key for this O is staying out of 3rd and longs. Also, the Moss point is a bit nit picky. He has had himself in good position, but sometimes good receivers just make good plays.
 

sober_teacher

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Mar 26, 2007
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Pretty good summary overall, but disagree with 3rd down play calling point. Pretty much the only way to lose that game was to turn the ball over on 3rd and long. With this team, screens/draws are probably the smart call to play complimentary football with our D and special teams. The key for this O is staying out of 3rd and longs. Also, the Moss point is a bit nit picky. He has had himself in good position, but sometimes good receivers just make good plays.
This game was similar to the Indiana game last year in this regard due to the defensive scores. Judging this game by stats isn’t an accurate measuring stick as a result. Especially after we scored to open the second half, there was every reason to play a more conservative game, take fewer chances that could allow Rutgers to sneak back into it.
 
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IowasLaw

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Hey, the running game adjusted stats not counting the sacks is about 4.2 yards per carry. That is pretty good but 4.5 is a good number for when Iowa has a really effective running game.
@uihawk82 - your expectations are too low if you 4.2 yards per carry (when you omit Petras) is "pretty good." Penn State has a freshmen who averages 9 yards per carry on 42 attempts. Iowa's next opponent has a guy averaging 7.5 yards per carry on 64 attempts. Expect more out of your backs when you root for a team with no WRs.

@WinOneThisCentury II - yup. I don't think I've seen Lechey drop one yet. He looks the part (he's gotta be 3 inches taller than LaPorta) and seems to have a bright future. LaPorta has reached his ceiling.

@HerkysDad - rewatch Merriweather's interception. There's not a chance he dropped that on purpose. He clearly tried with all his might and was upset when it hit the ground. It didn't occur to him until long after the play was dead that Iowa was better off because he dropped it.

@iahawks10 - ouch, ya got me!! The OP has 8 substantive paragraphs about Iowa football and you take the time to respond that Nevada isn't really the very worst team in all of college football? Did you ride the short bus as a kid? Don't answer that. I don't want you to argue over the semantics of the length of busses next.

@Bearhawk0505 - I get not wanting to turn the ball over on 3rd and 6. But it's not THAT risky to call a pass play that goes 6 yards instead of 2 yards. How many other teams have you seen hibernate on 3rd down and not even try?
 

iahawks10

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Nov 3, 2001
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@iahawks10 - ouch, ya got me!! The OP has 8 substantive paragraphs about Iowa football and you take the time to respond that Nevada isn't really the very worst team in all of college football? Did you ride the short bus as a kid? Don't answer that. I don't want you to argue over the semantics of the length of busses next.

I honestly stopped reading mid first paragraph when it was evident that you have no clue about college football. Why waste my time? If you like to post eight paragraph post game analysis after every game for people to laugh at, go for it.

Yeah, I gotcha pretty good but it wasn’t difficult. You’re pretty ignorant when it comes to football and college football specifically. You can’t even get your handle correct and you’re over here talking semantics. Beautiful.


Lots of hate for Iowa Law here but haven’t seen any of you arguing the substance of what he said. Other than the semantics of whether Rutgers and Nevada are the “worst” teams in the Big10 and FBS, vs one of the worst. Lol

It’s not semantics arguing whether or not Nevada is “arguably the worst team in D1”. It’s plain ignorant to suggest it. Besides the fact that there are 261 D1 teams and Nevada ranks 122 in Sagarin, let’s assume the OP meant only FBS teams. There are still 20 FBS teams ranked lower than Nevada, in Sagarin, two of which Nevada beat head to head (one of them by 24 points). No sane person would argue that Nevada is the worst.
 

Hawk_4shur

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Jan 2, 2009
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Lots of hate for Iowa Law here but haven’t seen any of you arguing the substance of what he said. Other than the semantics of whether Rutgers and Nevada are the “worst” teams in the Big10 and FBS, vs one of the worst. Lol
Well, his analysis of third down play calls assumes that they worked exactly like BF drew them up. Yes, SP checked down. Yes, he ran and had no hope of getting a first down. Does that mean BF called plays to work like that? Yes, 1-9 sucks. But when it's 3rd and 8 or 9, it's hard to imagine any play working with this offense.

And Moss, covering their best receiver "mistimed" his jump, possibly because the pre-season hype is getting to him?

Not to mention his incredible insight failed to even mention that the Hawks managed to have penalties at exactly the wrong time and messed up some drives.
 
Feb 25, 2008
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I honestly stopped reading mid first paragraph when it was evident that you have no clue about college football. Why waste my time? If you like to post eight paragraph post game analysis after every game for people to laugh at, go for it.

Yeah, I gotcha pretty good but it wasn’t difficult. You’re pretty ignorant when it comes to football and college football specifically. You can’t even get your handle correct and you’re over here talking semantics. Beautiful.




It’s not semantics arguing whether or not Nevada is “arguably the worst team in D1”. It’s plain ignorant to suggest it. Besides the fact that there are 261 D1 teams and Nevada ranks 122 in Sagarin, let’s assume the OP meant only FBS teams. There are still 20 FBS teams ranked lower than Nevada, in Sagarin, two of which Nevada beat head to head (one of them by 24 points). No sane person would argue that Nevada is the worst.
I've told him before, @'ing people is not his game. Just makes him look triggered and starts to reveal his actual lack of knowledge for the sport.
 

bourbon n blues

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Nov 20, 2019
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Nick Singleton was the Gatorade player of the year and arguably the top RB recruit in the country . I don’t think that’s the guy you want to compare anyone to.
Kaytron Allen was ranked 10th in his position and top 300 overall in the country , (142/300 according to ESPN).
These guy were very highly ranked recruits fwiw.
 

bourbon n blues

All-Conference
Nov 20, 2019
305
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I honestly stopped reading mid first paragraph when it was evident that you have no clue about college football. Why waste my time? If you like to post eight paragraph post game analysis after every game for people to laugh at, go for it.

Yeah, I gotcha pretty good but it wasn’t difficult. You’re pretty ignorant when it comes to football and college football specifically. You can’t even get your handle correct and you’re over here talking semantics. Beautiful.




It’s not semantics arguing whether or not Nevada is “arguably the worst team in D1”. It’s plain ignorant to suggest it. Besides the fact that there are 261 D1 teams and Nevada ranks 122 in Sagarin, let’s assume the OP meant only FBS teams. There are still 20 FBS teams ranked lower than Nevada, in Sagarin, two of which Nevada beat head to head (one of them by 24 points). No sane person would argue that Nevada is the worst.
Well I’ll guess that 122 is closer to the worst than the best, probably much closer in talent , but yeah. He seems to ignore a lot of facts or make some poor comparisons .
In a prior post he mentioned PSU’s freshmen averaging 9 yards a carry, the top RB recruit in the country according to some . Also the Gatorade player of the year.
I don’t think it proves how poorly one is doing by pointing out how maybe the top freshman is doing .
 

kcgolfer

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Sep 23, 2003
17,951
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Agree on all criticisms of Petras. The game has never slowed down for him. Still can’t read the field after 3 years and the coaches tell us he’s the best we have? Something is definitely wrong with our QB and coaching.

Nice job again Law! I always look forward to your analysis.
 
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IowasLaw

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Nick Singleton was the Gatorade player of the year and arguably the top RB recruit in the country . I don’t think that’s the guy you want to compare anyone to.
Kaytron Allen was ranked 10th in his position and top 300 overall in the country , (142/300 according to ESPN).
These guy were very highly ranked recruits fwiw.

Yes, Iowa plays in the Big 10, one of the premier conferences in football. Our peers get good recruits. That's how it works. If you want to be thrilled with running backs averaging 4.2 yards per carry against lowly Rutgers, be my guest. I'm simply going to point to what Iowa's peers are doing to provide perspective. If Michigan & Penn State's RBs don't count because they are "too highly rated," then how about Wisconsin, who's got a soph averaging 7 yards per carry. Too good of a recruit as well? Minnesota's backup averages 7.3 yards per carry and their starter averages 6.4 yards per carry. Then there's Ohio State, who has two guys averaging around 7 yards per carry. Illinois has a back who leads the conference in rushing yards and averages 6.4 yards per carry. Does the entire conference have too good of recruits to be compared with Iowa? Maybe the problem is Iowa needs to recruit better backs?

Bottom line, 4.2 yards is only good if you're comparing it to no one. It's called perspective.