Pretty much spot on again. I'm not sure why this guy gets so much hate.....Maybe it's the snarky writing style?
The only point I disagree w/ is the analysis of the RB situation. I think the lack of production is tied directly to the sub-par line play. I've always held the opinion that anyone w/ a pulse can play RB if the line play is good. Sure you may not get the tackle breaking big run we see w/ quicker RB's. If the line is getting a push anyone can get the ball, fall forward and get 4-5 yards.
I had real concern when I heard that Alex Wick playing WR....a small kid from a small school. I'm sure he's a hard worker and good teammate. The more I thought about it the more I remembered how underutilized that position is at Iowa. Iowa could throw anyone out there and it wouldn't make a bit of difference in the game's outcome.....sadly....so, in that sense Wick is the perfect fit....
Einstein once said the definition of Randying around is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Unfortunately, when Kirk: (i) rewards the architect of last year's 117th ranked offence with a raise and a promotion; (ii) rewards the Big 10's worst QB with unwavering union card status without even considering looking for better options; and (iii) thumbs his nose at the transfer portal when the rest of the Power 5 feasted on the frenzy of talent looking for immediate playing time, you're destined for more touchdownless nail biters against inferior opponents like today's 7-3 embarrassment.
Unacceptable RB Play. Aside from IowaLaw, virtually no one expressed concern with the lack of talent at the RB position this year. The Hawks lost both Goodson and Kelly-Martin with eligibility remaining and the hole they left is bigger than most will acknowledge. What we saw today against a massively undersized IAA DL was unacceptable. Williams rushed 24 times for an average of just 3 yards and zero big runs. Highly touted Kaleb Johnson ran 3 times for 0 yards. By comparison, Goodson left Iowa averaging 4.8 yards for his career. Sargent averaged 5.7 yards two years ago. Toren Young averaged 5.3 yards the year before that. Today's RBs did not look ready for prime time and they are going to need to figure it out.
The Punting Is Winning Cop Out. While it's quirky and cute to chuckle about a "punting is winning" mantra, the truth is, punters are anonymous on most teams. The only reason punting receives attention at Iowa is because the offense is forced to punt so often and the punter is thrust into the spot light out of default. Taylor is a fantastic punter. He may be the best in the country. His 50 yard punts downed on the 2 yard line are a thing of beauty. But a coaching staff should not force a punter to continually put a team on his shoulders to win games. When that happens, even super stars end up booting multiple punts from opponents' 40 yard lines into the end zone for a net gain of just 20 yards. His touchback following Kirks conservative decision to punt at the end of the game gave SDSU a chance to upset the Hawks. If Kirk doesn't trust his OL and RBs to gain a yard on 3rd and 1 from an outmanned opponent's 38 yrd line to run out the clock, the Hawks must overhaul their staff and personnel. It's not possible for any punter to control the bounce on every single pooch punt nor should they be expected to.
Promising Young DBs. Maybe the most pleasant surprise of the day was watching Terry Roberts and Quinn Schulte finally get their chance to fly around and make plays. Roberts looks to be Iowa's next great CB. He had 4 tackles and 2 pass deflections after being last year's special teams super star. Schulte, a walk-on playing ahead of a 5 star recruit, showed why. The guy can really lay the wood. He finished the day with 4 pass deflections and never allowed any deep receptions. If these guys can learn to turn deflections into interceptions while teams continue throwing away from Moss, the secondary should be in excellent shape to keep Iowa in games despite their offense.
Putrid QB Play. It's too easy to pile on Putras and his 11/25 for 109 yards, 1 int, 0 td performance. Any fan can do that. What's concerning is the guy STILL has happy feet, STILL gets rattled, and STILL locks onto 1 receiver rather than seeing the entire field. It is nice he has the luxury of spending his summers with private coaches who work on casually throwing passes to uncovered receivers, but when your QB lacks confidence against a live defense and is terrified to throw deep balls, the run game suffers. The staff knows this, yet they continue to play Putras every down. It would have been refreshing if Charlie Jones came out and said Brian's uninnovative play calling and insistence on playing Putras were the reasons he left, but anyone who watched Purdue play this week knows it's true. For those who didn't see it, Jones single handedly had more receptions, yards, and touchdowns for Purdue against Penn State than all Iowa receivers had combined against SDSU.
Is Bruce Legit or Simply the Only Man Standing. Bruce was the only WR who caught a pass today. That distribution is ridiculous. His 5 catches for 68 yards made for a solid stat line. With that said, I have to wonder if Iowa's only WR option would even see the field on most Big 10 rosters? Putras is going to continue locking onto Bruce on most pass plays because he runs the short high percentage routes, so let's hope he's the real deal. In the meantime, it's imperative that other WRs step up and the staff reminds Putras that he isn't going to get away with locking onto 1 WR every game.
RIP OLine U. Perhaps the biggest disservice Kirk could have done to the program was to take away OL coach duties from Reece Morgan in 2012 and hand over the keys to the Cadillac to his ill prepared son. That marked the end of an era of the Hawks were known for their OL prowess. Do they still produce the occasional NFL draft pick? Absolutely. But as a unit, Iowa's OL has been a weakness rather than a strength for years since Brian took over. Recruiting misses, an outdated scheme, and incompetent coaching have all contributed to the demise of the Iowa OL since then. Today, the line was blown off the ball by a bunch of 240lb IAA DL who had no business standing on the same field as a school like Iowa. The line allowed Putras to get rattled early and often. They provided virtually no holes for the inexperienced RBs. How will this group of sophomores hold up when the level of competition increases? Are they capable of going up against DL their own size who are twice as quick off the ball (like Michigan last year). The new OL coach experiment was a failure. This was supposed to be Kirk's specialty and Kirk's legacy. It's time for him to stop the gum chewing and take the bull by the horns. Without steady OL play, Petras and the RBs are going to continue to get shut out throughout the year.