Iowa began their season on Saturday with an opening win against Illinois State of the FCS, 31-14. The score ended up a lot closer than the actual game as the Hawkeyes' first defense did not allow a point. Iowa manhandled the Redbirds, outgaining them by 200 yards. The Illinois State offense was never able to move the ball with any regularity, and their defense struggled to stop the run.
After the game, Illinois State quarterbacks Jake Kolbe and Tre Roberson, as well as linebacker Pat Meehan spoke to the media to discuss their thoughts.
Illinois State showed a lot of class, complimenting Iowa on what they did well, and credited them with a great gameplan going in, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. Roberson pinpointed their defensive attack against his running as an area that Illinois State struggled with, particularly because of how many defenders Iowa committed against the run. The Hawkeyes not only had a linebacker dedicated to limit his impact, but also brought down a safety in the box, too. Defensive Phil Parker's strategy was able to keep the Redbird offense at bay.
Linebacker Pat Meehan repeatedly pointed to Illinois State's third down defense as a weakness throughout the game. They were not able to get off the field, and Iowa continued to punish them with the run for long drives.
Iowa was a stiff challenge for Illinois State but as indicated in the video above, they're eager to turn the page, learn from the tape, and focus on teams on their level in the FCS.
Safe to say, the Redbirds were overmatched by the size and depth of the Hawkeyes, particularly up front.