The Iowa Hawkeyes were involved in a shootout Saturday night but their offense carried them to victory as they were able to knock off Minnesota 40-35 to remain unbeaten but also to re-claim the Floyd of Rosedale. The 10-0 record they have now accomplished is the best start in school history and Hawkeye Insider provides an instant reaction and thoughts on the triumph.
NEWS AND NOTES
- It was not a game that went according to plan. Iowa's defense has carried them all year but on this night, it was the offense that spearheaded the win. Not only did they tally 40 points but they also surpassed 500 yards and nearly had another 200 yard rusher as LeShun Daniels broke out for 195 yards on 26 carries to go with 3 touchdowns.
- Defensively, it was not a performance to remember. They gave up a number of big plays and did not control the line of scrimmage, something uncharacteristic of this unit. Josey Jewell still rose to the occasion at inside linebacker and had another strong game but it was a game that I'm sure Jaleel Johnson and Desmond King would have liked to fare much better than they did.
- One of the key plays the defense got came from Josey Jewell once again. His quarterback pressure that caused an intentional grounding was a big swing in the game. Minnesota had the momentum and they were moving the ball at will. He effectively ended the success and rhythm they were in by leaving his imprint on the game.
- The pass rush was non-existent for the most part once again which has to be a concern moving forward.
- This team has an unbelievable knack for closing out games and that continued tonight. It has been the defense closing it out and the offense has had its turn a few times as well. Both sides of the ball step up when it is needed the most. I'll put it bluntly, this team has a championship pedigree. They've won games that were a defensive tussle, specifically the 10-6 over Wisconsin in Madison. Now they have a high-scoring win on their belt as well. They can win in a number of different ways and that is a sign of a special team.
- The offense really was the story and it is amazing how much more potent and dangerous they are when C.J. Beathard can maneuver in the pocket without any restrictions. He is a difference maker when he can be as mobile as he wants. He can turn plays that look bleak into positive ones. He epitomizes this team. This team can win in a variety of ways and he can beat you in a variety of ways.
- Tonight we also saw a rejuvenated LeShun Daniels. It is easy to see why he was the original starter when he's operating at full capacity. The 100 percent LeShun Daniels is one of the more all-around running backs in the country. He ran hard tonight and can really hit the hole. His 51 yard rushing touchdown was the virtual game-winner. He's known for being a balanced back and being one of the guys that can drag tacklers but that explosive play was jumpstarted by his ability to win the one-on-one battle with the safety.
- Tevaun Smith is such a valuable weapon for this offense. He doesn't always get integrated to the fullest extent but he makes the most of his opportunities. He always seems to make one significant indent on the game. This one was no different. His third down catch that he was able to elude a defender and break the tackle was one of the bigger plays of the game. He turned a simple 5-yard out into an explosive play and took it all the way down inside the five yard line. That was so crucial because it appeared like the offense began to become stuck in neutral.
- Henry Krieger Coble always is raved about by coaches and players for having the best set of hands on the team and it's easy to see why. It showed up again tonight. He and Matt VandeBerg are both so reliable and both so clutch on third down. It's becoming difficult for defenses to defend this team on third down because they have the backs to convert it on the ground but when they decide to use the aerial attack, both Krieger Coble and VandeBerg have become favorite weapons of Beathard.
- Iowa playing mistake-free football for the most part was another positive development in the win over the Gophers. Iowa committed only four penalties while they took advantage of the Minnesota mistakes, as they had 12 penalties. A few of the penalties committed by the Gophers stalled their drives and left the Hawkeye defense fortunate a few times. It also set their offense back and put themselves in unmanageable positions.