Game Balls: Minnesota vs Iowa

Handing out game balls to the top Iowa Hawkeye performers against Minnesota.

Iowa won their 10th consecutive game on Saturday, remaining unbeaten with a 40-35 victory over Minnesota. The defense had their biggest struggle of the season but the offense showed a ton of firepower. Hawkeye Insider hands out the game balls to the top performers of the game but the defense won't be as represented as much as usual.

OFFENSE

RUNNING BACK LESHUN DANIELS

I thought he was 100 percent last week but apparently I was wrong. The LeShun Daniels we saw last night was even better than the one against Illinois State. I didn't know he had the extra gears that he showcased against Minnesota. I was beginning to think Akrum Wadley was the most talented back on the team but Daniels displayed every reason he was the unquestioned starting running back to begin the season. This backfield is ridiculously talented. 

QUARTERBACK C.J. BEATHARD

It is a similar story with C.J. Beathard. I forgot just how mobile and dangerous he was when healthy. He can make an impact with his strong arm but he makes a difference when he is a true dual-threat quarterback. Him escaping the pressure alleviates the worries and struggles that Iowa sometimes has in pass protection. Beathard was fantastic last night. He threw for over 200 yards and ran for another 50.

TIGHT END HENRY KRIEGER COBLE

It is the third straight week I believe I have given out a game ball to the Hawkeye tight end and he didn't really light up the stat sheet in a single one and not last night either. He hauled in 3 passes for 61 yards but it's the timing of the plays he does make. They happen when Iowa needs it the most, much like Matt VandeBerg. They are both so clutch on third downs and extending drives that way is huge for this offense.

DEFENSE

INSIDE LINEBACKER JOSEY JEWELL

It wasn't a strong outing by the defense but Jewell is becoming a star at inside linebabcker. He gets better every game. He had 15 tackles last week and he had another 13 last night. Sure, he misses reads here and there but he's become a playmaker as well and is a sure tackler. He's extremely active against the run and his sack that forced an intentional grounding penalty on Minnesota was one of the bigger plays in the game.

SAFETY JORDAN LOMAX

Lomax has quietly had a few great weeks. It doesn't show up in a big way because he's not forcing turnovers or coming up with any bone-crushing hits that everyone remembers. What he is doing is his job and in a very, very good way. The Gophers were a step or two away from breaking off some long scores in the running game but were only stopped because Lomax was staying true to his responsibility and made the tackle when needed.

SPECIAL TEAMS

KICKER MARSHALL KOEHN 

I'm not sure I've seen it mentioned by anyone but boy, how critical were the made field goals from Marshall Koehn? Iowa only won the game by five and Koehn connected on two field goals from 47 and 38 yards. That's six points. That was the difference in the game. Might I add, it sure looked like his missed 48 yarder went through the uprights as well. 


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