Iowa crushed Iowa State on Saturday night to a tune of 42-3. Derek Young of Hawkeye Insider gives his takeaways.
C.J. BEATHARD IS THE REAL DEAL
A little birdie that was behind the Iowa State sideline shared that this was some of the language used by the Iowa State staff at one point and it's 100 percent correct. He was brilliant with the ball on Saturday night. Beathard manipulated the pocket so well to create passing lanes. He stood strong in the pocket and delivered confident throws. His ball placement was spectacular and he put on a show in regards to that. Some of the balls he connected on with VandeBerg were unreal in terms of his accuracy. There were a few balls thrown by Beathard that were a little too hot to handle but in totality, he was sensational against Iowa State.
NEXT MAN IN
No James Daniels. No problem. Sean Welsh goes down, no problem. As has been the case with the Iowa offensive line for years, they find ways to operate at a high level regardless of what happens to the personnel in between seasons and the same can be said game-to-game as well. Last year they didn't appear to be impacted much by the occasional injuries to Jordan Walsh, Boone Myers, Ike Boettger, or Cole Croston. The same was the case Saturday night when they didn't have James Daniels and then Sean Welsh had to leave with an apparent injury. Hats off to Lucas LeGrand at center who had zero bad exchanges with Beathard and appeared to make all the right protection calls. Keegan Render was a devastating run blocker when he was inserted in for Sean Welsh. The offensive line is still in good hands in Iowa City. Not a shock.
DEFENSIVE LINE RETURNS TO FORM
This group underperformed by a mile against Miami (Ohio) in my opinion and I was surprised by how ineffective they were. They changed those ways on Saturday night and dominated the line of scrimmage from start to finish. Was it the putrid offensive line play from Iowa State? Was it the presence of Josey Jewell on the field? All that is possible but they still got the job done and that's all that matters. Jaleel Johnson was a monster in the interior and he had his hand in just about everything throughout the night. Anthony Nelson recorded another sack and Matt Nelson picked up his first. They wanted to pressure Lanning but they wanted to squeeze him in the pocket instead of attacking with reckless abandon. That worked perfectly.
SCHEEL'S ROLE IN THE OFFENSE
We weren't able to see how much Jay Scheel would be involved in the offense as he missed Week 1 with a slight injury. That allowed Jerminic Smith to grab ahold of the starting spot. Despite not starting and despite missing a game, it was clear that Scheel will be heavily involved. They moved him around a bit and it's almost as if they have a bit of a rotation at receiver like they do at running back. Scheel is the versatile man that can give McCarron and Jerminic Smith both breathers and he did just that on Saturday night against Iowa State. They feel like they have four starters, and Iowa used the four wideouts just like that. The only one that doesn't come off the field is VandeBerg and he earned that with his big performance against the Cyclones.