They say you take more away from a loss that you do from a win and that is especially true of Iowa's loss yesterday to FCS power, North Dakota State. I thought there were several things that Iowa did poorly yesterday.
Lost in the Trenches
One of my keys for Iowa was to win the battle in the trenches. North Dakota State really reminded me of a Big Ten team in terms of their line play on both sides. They are rough, physical, and hit you hard every single play. I really thought the Bison controlled the line of scrimmage for a majority of the day, but especially in the second half.
It seemed the Bison offensive line was getting a good push on just about every single play, which would subsequently turn into positive yardage. They did just about whatever they wanted to in the second half on the offensive side of the football, but it was mostly running it down Iowa's throat. NDSU's two running backs combined for 27 carries, 160 yards, and a touchdown. You can credit most of that to their offensive line dominating Iowa's defensive line.
Played Not to Get Beat
It seemed like Iowa played not to get beat as opposed to playing to win late in the game. Iowa's last two drives lasted less than two and a half minutes each and totaled a combined six yards. Their last drive was the worst one of the two. They got extremely predictable with two runs of LeShun Daniels and then a QB sack.
They were riding some momentum after stopping the Bison on their attempt for two points after their touchdown which would have tied the game if they would have kicked an extra point instead of the two point try.
It's something that I've seen quite often from Iowa and it simply can't continue.
Allow NDSU to Get Out Early
Another thing you have to do when playing a dangerous team like the Bison is get out to an early lead. They know they are good enough to hang with a lot of teams in the country, so it was critical for Iowa to send a message right away. Instead, North Dakota State received a little luck as C.J. Beathard was hit in the back dropping back to pass and the ball went flying through the air.
A Bison linebacker picked it off and took it to the house for the first score of the game. I thought this was huge because NDSU wasn't having great success scoring against Iowa in the first half. NDSU hanging around and striking first played a key role in this game because it was a huge confidence boost for a scrappy, talented team like them.
NDSU Dominated the Second Half
This was probably the biggest thing I took from this game. I mentioned they dominated the trenches, but it was just total domination in every aspect. They looked like Michigan State last year marching down the field in 15 plays covering 80 yards and spanning nearly 9 minutes to score the TD that would bring them within one.
They held Iowa to negative rushing yards in the second half and were just in control. Easton Stick looked extremely impressive in the drive that won the Bison the game. He was cool as a cucumber going up against a talented Iowa defense. Although, he is probably happy to be leaving Iowa City. Josey Jewell hit Stick extremely hard several times.
The Bison definitely deserved to win that game.
For Iowa, you just hit the reset button. You lost a game you probably weren't supposed to, but it was to a team that could beat a lot of FBS teams. Your season isn't over and you are still probably the favorite to win the Big Ten West, even though Nebraska and Wisconsin are right on your tails considering they have both looked really good over the first three weeks.
On to Rutgers.null