I thought Iowa's play along both the offensive and defensive lines last week was shaky at best.
The defensive line performed better than the offensive line, but in the second half the defensive line was dominated by the North Dakota State Bison. Iowa is going to need to improve in the trenches this week against Rutgers to ensure they can get that running game back and going and to keep C.J. Beathard on his feet.
Does Iowa's play improve in the trenches this weekend?
DEREK: Fact. I don't really think the defensive line played all that bad against North Dakota State, honestly. Sure, the Bison rushed for over 200 yards, but four chunk plays probably accounts for about 60 percent of those yards and you tend to rack up that kind of yardage when you run the ball as much as they did.
They still only gave up 16 points against NDSU. But, Rutgers should not be as good of an offensive line so their play will be better just based off on that.
The offensive line will play better only because the defensive line they're facing is weaker, they'll have James Daniels and Sean Welsh both back, and it really can't be much worse than it was in the loss last week. Adjustments will be made, they'll get back to being powerful and playing downhill, and they'll establish the running game early and often.
DYLAN: I'll agree with Derek here and say fact. I thought the defensive line was good in the first half, but I thought they got dominated in the second half against NDSU.
The Bison pretty much did whatever they wanted to in the second half and a lot of that was due to not getting any pressure on the QB and not cutting off running lanes. The latter isn't entirely their fault, but they had a lot to do with it.
The offensive line was down both Daniels and Welsh, as Derek alludes to, so they will without a doubt improve this week. When you consider that and the fact that Rutgers isn't as good along the defensive line as NDSU is, there almost isn't anyway that the line doesn't improve. However, Rutgers does have some guys that could create problems for Iowa's offensive line.
Lastly, I think this team is mad and I believe that gets taken out on Rutgers. I think Iowa dominates in the trenches on both sides of the ball as they welcome two key starters back on the offensive side