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Iowa 14 Rutgers 7: Derek's Takeaways

Iowa escapes Piscataway with a 14-7 win over Rutgers. Derek Young of Hawkeye Insider provides his takeaways.


He's just not the same player he was a year ago. Beathard was scrambling, creating, improvising, and turning negative plays into positive ones last season with a great amount of regularity. This year he is a better passer, and his ball placement has improved dramatically but he's also more of a statue. That is limiting his ability to create and improvise and get the Hawkeyes out of bad situations. The protection was good enough today but nobody was getting open for Iowa. Instead of Beathard making the play himself, he allowed himself to be trapped in the pocket for a coverage sack. Last season he would have escaped and extended play giving the receivers more time to get open or he would have taken off on the ground himself. 

He's probably a better quarterback this season but he's not as good of a playmaker. 


There's still folks complaining with the lack of penetration by the defensive line. There's folks blaming Phil Parker's group for the loss against North Dakota State because of all the rushing yards they gave up. There's folks complaining about the defense again today. Yes, there's a few leaks in terms of giving up big plays, and the tackling in the secondary has been less than average. But Iowa is struggling to win impressively and they have a loss because of the offense. The defense allowed just three points to Iowa State, just 16 to North Dakota State, and again only 7 to Rutgers. They are not the problem. Stop it. 


This kid is an amazing football player. He hits hard. He gets after the quarterback. He plays hurt. He's tough. He's an intense competitor. He's a sure tackler for the most part and he's been punishing offenses this year. Jewell did it again today and it needs to be re-iterated. Josey Jewell had a goal line stand today just by himself. He stuffed Rutgers on first down, second down, third down and fourth down. I haven't seen quite anything like it before in college football. The closest thing I've seen to a linebacker making that much of an impact on a game in a clutch situation play after play might be when LaVar Arrington played at Penn State. Enjoy him because he will be missed immensely when he leaves.


The defense has been more than good enough to win games this year and they are not the problem but they do have a few leaks right now. And most of them revolve around the play of the secondary. Greg Mabin had a rough game in coverage week one. Snyder and Taylor have missed way too many tackles. There's been miscommunication that has lead to a few explosive plays. Desmond King was shaky at times today as well in terms of being an open-field tackler. This is a position group springing leaks. They need to tackle better, communicate better, and be more consistent. Shore this up and they can probably cut down on the points given up even more. Today's second half against Rutgers was probably the best half of football this year so far for Brandon Snyder, though. 


Today's sacks weren't on the offensive line for the most part. It was the receivers and Beathard's inability to manipulate and maneuver in and out of the pocket. The receivers weren't getting open and Beathard just now lacks the mobility to create when nothing is there. That combination leads to coverage sacks repeatedly and that was what happened today. The pass protection was far better today than it was a week ago and LeShun Daniels made strides as well as the third down back in pass protection. The receivers can't struggle to get open as much as they did today. It was pass play after pass play today where Beathard had nowhere to go with the ball. That can't happen this much. That's why I wanted Iowa to establish the running game first today. Rutgers had sprung leaks in pass defense heading into today but I also knew this was the area of the game that would improve the quickest for the Scarlet Knights on defense, with head coach Chris Ash's background being with the secondary. 

Anyways, the receivers were bad today. They have to get open. Jerminic Smith makes a 'wow' play and then the next few plays he leaves you shaking your head. He's hard to understand and wrap your mind around. They need Jerminic Smith to be more consistent. A better Jerminic Smith could mean so much for this offense. It also takes some of the pressure and attention away from Matt VandeBerg who was definitely schemed out today by Rutgers. 

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