I've definitely watched Iowa play cleaner games than that one in East Piscataway, NJ on Saturday morning. Pretty much the entire first half was tough to watch. A majority of the second half was as well. But Iowa hung tough and edged Rutgers by a touchdown to improve their record to 3-1 and 1-0 in Big Ten play.
Need More Wadley
It was well documented that Akrum Wadley only received four carries in Iowa's loss to North Dakota State. Some speculated that he was hurt, which I believe he was, but according to the coaching staff that was not the case.
Wadley has the potential to rip off big run after big run as we saw him do last year a few times. LeShun Daniels is still the starter in my eyes, but Wadley is a different type of playmaker. His ability to make people miss in the open field is unmatched on the Iowa team. He carried the ball 12 times for 84 yards and touchdown on Saturday. That touchdown would wind up being the game winner midway through the fourth quarter.
Going forward I would really like to see Wadley total between 15-20 touches, assuming his body can handle the workload. Getting the ball into the hands of playmakers is what Iowa needs to do and if you can run him and then maybe utilize him in the passing game it could take a lot of pressure off C.J. Beathard, who took some shots on Saturday.
Offensive Line Much Better
This one was fairly obvious for me. It looked like they got consistent push in the running game, which paved the way for almost 200 total yards on the ground. Getting Sean Welsh and James Daniels back helped a bunch.
I thought they still struggled picking up blitzes a few times and Beathard got hit pretty good, but with the exception of those few plays I thought the line was much better, especially in the run game.
Beathard Looks Off
Derek kind of alluded to this already, but he just doesn't look the same really. He made some plays with his legs early on, but he missed on some throws I thought he would usually complete.
I don't know if it's a matter of not trusting anyone outside of George Kittle and Matt Vandeberg or what it is, but he just doesn't look comfortable being in the pocket right now.
I thought he was excellent the first two games of the season, but these last two have been a little rocky. Let's hope this is just a hiccup for a guy who was a second team All-Big Ten selection a season ago.
Iowa's Defense Was Top Notch
This was one of the better games I've seen Iowa's defense play. They kind of had a bend, but don't break attitude as they let the Scarlet Knights deep into the red zone a couple of times in the first half, but didn't let them on the scoreboard. Sure you can take that route and say that they weren't great because they were letting them so deep into their own territory, but Iowa could have easily rolled over and let them walk in from their own two yard line when Janarion Grant took a pass 70+ yards down inside the five, but they didn't.
Josey Jewell is one of the best linebackers in the country and it showed on Saturday. He made four straight tackles right at the line of scrimmage to keep the Knights out of the end zone on that same drive.
They missed a few tackles and did allow some big plays like I said, but at the end of the day they only gave up seven points, which is pretty good if you ask me.