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Fact or Fiction: Pass Game Finds it's Groove

Derek and Dylan of Hawkeye Insider discuss whether or not Iowa can find it's groove through the air this week against Nebraska.

The Iowa Hawkeyes have thrown for over 200 yards in just three of their 11 games this season. We all believed that after Iowa lost Matt Vandeberg to injury that the Iowa pass game would take a bit of a hit. And it has.

The past two weeks Iowa has failed to throw for even 100 yards and it has people worried that the Hawkeyes are becoming too one dimensional. 

It's a combination of things in my opinion. It ranges from the offensive line not giving Beathard enough time, Beathard not giving receivers enough time to get open, and receivers just plain not getting open. 

It's bee a struggle and with it getting cold and windy that likely will not help things for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa's opponent this Friday is a very balanced and talented Nebraska team. The Hawkeyes got away with passing for very little yardage against Michigan because of how well their defense played. And they were even able to get away with it against Illinois, mostly because the Illini simply aren't that good.

Is it possible they can get away with it again on Friday afternoon?

Iowa finally finds it's groove in the passing game this week, fact or fiction?

Derek

FICTION. There's been no reason to believe since about the Iowa State game that this passing game will break out. In fact, there's no point in passing the ball 20 times or more at this point. Yeah, it's not going to win you any top wide receiver recruits by doing that, but it's going to give you the best opportunity to win games. This is an anemic passing game and there's a reason why they've thrown for less than 100 yards three different times this season. The pass protection isn't very good. There's a lot of drops. C.J. Beathard's mobility isn't what it once was. The timing between Beathard and his wideouts is far from crisp. There's a lot of areas to point out. You'll need both hands to pinpoint the problems right now. 

The only reason why they pass the ball at this point is to keep defenses honest, and I understand it and agree with that strategy. What's throwing on first down do for you when there's a 1/50 you'll complete the pass for more than a yard. Yes, running against stacked fronts seems like a fool's errand but throwing on first down has a higher probability of getting them off schedule in terms of down and distance because the likelihood of completing the pass for more than a yard or two is so low at this point. Run the ball and take your chances. Your best players are the running backs. 

Dylan

I'll say Fiction as well. Mostly because of what we've seen lately. Iowa has just been so hard to watch when it comes to passing the ball. And it's a combination of the things I mentioned above. The line sometimes struggles to give Beathard time, Beathard sometimes bails early from the pocket, and his receivers sometimes don't always get open. 

Beathard does it get George Kittle back and he will help in the offense, but he helps more in protection as opposed to the passing game. 

The Hawkeyes' bread and butter has been the run game and it has been extremely effective the past two weeks with Akrum Wadley going over 100 yards against Michigan and Leshun Daniels going over 100 yards against Illinois. You'd like to think that the Hawkeyes will stick to that and only resort to the pass if they absolutely have to.

The pass game might go over 100 yards, but it will hardly be pretty.


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