Inside the Film Room: Iowa v Iowa State

Though it was painful, HawkeyeNation.com Publisher Jon Miller still went into the film room late Sunday night to take a look at the carnage that was the Iowa-Iowa State game from Saturday. There were some obvious things that jumped out, some nice plays, some bad plays and more. But there was also enough to take away from this game for Iowa fans to know that the sky is not falling...even though it might feel that way in the office on Monday.

It was not pretty…not by a long shot.

But it was no where near the Iowa-Arizona State game from one year ago, a comparison that came up on talk radio Saturday night and on the message boards.

More like Michigan from a year ago where the Hawkeyes had five turnovers in Ann Arbor that led to 27 of Michigan's 30 points that spelled Iowa's doom.

On a windy Saturday at Jack Trice (is there any other kind of Saturday there?), four first half turnovers put the Hawkeyes in a 16-0 hole.

The tape showed a few things good, a few things bad, a few things incomplete.

One thing that it did show was that at some point this season, Iowa is probably going to be an effective running team. There were instances where the Hawks looked really good in their zone blocking scheme, and Tom Busch had some key and fantastic blocks that helped spring Albert Young for two early long gainers.

Unfortunately, Young's 5 carries for 78 yards with less than 10 minutes gone in the opening quarter didn't matter at all, because Iowa coughed the ball up on both of those drives.

There is still plenty of room for improvement in the running game. Seth Olsen, who made a spot start for the injured Ben Gates, has some learning to do, but that is to be expected. Mike Elgin certainly did not have his best game in an Iowa uniform, but he had one of the toughest assignments he will face all year in handling Nick Leaders. I still like how Marshal Yanda looks.

The bad that the tape showed was the obvious bad; the turnovers.

Iowa's first play on offense was its waggle. Iowa State's linebackers did a good job of recognizing this, and they stayed home on Scott Chandler in the flat, so Tate forced a pass into Ed Hinkel between double coverage that was broken up. Not the greatest decision probably.

The next play, Young cut back to his left and broke free for 36 yards before Nik Moser pulled him down.

On their third offensive play of the game, Iowa had first and down at the Iowa State 44 yard line.

Tate went back to pass and two defenders were giving chase. They flushed Tate to his left and Drew chose to throw the ball to Tom Busch, who had a linebacker in very close proximity (about two yards). This one is debatable, but Tate probably should have thrown that ball out of bounds rather than hitting Busch, who is totally an outlet on that play and he had a man on him. Busch was also two yards behind the line of scrimmage.

As you know, Busch fumbled and Iowa State recovered.

On Iowa State's first possession, there was very little penetration by Iowa's defense, but they did the job. When Bret Meyer threw the interception, the play was broken up by Charles Godfrey and Adam Shada was there to get the ball.

Iowa dodged a bullet with its first turnover, creating one of their own.

Both teams would trade punts, and then Iowa took over at their own three yard line after a coffin-corner effort by Todd Blankenship.

On first down, Young ripped off a 31 yard run that was set up by a perfect Busch block. Again, it was Moser who brought down Young.

Now, there has been some chatter about Young looking slow, etc.

Remember, the kid has had two season ending injuries in his first two years at Iowa, injuries to the same leg. Nik Moser set an Iowa class 4-A state track meet record in 2000 when he ran a 21.33 200-meter dash…faster than Tim Dwight ever recorded at the state meet.

Iowa ran Young on the next play for one yard, so we have second and nine at the Iowa 35 when Brian Ferentz snapped the ball over Tate's head and where Tate nor Young could haul in the fumble. Jason Berryman did, and Iowa State had the ball on the Iowa 12 yard line.

On Iowa State's touchdown play, there may have been a big time blown assignment by Iowa.

Iowa State spread the field with several receivers and Miguel Merrick was lined up over Todd Blythe in the left slot without a safety behind him….and he blitzed.

I don't know if Greenway was to roll over to the flat on that play, but I don't think so…he did drift that way as a tight end was in the route, leaving the middle unprotected for when Bret Meyer hit Austin Flynn for the TD on the slant play.

Oh by the way, Blythe was wide open standing in the back of the end zone. Something went very wrong there.

Prior to Drew Tate's leaving the game with a concussion, or concussion-like symptoms, he missed a wide open Clinton Solomon on 1st and 10 from the Iowa 44 yard line late in the first quarter. That would have moved the ball to the Iowa State 30. What it did do was bring up 2nd and 10, and Leaders abused Elgin and blew up the running play.

On the ensuing 3rd and 10, Tate tried to hit Young coming out of the backfield, but it was batted down. It's probably a good thing, as the linebacker had already jumped the route and it could have been a pick six.

The teams changed sides and Tate hit Ryan Majerus for 27 yards on first down, moving the ball out to the Iowa 42. It was the third time in just over one quarter where Iowa was really moving the ball and had gained at least 27 yards on one play to move the football…yet they got zero points out of it.

That drive stalled, and the teams would trade punts.

Now, Iowa has the ball back and they move it out to midfield after a few plays…1st and 10 at the 50, when Tate pump fakes and throw the up route…unfortunately, Iowa State was in two deep coverage, and somehow, Tate did not see the safety back there, or did not see that the safety did not bite on the fake. He overthrew Ed Hinkel badly and the ball was intercepted and Tate compounded his mistake by throwing his body to make the tackle.

It was just one of those games…

The halftime stats were at worst a push. It's what turnovers do to you.

Iowa had plenty of big plays in the first half, they had put themselves into good field position on numerous drives, only to give the ball away to the Cyclones.

As I said before, I do believe this offensive line is going to allow Iowa to run the ball this year. There was less penetration by the Iowa defense than I expected to see, and the Hawks need Drew Tate to mature and avoid those early game mistakes that were common for him last year…he doesn't have a Top Five defense against the run this year to bail him out.


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