HTO's Midterm Grades

HTO has completed a mid season report card for the Hawk football team. You may be surprised at some of the numbers as a big change from last year is very evident.

Except for the horrendous third quarter against Iowa State, the Hawks would have an unblemished record. Therefore, you know that they are doing a lot of things better than last year. However, when you look at the numbers, you can see that the Hawks could be poised for bigger things ahead. Please note that the schedule this year is tougher than last year.

Record:
2002: 7-1
2001: 4-2
Differential: +4

Points Scored Per Game:
2002: 38.25
2001: 33.8
Differential: + 4.4

Points Allowed Per Game:
2002: 21.9
2001: 19.8
Differential: -2.1

Rushing Yards Per Game
2002: 218.5
2001: 163.2
Differential: +55.3

Yards Per Rush:
2002: 5.2
2001: 4.2
Differential: +1 yard Per Rush

Passing Yards Per Game
2002: 212.9
2001: 225.5
Differential: -12.6
However, let's break that down per catch.

Yards Per Catch:
2002: 15.3
2001: 12.3
Differential: + 3 yards per catch

Defense:

Yards Per Rush:
2002: 2.2
2001: 3.5
Differential: 1.3 less Yards Per Rush. This is a huge improvement!

Yards Per Catch:
2002: 12.3
2001: 10.9
Differential: 1.4 Yards More Per Catch. The Hawks have a propensity for giving up the big play.

Although it doesn't take a rocket scientist to reveal that the Achilles Heel for Iowa this year has been the pass defense, it appears that the aerial ‘D' has been improving as witnessed against Michigan State. As Antwan Allen and Jovon Johnson mature at the corners, look for the numbers to drop with a more aggressive defense like was employed against Charles Rodgers.

The most significant numbers to me are the rushing stats. Getting an additional full yard per rush while yielding 1.3 yards per rush LESS is a huge difference favoring Ferentz's fourth edition of Gold & Black. This is especially important as the Hawks prepare for the Michigan Wolverines, as Blue is always well grounded on both sides of the ball.

Brad Banks has improved as the season has progressed, as he feels more comfortable in control of the Hawkeye Machine. His big play ability is a vast improvement over last year. All teams have to prepare for his running threat.

By the way did I mention the kicking game? How could anyone improve on the perfection of Nate Kaeding? It appears that Nate is more confident and has a stronger leg than last year.

Overall Grade: A-

However, a victory over Michigan will give Iowa a handful of Aces. Hopefully, no eights slip into the Hawkeye's hot hand.


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