Well, the first week was a pleasant surprise. Finally, Iowa State appears and appears in front of its younger opponent in the season opener. Will the momentum continue in Iowa City, or will the Hockey family choke on hurricanes again?
Special Teams (Shocking, I know)
Of all the things that could go wrong against Iowa State, it would be surprising that there were almost no Iowa fans in the audience that the specials had the worst part of the game on Saturday. How bad this team can undoubtedly be year after year without ever direction from the coaching staff is beyond me. Special teams coach or not, this team regularly fails on all special teams endings. Coach Matt Campbell knows it. Hell, anyone with eyes and a basic understanding of the game of football will know this. So why, at the biggest “margin” Campbell has always been hammering at, are we so bad? This is the question that must be answered and asked to the coaching staff and the players. Two kicks were blocked (one doing Iowa State’s singles scoring drive), a field goal that barely crossed the bar, and a negative quantum kick return. When arguably the best play a unit can muster is a 9-yard kick back from Dimitri Stanley…you know it’s been a rough day…
Quick Target Cases
I don’t think it’s far fetched to say Iowa should have blown up Iowa on Saturday. Why didn’t they? Well, aside from the pair of blocking kicks in the specials that put Iowa State in the red, Iowa State got almost nothing from their attack when they fell close to the goal line. Iowa finally forced the Iowa rotation resulting in hurricanes getting the ball rolling in Iowa Territory. How did they pay it off? Stumbled on the goal line recovering in the end zone.
This is good, though. Iowa State will be back inside the 10 again in the first half. Their next drive found the Cyclones in a 14-game drive that came down to Iowa 5 before a couple of hiccups and the Hunter Dekkers’ one-yard ride yielded just 3 points, narrowing the lead to 7-3.
After a pair of kicks, new Cyclone player Colby Reeder will display his presence with a drill tip interception and return near the 10-yard line, with Hunter Dekkers throwing a incomplete followed by an interception in double coverage in the end zone.
Now, this article in general isn’t a “deep dive” into the details, but I’ll do it right here, so wait a bit with me. Iowa State three times inside the 10 played a “QB Power” type play where whoever takes the blitz follows back to one side (running twice with the Dekkers, once forming a sudden “Wildcat” to Jirehl Brock), resulting in a pair of zero wins. yards and gain one yard. Fortunately, we stopped after the third attempt, and on the fourth chance in the red, Dekkers found Hutchinson for the only touchdown in the afternoon.
Conclusion: Playcalling and execution should move in the red better moving forward. Fortunately, Iowa didn’t have much of anything going on in the insult, so many of the mistakes Iowa did, went unpunished…but other teams would fool us for similar mistakes…
If I could highlight one person who I thought actually went up on Saturday, it would be TJ Tampa.
Tampa had a massive game (as did most of the high school) in locking up passes. He had a large dive deflection for a pass that was blocked by linebacker Colby Ryder. He also came in at the last minute to force Hawkeye defender Monty Butebaum onto the goal line, forming “The Drive” to win the match.
Obviously there were a lot of guys who made big strides on Saturday, but I’ll be highlighting Tampa this week. Cyclones are known to not force a lot of quick stuff when playing Iowa, and TJ got us a pair of extra possessions that we probably wouldn’t have won the game without.
Well, how about that?
The offensive line was undoubtedly very good on Saturday. One could even say they were awesome. Dekkers had (for the most part) a very clean pocket to dispose of. It was fired only once (during the inaugural drive) and was “accelerated” only three times. The Iowa defense didn’t enter the field much to stifle the Cyclones’ running game, with only three tackles for a loss. Jirehl Brock and even the running game has begun. Brock totaled 100 yards up to the ground in his second straight game to hit the century mark to start the season. Jirehl is an essential part of this attack, with this trio of defenders leading behind him to continue excellent broadcasts in the position once occupied by Matt Campbell, and Offensive Line was great at making sure they had space.
win the game.
Do I need to say more?