Iowalaw's Postgame Report: Northern Ilinois

Discussion in 'Football' started by IowaLawWasRight, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. IowaLawWasRight

    IowaLawWasRight Well-Known Member

    College football is officially back! While there was too much randying around in the first half, where we managed just 3 points against a MAC opponent, the Hawks shook off the rust and played better than most of the experts expected (point spread was 10 points this week). Here are Iowalaw's observations:

    1. We Have a Legit Punt Returner - Despite having a guy starting in the NFL as our punt returner last year, we were one of the worst return teams in college football. Josh Jackson was a stud CB, but if he and Vandeberg weren't fair catching (despite a 5 yard cushion of running room), he was letting it roll past him and be touched dead inside our 20 yard line. Unheralded walk-on Kyle Groeneweg was a breath of fresh air! Not only did he field all 5 returnable punts rather than calling fair catches (Josh Jackson only returned 5 punts all season), but he made plays. He's not the fastest guy, but he's got a knack for the return game, and a lightning quick first step that allowed him to average 8.4 yards per return. Those are borderline all-Big 10 numbers and make a huge difference in the field position game.

    2. DLine is For Real. - It is great to have an elite level DL putting pressure on the QB and stuffing runs. Nelson had 1 sack, Hesse had 2 sacks, and AJ had 1 sack and 2 QB hurries, so it really didn't matter who was out there, they were all pushing back the OL and making plays. We may get very little from our LBs this year, but top notch QBs will not be able to sit back and pick our DBs apart because they aren't going to have time to throw. NIU managed just 101 yards rushing in large part to the DL.

    3. Overhype Rears Its Head - While there were several pleasant surprises today, some of the most hyped guys on the team proved that they have work to do to. Iowa's #1 WR on the depth chart, Brandon Smith, who I was outspokenly skeptical of given his lack of results last year (he came in with a ton of hype and had more drops in the season than catches)...ended up with a familiar stat line...0 catches, with more drops than catches. The guy can have all the size and speed in the world, but if he continues with the drops, we are better off playing 3 TE sets or throwing to the walk ons. Consensus "first round pick" Noah Fant too had a rough day. While homers will note that he had 1 yard touchdown catch when left wide open in the end zone, he also had a bad drop, a bad penalty, and wasn't much of a blocker. He finished with just 3 catches for 3 yards each. We need him to have better games ahead.

    4. Most Improved Player - I was as hard on our punter as anyone last year. He finished 110th out of 111 D1 punters in punting yards. I was highly critical of the decision to start Raestetter this week, but he went out there and played the best game of his career, by a long shot! 4 punts for a 54 avg (without the benefit of a 60 mph tail wind) thought you we. Who would have guessed it?! That kind of punting game can easily make the difference in 1 or 2 games this year.

    5. Stanley is Who I Said He Is, a Game Manager - Perhaps the talk of Stanley leaving college after his jr year as an NFL 1st round draft pick will die down a bit after today's reality check. He had a mediocre game throwing for just 108 yards, despite getting pretty good blocking. The same problems he had last year continue to dog him this year. His completion percentage was under 50%, he couldn't connect on deep balls, his short touch passes were thrown behind targets, and he's a bit of a statue back there with no threat at all to run the ball. Perhaps more concerning, Stanley completed just 3 passes to WRs today, all to Smith-Marsette. We have something like 10 WRs on scholarship. Only 1 of them is making any kind of contribution?

    6. Loving the RB By Committee - Typically, I like having a stud RB get the majority of the carries and watching him work. But this team has 3 above avg RBs, and it looks like they are all going to carry the ball. RB by committee seems to be working (granted, we were not playing against a Big 10 defense). Sargent was a quick little slasher, Kelly-Martin was an all around back, and Young was a bruiser. You really can't go wrong with any of these guys. Unfortunately for Kelly-Martin, he had three different great runs called back due to holding penalties, or his stats would have been even better. The one drawback is I hope they are all cool with getting 1/3 of the carries for the next 3 years.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  2. GotTimDodge

    GotTimDodge Well-Known Member

    Were people really saying 1st Rd for Stanley?
  3. smhawk

    smhawk Well-Known Member

    Ruddock was i game manager. Stanley tried to force maybe one third of his throws. Hes physically gifted but he needs to improve decision making.

    His wideouts are pretty underwhelming though.
  4. 99topdawg

    99topdawg Well-Known Member

    One of many places I've seen it. Todd McShay has him 2nd QB. Here's another article:


    From article:
    Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa, 6-4, 242, 4.86, # 4, JR

    With four of the five quarterbacks selected in the first round this past spring leaving college with eligibility remaining, scouts are eager to see who will step up at the position this season. A lot of buzz surrounds Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham but don’t overlook Stanley, whose prototypical size, arm talent and experience in a pro-style scheme is much more important to scouts than the 55.8% completion percentage he posted in his first season as a starter. In an era of dual-threat passers, Stanley is a throwback as a traditional drop-back passer with enough mobility to buy time or roll-out slightly but not a real threat with his legs. If he can build upon his success last season (which included a sparkling 26-6 TD to INT ratio), Stanley could vault into the QB1 conversation.
    thedukeofearl and hawkeyemark like this.
  5. IowaLawWasRight

    IowaLawWasRight Well-Known Member

  6. GotTimDodge

    GotTimDodge Well-Known Member

  7. cincyhawk

    cincyhawk Well-Known Member

    26 tds to 6 ints. 26 tds is the second most in a season, ever. Yeah, he didn't have a great game today, but he'll be better next week.
  8. haydensly

    haydensly Well-Known Member

    If you remember back to last year, Stanley had a poor first game overall against Wyoming and improved greatly over the season. I wouldn't be surprised to see him much improved next week. He was definitely off today. Simple throws were off many times. In his defense, there were several drops that, if caught, his stats would have been quite a bit better.

    And regarding Groeneweg, I agree with most of what you said and I think he will be a big improvement in the punt return game. I do think he is faster than the you gave him credit for, he's going to surprise some people.
    thedukeofearl likes this.
  9. smhawk

    smhawk Well-Known Member

    Its was an outstanding season. With a heck of a performance against ohio state. But after him probably hearing over hype from media i think he is due some critism.
  10. HaydenHawk56

    HaydenHawk56 Well-Known Member

    I was at the game today. My thoughts:

    1. Thought Iowa's pass rush was as good as I could remember it in a long time.
    2. Ditto on Iowa's punter having a good game after the blocked punt.
    3. Tight ends>>>>>wide receivers.
    4. To many dropped passes.
    5. We had some trouble wrapping up the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage. Other times looked very solid at it.
    6. Play calling was it's typical ho-hum at times. Up the middle, up the middle, followed up by a poor horizontal pass into the ground.
    7. Stanley somewhat off, but drops did not help.
    8. Iowa wore on them throughout the game and N. Illinois eventually broke after coming up empty a few times.
    9. The Serg has some wheels.
    10. Surprised the final score became as lopsided as it did. Did not look like it was going that way after the first half. But, Iowa wore them out.
    SmokeTownHawk and thedukeofearl like this.
  11. smhawk

    smhawk Well-Known Member

    Btn did give too many cuts to renovation. For those at the game how was it? Seem louder?
  12. Garandx

    Garandx Well-Known Member

    I think the defensive unit as a whole has a chance to be really special this year. They just absolutely smothered any NoIl opportunities and held them at bay enough to give the offense time to get going.

    I mean overall this is a typical week one game under ferentz, they did what they needed to do and have plenty to work on. While its not Jordan Lynch northern Illinois it also wasnt an FCS school not named NDSU.
    SmokeTownHawk and thedukeofearl like this.
  13. teachercoach

    teachercoach Well-Known Member

    Definitely louder from sitting in lower part. Can't wait for next week. Never underestimate 4" more of leg room! So much more enjoyable. And all the people around you are different - so great experience today!
    thedukeofearl likes this.
  14. ohhawk

    ohhawk Well-Known Member

    ......and NIU needs a QB. His inexperience showed and it certainly aided our cause. We won’t be so blessed in most games that lie ahead.

    Our D only allowed 3 of 12 third down conversions which puts their D back on the field frequently and it showed in the second half as we wore them down and then introduced NIU to Toren Young.
    thedukeofearl likes this.
  15. Hawk1960

    Hawk1960 Well-Known Member

    Sat in the 7th row of 3rd deck today and was impressed. Lots of legroom and feels like you are right on top of the end zone. They did a nice job designing it and should be fantastic once everything is completed.
  16. thedukeofearl

    thedukeofearl Well-Known Member

    I just caught the second half of the game and #14 caught my eye on one nice punt return. I thought he was trapped and he turned the corner for a nice gain. I was impressed but didn't know his name and now can't pronounce it.....

  17. mrolympia

    mrolympia Well-Known Member

    he will have to be
  18. cincyhawk

    cincyhawk Well-Known Member

    ISU got canceled, so their first game is now at Iowa.
  19. dahlhawk

    dahlhawk Well-Known Member

    He didn't get in rythem with his receivers and threw some uncatchable passes and had some nice ones dropped. His receivers were MIA with Smith showing hands of stone. I counted three passes that could have been pick six's. That being said, the coaches took the game out of his hands on several plays most notable, the third and 15 on the Iowa 25. Iowa ran a draw for a few yards. If Stanley is the "man" this year, you have to let him make a play there. Doesn't Brian trust him?
  20. ohhawk

    ohhawk Well-Known Member

    This could be a year where Stanley’s stats don’t have to match up to last year’s in order for the team to have a better year.