Schwartz: 10 Sentences – Stanley Just Got Sacked Again Edition

October 6, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

Hooooo-boy. It’s one thing to lose, but it’s another to lose and look like that. Let’s just get into this week’s Ten Sentences:

1. Saturday we witnessed in real life the nightmare that wakes Kirk Ferentz in the middle of the night: a quarterback who doesn’t protect the ball playing behind an offensive line that doesn’t protect the quarterback.

2. On a day when Hawkeye football fans should have been celebrating a dominant defensive performance by its own squad, here we are talking about one of the most self-destructive Iowa performances in recent memory.

3. Three interceptions, a fumble, eight penalties – including FOUR on one crucial fourth-quarter possession – plus the coup de grâce, the stat that will flash like a neon Las Vegas sign over Iowa’s practice facility for the next seven days: eight sacks given up.

4. Michael Lewis once wrote an article called “What Keeps Bill Parcells Awake at Night,” about the former successful NFL head coach, and the answer to that question was bile – as in the digestive fluid made by our bodies that we sometimes believe we taste when we throw up – which Parcells would begin to taste the night after a loss; that’s hardcore, and potentially a sign of Parcells’ insanity/genius, and while I’d never attach that level of manic intensity to Ferentz, if ever there was a loss to produce that kind of reaction in Ferentz it would be Saturday’s 10-3 loss in Ann Arbor.

5. All that Ferentz values most on the field, all that he has preached since taking over the program in 1999, vanished Saturday (not counting things like sportsmanship, camaraderie, and morality, obviously), and while it wasn’t shocking that Iowa lost to a quality team like Michigan, the way they lost is what is so remarkable.

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6. Michigan’s defense looked incredible, and they deserve credit for the victory, but still, what does this say about the Hawkeyes moving forward, whether it’s Nate Stanley, a senior and third-year starter, looking freshman-lost; or an offensive line (and blocking tight ends) so desperate that they could have been called for even more penalties had the officials chose to keep reaching for their flags; or an offensive coordinator in Brian Ferentz who didn’t have any answers.

7. Or maybe Iowa just stunk for a week and Saturday was a fluke; it’s football, it happens, and yes, Alaric Jackson hadn’t played in a month.

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8. Ferentz’s quote was typical even-keel Ferentz – “We weren’t up to the task. The guys played hard. We had a good plan going in.” – although I’d pay $20 to have a transcript of what was going on in his brain throughout the game, but what Ferentz really needs is his own Luther, his own realized inner-monologue.

9. Or maybe Tristan Wirfs’s reaction to Stanley being sacked so many times is sufficient for everyone: “I hate it.”

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10. The Hawkeyes host Penn State next weekend, which will be another serious test, but after watching Iowa’s offense struggle against Michigan, and then remembering that Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor ran for 143 yards in the first quarter against the Wolverines just two weeks ago, my mind raced ahead to Iowa’s matchup next month against the Badgers, and then I decided that maybe it’s best to not think about football for a few days.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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