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Schwartz: Game 3 – 10 Thoughts in 10 Sentences

September 16, 2018

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

Ten thoughts in 10 sentences—UNI edition. The Hawkeyes on Saturday defeated Northern Iowa, 38-14, to move to 3-0:

1. Saturday night’s win was comforting because the Hawkeyes performed exactly as they should have: A Division I team handily defeated a Division II team.

2. If the Hawkeyes had won and moved to 3-0 but struggled, or won by one score or less, that would have been concerning, but that didn’t happen, and so we move on to Wisconsin without any doubt that the Hawkeyes—at bare minimum—are a solid FBS football program.

3. For those of you at least somewhat familiar with NASCAR, as an analogy to Iowa’s win over UNI, remember back in the late 1990s/early 2000s when top drivers such as Mark Martin would drop down a division on Saturday nights to run in the Busch Series and they’d win against the minor-league guys who were just hoping to get a Winston Cup ride someday, and it was cool that they won, but really, they were major leaguers driving against minor leaguers, and so everyone was like, um, “Congratulations?”

4. So, yeah, the best part of Iowa’s dominant win over UNI is that it was a dominant win.

5. By the way, the athletic department assembled a nonconference schedule in which Iowa’s opponents are currently a combined 1-6, and shout out to next year’s nonconference slate of Miami of Ohio, Iowa State, and Middle Tennessee State.

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6. Regardless of which teams Iowa has been saddled with on its nonconference schedule, it’s noteworthy that the first-team defense hasn’t given up a meaningful touchdown through three games, because it means not only that the defense is talented but that they’re capable of maintaining focus regardless of the competition level.

7. Offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs looked dynamite Saturday night; he’s far beyond where I thought he’d be at this early point in his career.

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8. A.J. Epenesa’s sack of Colton Howell in the second quarter lacked the flash of some of his other sacks, but it stood out because it took place in the middle of the field; Epenesa lined up on the right end, briefly tangled with UNI’s lineman, released from the entanglement when he recognized where the play was going, bounced inside, and made the sack.

9. I’d pay $100 to be allowed to sit in the room while Phil Parker breaks down video of Saturday’s Wisconsin-BYU game, listen to Parker articulate what he sees in Wisconsin’s offense, and read his notes.

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10. Chuck Long’s in-game analysis Saturday night of Nate Stanley was excellent, and it helped an amateur such as me understand what’s going on with the Hawkeye quarterback, most notably that Stanley’s mechanics are way off (e.g. his foot is pointed in one direction while his arm is throwing in another) and he’s rushing through various on-field processes.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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