Schwartz: The Maryland Win In 10 Sentences

October 21, 2018

Written by David Schwartz

Ten thoughts in 10 sentences—Maybe I Overestimated Them edition. The Hawkeyes on Saturday defeated Maryland, 23-0, to improve to 6-1:

1. In retrospect, it’s surprising how worried I was about this game, but at least I acknowledged at the time how irrational I was being.

2. Maryland’s offense entered Saturday averaging 365 yards a game, but they didn’t even break the hundred mark against Iowa until late in the fourth quarter.

3. One wonders how early Maryland must have realized they were in trouble; with wind gusting into the low-30s, the only play either team had was to run the ball, but it was apparent from the get-go that the Terrapins weren’t going to be able to move the ball on the ground against the Hawkeyes.

4. Seriously, kudos to all those on the Hawkeye defensive coaching staff who scouted Maryland, put in this week’s scheme, and the players who executed—in other words, good job by everyone.

5. Wisconsin won again, too, and yet—somehow—Northwestern, which is just 4-3 overall, continues to lead the Big Ten West, and while it seems doubtful that they’ll be able to hold off both the Badgers and Hawkeyes as the season moves along, it’s notable nonetheless that around the half-way point of the Big Ten season that the Wildcats are where they are.

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6. Parker Hesse deserved to be Iowa’s Player of the Game, but how about the continued awakening of sophomore defensive end Chauncey Golston: the style of his game reminds me of a cross between Andre Tippett (not saying Golston is that good – only that their styles are similar) and Bryan Mattison, who had a knack for chasing down runners we didn’t think he could catch from behind.

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7. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the Hawkeyes who had to work the hardest Saturday at Kinnick: the cheerleaders who ran across the field with the I-O-W-A flags into the wind and continually found themselves being blown back or, in more than one instance, knocked to the ground.

8. The story of the game was Iowa’s defense pitching a shutout, but a close second was both teams’ responses to and adjustments for the high winds, and perhaps the most memorable play—for its … weirdness—was left-foot punter Colten Rastetter’s run to the left, cross-field boot that pinned Maryland on its own 6-yard line, which, even upon multiple viewings, looked more like a video-game glitch than a real-life football punt.

9. No one knows how next week’s game at Penn State will go, but the matchup appears far more even than it did a month ago, when Iowa was struggling to find its offense and Penn State looked like a national-title contender; since then, Iowa’s offense has become more consistently effective, while the Nittany Lions have lost a couple and narrowly held off Indiana on Saturday.

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10. The Hawkeyes became bowl eligible after beating Maryland, but we as fans can begin to more realistically daydream about a bowl destination after next week’s Penn State game, because there’s a big difference between being 6-1 without a defining win and 7-1 with a win at Penn State.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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