A pretty solid day for the skill position players against PSU. For the most part Iowa had dialled things down by the middle of the 3rd quarter and were just milking the clock. If I had to guess they were probably concerned about tipping their hands for the rest of their Big 10 schedule. It looked like they had a game plan to come out and build a lead and sit on it and that's exactly what they did.
One thing I have noticed about Iowa is that for an NFL/pro-style offense they are running a startling low screen % this season. Pro teams who use a zone heavy running scheme typically use screens to help keep teams from coming downhill on high % run situations. For an example think about the screen games of the KC Chiefs during the Priest Holmes days and the Mike Shannahan coached Broncos teams of the late 90's and early 2000's. As the season wore on last year Iowa ran more screens so this may just be a similar pattern at work this year. With the line they have they're even more mobile up front this year and should have great success running these plays.
Both DJK and McNutt looked like they could get open at will in this one and confirmed what I previously thought about these guys overmatching opposing corners. PSU ran alot of different looks and bracket coverages to try and stay over top of these guys. It looked like they were trying to bait Stanzi into deep throws outside by making it look like Cover 1 on the pre-snap read and then bailing on the snap and going to a Cover 3 shell but Stanzi wasn't biting. They gave an awful lot of respect for the Iowa WR's speed in the form of a big cushion to these guys also which allowed Iowa to throw their outs/hitches again this week. A couple of times they tried matching up a LB on McNutt in the slot and Iowa went right after it for big gains. Both of these receivers played a very solid game and should continue to be high percentage play makers.
PSU also ran a pretty high % of 8 man fronts and attacked with run blitzes on 1st and 2nd down pretty often. This really limited Robinson's effectiveness at times in this one. The formula for stopping a zone stretch play is pretty straight forward and when they know it's coming with 8+ bodies in the box it's very hard for Iowa to run consistently against those odds. The did run a counter/jab step play in this one though and it did go for decent gain. Those kind of looks will be very important down the stretch. Robinson was solid but unspectacular in this one and really was leaned on heavily with around 30 touches in this game. Iowa could use a change of pace runner to help Robinson out as the season wears on.
Reisner and Morse had very good and well rounded games this week. Their blocking was very good this week. It was good to see Iowa using both of these guys in the passing game. Both have ability to pick of yards after the catch and neither guys is easy to bring down. They give defenses two more guys to worry when they're on the field. Conversely Herman had a pretty rough game out there this week. He made some mental mistakes that were pretty obvious and didn't have a targets in the passing game. He's flashed the ability to get open and can be a legit threat in the passing game. With as many 2 TE sets as Iowa uses they'll need to force defenses to respect him as a target.
+1 Good cut here as he just flies back inside when he sees the lane. D1 Play 7
+1 Excellent job of feeling his way into the seam here as he bursts up the hole and picks up a first down. D2 Play 2
+1 Excellent job attacking the outside zone seam here as he cuts off his blocks and almost finishes the run with a dive in the end zone. Nice work here. D6 Play 6
-1 Unable to keep the blitzing LB off of Stanzi on the 3rd and long. D8 Play 3
+1 Nice job reading the hole by Robinson here as he picks up solid yards as he breaks to the outside.
+1 Nice work in the flat here as he slips out and picks up some solid yards. D1 Play 2
+1 Goes out and blows the OLB out of the play here as the OLB basically avoids contact and takes himself out of the play. Solid job here. D2 Play 2
+1 Excellent job holding the edge against the DE here and he gives Stanzi times to complete the pass. D6 Play 1
+1 Nice quick catch here over the middle out of the backfield as he picks up some big yards over the middle. D9 Play 3
+1 Excellent work in space here as he beats the LB on the slip route and picks up 9 yards. D3 Play 1
+1 Reisner beats the coverage and gets open on a crucial 3rd down catch for 16 yards. Excellent work against the zone coverage here. D3 Play 5
+1 Great blocking in front of Robinson as he puts the LB on the ground out in space. D3 Play 6
+1 Stays with his block on the reverse for a very long time here and he controlled his man well here. D9 Play 6
+1 Nice seal block here as he pins his man outside and maintains contact. D11 Play 1
-1 Flat out misses the DE here and he walks into the backfield to make the TFL on Robinson. D3 Play 3
-1 Releases his head up DE here and looks down-field for a LB. He should have stayed on his man here. D6 Play 4
+1 Excellent job of collapsing the DE as he rides him downhill and does a great job of finishing the block. D7 Play 2
-1 Lets the DE go inside of him again and he breaks up the run play. D7 Play 4
+1 Good work here as he works the end-line for the TD catch from Stanzi here. Did a nice job getting his feet in bounds here after he goes up to get this ball. D3 Play 7
+1 Nice job picking up a few extra yards here on the quick out. D5 Play 1
-1 Lost control of his corner on the run block there as Robinson gets whacked by his man. D5 Play 4
+1 Nice work on the vertical route here to get himself in position to make a catch and good body control to come down with the ball with the defender draped on him. D9 Play 4
+1 Hands and route running are superb here. He tracks this ball perfectly and just makes the fade route look easy here as he gets it inside the 10. D1 Play 6
+1 Nice sell here on the bootleg as he pivots back outside makes the catch in stride and picks some big yards. D6 Play 1
+1 Great catch on the under-thrown ball here. He adjusts his body here and goes down and snatches the ball about 6 inches off the turf. Great play. D6 Play 2
+1 Good route here as he just over-matches the LB here and is able to get wide open and then picks up some big yards after the catch. D7 Play 3
+1 Great blocking in the slot here to open up the outside for the reverse. D1 Play 5
+1 Cheney Good speed here on the reverse and he does a nice job of running to space to pick up big yards. D1 Play 5
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