Scary good performance up front by the Hawks this week. Going into this one I suspected Iowa's line would have a good game against an undermanned Penn St line, but this was down right dominance. The 5TFL and 2 sacks don't tell the full story. Penn St game planned very well to mitigate this unit. They rolled the pocket away from Clayborn, they ran a bunch of screens, they ran draws, and rarely ran straight drop pass plays. It didn't matter, Iowa's front just suffocated them in this game.
For those worried maybe Clayborn wasn't going to be as good this year you can put your fears to rest. He's just as dangerous as ever and it's only a matter of time in any game before he makes big plays. He was all over the place in this one and he made big plays in all 4 quarters of this game. As a run defender he's just dominant and is now picking his spots more carefully in his pass rush. Expect a lot of this face from opposing coaches in coming weeks:
His counter part Ballard continues to impress week in week out as well. He moves incredibly well for a 300 pounder and is showing the ability to beat double teams inside. He makes an already great unit that much better.
Klug continues to disrupt the middle game after game and it's scary to think this guy is probably the 3rd best DL on this team. He works hard and smart inside as he attacks the gaps about as well as you can ask for.
The LB's spent much of the night in coverage as the front 4 ate up the run game forcing a lot of throws from Penn St. True freshman James Morris got some meaningful playing time here and he filled in quite well. He got a rude welcome to Big 10 football getting cut blocked on an early screen pass but he played pretty well under the circumstances. He's got good agility for a MLB and can definitely run better than most. He's a bit undersized at this point but you could see him growing up on the field in this one. He looks like he's gonna be an awfully good football player for the Hawkeyes.
It almost seems like the two Iowa safeties get bored as they watch the DL make all the plays so when they finally get a shot to make a play they just over do it and miss tackles going for a knockout type hit, take a bad angle or get caught out of position. Sash and Greenwood probably could have been given another minus or two in this one for their tackling. Neither Sash or Greenwood is used to being out of the action but both need to be more disciplined and wrap up ball carriers consistently. Also Sash has been getting more and more deep balls thrown at his side of the field this year and it's starting to become a pattern. Teams are gonna go after Hyde and Sash deep until they prove they can consistently stop it or get an INT on a deep ball.
I have no idea what Prater was up to at the end of the 1st half. Basic cover 2 technique says you don't let a receiver get an outside release on you and if he does you have to stay in his pocket because it's likely the ball is coming quickly on a fade. It's the end of the first half and you know Penn St is going to want to go down-field. Why he let the WR outside of him and then only kind of halfheartedly rode the route up the side-line I don't know. He helped make up for it with the big pick 6 to close out the game, but I'm still scratching my head about what he was thinking just before half time.
-0 Weak call here as they flagged him for a late hit/blow to the head. Very very weak call. S6
+1 Great work getting free again on the pass rush stunt to force a poor throw. S8
+1 Great job reading the screen here as he nearly gets an INT S11
+1 Good discipline as he stays home here and breaks up the reverse. S5
+1 Excellent pursuit with the shuffle pass here as he stops it well short of a first down. Officials gave the back almost a full yard of help on the spot though. S9
+1 Doesn’t make the stop on the draw but Royster slips down trying to avoid Ballard on the 3rd down draw play. S1
+1 Excellent pass rush here as he just drowns Bolden for the sack quickly after he beats the double team. S3
+1 Ran down Bolden from behind on the rollout here. Big time play for a 300lb man. S4
+1 Gets great penetration there as he stacks up the FB in the backfield at the goal-line. S7
+1 Great hustle and pursuit down the line as he finishes off Bolden just inches short of the goal-line. S7
+1 Good penetration as he helps finish off Royster on the running play. S2
+1 Nice penetration to stack up the inside and clog the running lane. S4
+1 Great penetration here as he blows up the draw and makes a TFL. S5
+1 Draws a holding call as he just blew by the guard. S6
+1 Klug just blows by the guard here and rocks Royster S10
+1 Great down the line run defense here as he gets the TFL S2
+1 Excellent work in space against Bolden here as he turned him back in on the scramble and makes the hit as well. S2
+1 Great pass rush move as he just brushes off the tackle blows by him inside and just levels Bolden S6
+1 Excellent job beating his block and stacking up the run play. S9
+1 He just storms into the backfield right over the tackle here as he forces an intentional grounding call. Dominant pass rush here. S10
+1 Excellent job here as he breaks up the screen and makes the TFL S11
+1 Just rocks the QB on the draw here as he reads it and then totally engulfs him. S13
+1 Nice work against the wheel route here as he stays right in the WR’s pocket and is in the WR’s field of vision with his hands and the ball drops incomplete. S5
+1 Playing another vertical route in man turn here and this ball almost ricochets off his helmet as he jumps up screening the small WR from the ball and is still careful not to get flagged for pass interference. S8
+1 Great penetration on the draw as he helps clean up the draw play. S5
+1 Great job beating his block here on the goal-line as he gets loose and puts a shot into Bolden and knocks him off balance and prevents a score. S7
-1 Goes for the strip here and doesn’t wrap up the ball carrier. Lets him get away and pick up big yards. S8
-1 Really poor tackling effort here. S4
+1 Nice job breaking up the draw here on the run blitz. S4
-1 Very poor job defending the screen here as he’s late on the read and then gets knocked up in the air on the cut block. Needs to read this quicker and gets his hands down and beat the cut block. S6
+1 Nice work getting his hands on the lineman and beating the cut block this time and then makes the tackle on the screen. S6
-1 Very poor job stacking and shedding here as he lets the guard get into him and drive him way out of the play. S7
+1 Very nice play by Morris who nearly picks this pass off over the middle. Good job reading the route and getting his hips turned around and in position to make a play. S8
+1 Good read on the shuffle pass here as he busts up it for a short gain after beating 2 blockers. S10
-1 Gets beat deep here and only poor throw and poor adjustment by the receiver keeps this from being a big play. S4
-1 Hyde Poor tackling here as he lets Royster get away from him. S8
-1 Poor job tackling in space against the back. S4
+1 Good job on the fill on the reverse as he shares a TFL here. S5
+1 Nice INT by Greenwood here. Negated by late hit on the QB though. S6
-1 Went for a big hit here and misses and Royster stays on his feet and rattles off a big gainer. S8
-1 Greenwood drops the INT here. He was in perfect position and he let it slip right through his hands. S10
-1 Got lost in space here as he just let his man release outside and go deep. This was pretty clearly still cover 2 and I'm not sure what Prater was doing here. S6
+2 Great job in his zone drop here as he rides the route all the way down the field and makes the INT. Does a great job to take this one back to the house here. S12
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