Back on Track

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Athletic Directors across the Big Ten all had the same idea setting up their team's schedules this year...finish the non-conference schedule with a tune-up game to get ready for conference play. Iowa did just that on Saturday cruising to 45-point win over Ball State. This game was never in question and actually went better than I was expecting. There was little, if any, hangover from the loss last week as Iowa for the most part came out sharp (let's just say those drops were because of a wet ball...) and executed like they did the first two weeks.

Star players
Adam Robinson: Without any experienced player to back him up, Robinson is going to need to be the featured running back this year. To date, he has lived up to his end of the deal. On Saturday he accounted for 190 of total offense carrying the ball 22 times for 115 yards, and catching the ball 3 times for 75 yards.

Ricky Stanzi: If it wasn't for a few drops, Stanzi might have had a perfect game. He ended up 19/25 passing for 288 yards and 3 TDs. That is Stanzi's fourth straight good performance and he currently is sitting at #5 in the nation for passing efficiency. It is still early, but it appears that whatever he did this off-season to work on not throwing interception and not starting off slow, worked (knock on wood...knock on a whole lot of wood).

Mike Daniels: The right guard for Ball State is going to have nightmares about Daniels, who simply could not be blocked. Daniels had 4 tackles for loss and a sack before calling it a day. With most of the focus on the right side of Iowa's defensive line (Ball State almost always put an extra blocker on that side or just ran the opposite way), Daniels was free to make plays all day long.

Things to clean up
Special teams: Things went a little bit better on Saturday than last week, but special teams are still not where they need to be. The punt coverage team has been awful at downing Donahue's punts before they bounce into the endzone for a touchback since Hyde caught one mid-flight the first week. Kickoff coverage was better. The surprise of the day was at placekicker though as true freshman Mike Meyer debuted as the starting kicker. He has been handling kickoff duties all year, but was promoted this week after Mossbrucker's blocked PAT against Arizona. Meyer's first field goal attempt (and Iowa's first of the season) was wide right the whole way. He did nail his second attempt though from 25 yards out.

Dropped passes: Even though I excused the drops earlier to the wet conditions, it has been an issue in more than just the game against Ball State. DJK has dropped a couple of very catchable balls this year and even the usually sure-handed McNutt has missed a few. The weather is probably only going to get worse from here on out (hopefully no more rain though), so the receivers need to get that corrected.
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