Iowa, Not Just Better on Paper

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For the second straight week Iowa had a dominating victory. It was exactly the kind of game I like...the kind that I can relax after the first quarter, knowing that the game is in the bag. Though, according to many people (Cyclone fans, sports radio hosts, etc...) this game was not supposed to be this way. In the week prior to the game I heard it said many times "Iowa is on the better team on paper, but..." Arnaud is improved, the Cyclone defense is as good as ever, the offensive line is huge, Iowa State has more heart...blah, blah, blah. As it turns out, Iowa is a much better team on paper, and a much, much better team on the field.

On Paper: Iowa's receivers match up nicely with ISU's secondary
Iowa State was without starting corner Te'ron Benton and safety David Sims was playing in his first game of the year. In Benton's place was Jeremy Reeves, who stands just 5-7, 168 lbs. Iowa had two experienced, talented, and much taller receivers in DJK and McNutt.

On the Field: Iowa's receivers ran wide open
It was actually ISU's supposedly better cornerback, Leonard Johnson, that Iowa was able to pick on all day, but really found openings all over the field. Both DJK and McNutt had big days on Saturday. DJK had a team high 5 catches for 65 yards. McNutt had just 2 receptions, but they went for 75 yards including a 66-yarder that set up a touchdown and a 9-yard TD catch. ISU's secondary looked lost at times, and an embarrassing fight broke out amongst themselves in the 3rd quarter after giving up a big pass play to Iowa TE Allen Reisner.

On Paper: Iowa has an advantage in the trenches
Iowa's defensive line should have an advantage over just about every offensive line it faces. Though, it looked like ISU's absolutely HUGE offensive line should be able to at least slow down Clayborn and friends. On the other side of the ball, Iowa's O-line, though somewhat young and inexperienced, looked like it should have a slight advantage over the undersized and under-skilled ISU defensive line.

On the Field: Iowa completely manhandled Iowa State
There were no slight advantages on Saturday in the trenches. Iowa was absolutely dominant on both sides of the ball. Iowa's O-Line gave up just one sack on a naked bootleg that the Cyclone's had the right defensive call against. And, in the running game they opened up giant holes for Adam Robinson and Jewel Hampton to run through. Robinson had a career day, rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. Hampton added 84 yards and a TD of his own. Iowa's defensive line lived up to its hype. They recorded 2 sacks and 5 QB hurries, but those stats aren't really indicative of how dominant they were. Iowa State had multiple holding penalties as its O-Line was just trying to keep Arnaud alive. And though there were on 5 QB hurries on the stat line, Arnaud has rushed on nearly every play.

On Paper: Stanzi is better than Arnaud
After just one game it was clear who had improved most in the off-season. The one thing that really plagued these two quarterbacks in 2009 was interceptions. Week one, Stanzi threw none and Arnaud had 2.

On the Field: Arnaud has another nightmarish game
Stanzi for the second week in a row threw no interceptions. He only had to throw 18 passes all day, completing 11 for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns. He only threw one pass that I would call questionable. He was very good otherwise finding receivers deep down the field. Arnaud on the other hand had similar performance to last year. He threw 3 interceptions, all in the 3rd quarter on consecutive drives. He completed less than 50% of his throws and threw for less than 200 yards on 44 passes. Iowa simply had the better quarterback.
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