Sorry, no extra section this week, as the game didn't really deserve one. It was neither an embarrassing loss nor a heartbreaker...it was just a loss. We were behind all day, and even though we almost made that 3rd TD at the end, we still would have faced the uncertainty of a 2 pt conversion just to put it into overtime. It was a puncher's duel, and we were the one who went home with the extra cut above the eye.
So what happened? We played away, and played like we were playing away. I figure if this were at home, the final score would have been reversed. But it wasn't, so here we are.
1. Countess, Van Bergen and Martin. UFR will tell a more accurate story, but I felt these guys all played their hearts out, and were bright spots in an otherwise disappointing defensive performance.
2. Toussaint’s first half. He ran really well out of the I-form in the first half.
3. Gaining some street cred back towards the end of the game. Didn’t mean much, but it made a sour game taste a little less sour.
4. The offense, which wasn't great, really, but actually outgained Iowa. So I guess that's got to count for something.
1. The defense. We had our plays, but Iowa also had their way with us for most of the game. Ferentz' ultra-conservative MANBALL approach to offensive football partially papered over the fact that this was, in my opinion at least, our worst defensive performance of the year.
2. Denard’s running. I’m loathe to blame him for this, and I suspect some combination of poor blocking and a still-unknown injury are to blame. But he’s not turning on the jets like he used to, and not pivoting like he used to. Could be a psychological issue too—he does seem to be unusually “in” or “out of” the zone.
3. The Devin interludes. More evidence that this worked against Minnesota, but is of limited usefulness otherwise. Again, all the usual disclaimers apply--good kid, going to be a good QB, nice to see him get some reps, etc.--but I'm not seeing great results here. He had a whopping 2 yards total on his 5 carries and 1 pass. Why are we still doing this again?
4. Road errors. The fumble, the drops, etc. Those go the other way, and it's a different ballgame.
1. Not punching it in from the goalline in 4 tries. No way to sugar coat that.