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With the softest schedule I've ever seen for the hawkeyes, the hawks will be watching bowl games from a couch this year instead of playing one on a feild.
There are plenty of arguements on both sides of why we aren't bowling this year and I'm certain it's a combination of both but what was the X factor that caused the pendulum to sway to staying home during bowl season this year? Was it the lack of talent or execution by the players or was it due to being out schemed & out coached by our KF & staff?
There certainly wasn't much talent. No doubt. But could better coaching have gotten more out of what was there? I don't know. I think better coaching could have got 2 more wins. But to get like 9-3? No, the talent wasn't there for that. That's just my opinion however.
I think 3 factors hurt this team.
1. The defensive line was the worst I've witnessed in the last decade for an Iowa team. Awful.
2. Offensive play calling and playbook. One could argue it was because iowa receivers were talentless, but it's hard to judge based on most routes going less than 5 yards and horizontal. Iowa averaged around 5 yards per pass ATTEMPT. That's playbook and play calling.
3. Conservative coaching and no creativity. I remember when Boise State beat Oklahoma in a BCS bowl maybe 5 yrs ago. They beat them with the hook-and-latter, then the statue-of-liberty play to win it.
Iowa ran 1 trick play, the flee-flicker against Minnesota, and it worked. Ferentz and staff always played it conservative and took very few chances. The chances they did take (going for it on 4th down a number of times) failed for the most part because the plays called were never enough (3- yard pass routes when needing 6 yards).
A coach has got to be creative and think "outside the box" to make up for lack of talent.
I think with better coaching in terms of more creativity, Iowa could have won 2 or 3 more games.
This is a great question.
IMO, the main reason Iowa wasn't a very good team this year is that the talent just wasn't there. But with this schedule, I can definitely understand the argument that the coaches should have been able to squeak out six wins somehow. The Central Michigan loss was unacceptable. Even a team lacking in talent should have been able to beat CMU and one of Iowa State, Indiana or Purdue, and that would mean six wins.
CMU is the game where the players lost it...they allowed themselves to be goaded into dumb penalties all day, and Gaglione's at the end, cost us the W.
As Todd said, the talent just wasn't there.
I think with this schedule, Iowa could have edged out 6 or 7 wins, had the coaching staff (particularly Ferentz) became more creative in game planning and offensive plays/philosophy.
There was no way to make up for the terrible d-line play... weak against the run and no pass rush.
I'm not putting the full blame of that loss on the coaches - sorry if it came across that way. I just meant that with Iowa being the team with more talent, it shouldn't have even been that close. Part of the blame for it being so close has to fall on the coaches. And the failure to recover the onside kick also falls on the coaches to a certain extent.
While the Hawks have lost major talent along the line the past couple of years - they just weren't able to shed blocks and chase down the QB this year - no matter who they were playing. Maybe Kaczenski had more of a positive impact on the DL than we knew - or maybe they were coached to stay in their lanes - but it sure seems like some of the younger guys could have had more playing time - which I think goes to the conservative coaching as a source of the problem. Cooper had flashes and so did Louie TP....but consistently throughout the year they were unable to pressure the QB.
Welcome to Voice of the Hawkeyes! We're glad you're here, so make yourself at home.
Great point about the younger defensive tackles showing some nice flashes. I think the key was/is for the defensive ends to play at a similar level.
No offense, but we had no offense.
If a major problem was weak talent on the offense, than one would hope the play calling might have included more mis-direction, fakes, double pumps, and a little bit more trickeration than only one play all year. (If for nothing else other than just the fun of it!) When lacking talent or skill on one side, one needs to try to expose and exploit the possible weaknesses on the other side.
EDIT: Please refrain from political comments. - TW
This post was edited by Todd Worly 19 months ago
The ISU, CMU, IU and Purdue games were easily winnable, even with Iowa's reduced talent this year. 8-4 should have been the baseline for success. I put the blame on players who didn't execute and on coaches who didn't adjust.
I understand where you may think that coach K would have had a more positive impact, but if it weren't for him, we wouldn't have so little talent on the D-line. He ran off a few of our good d-line recruits. This left us pretty bare for talent at d-line. Regardless, the d-line wasn't the biggest problem this year. It was our inept offense. Pretty easy to defend when you can't throw the ball more than 5 yards down the field at a time. Load the box, try and stop the run, and make an inaccurate QB and less the solid WR corp beat you. Every defenses recipe to success against Iowa this year.
I'm rolling with that we aren't bowling due to coaching. Greg Davis forced his system instead of revolving a system. JVB is a bad QB but no way should have his numbers been the way the were.
Defensively I found it to be a triple edge sword. We had a Dline with no DE's to get pressure. We had a secondary that was mediocre minus Hyde. We had a defense philosophy that didn't help anyone but the opposing team. We didn't blitz to make up for our weak defensive pass rush but people thought blitzing would put more pressure on our secondary. I thought by not blitzing and giving the opposing QB 12 seconds to wait for a secondary breakdown was another school of thought.
Again we had game clock issues and SPT's break down. Reoccurring issues from previous years that should've been addressed. We out recruit CMU, Purdue, ISU, Indy and others every year. Even though this was a down year talent wise, we should've been able out scheme these guys.
I think that's a fair assessment. If people are going to give Ferentz credit for beating programs that out-recruit Iowa, then it's only fair to criticize him for losing to programs that Iowa out-recruits.
Cuz we suck.
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