You tell me if this makes sense.
The Hawkeyes could come up with only 12 yards rushing on 13 carries in the first half.
Iowa also had only four first downs at half and Mark Weisman was held to only 20 on 11 carries which comes out to 1.8 yards per carry.
James Vandenberg completed 8-16 passes with one interception and the Hawks trailed 10-3 at intermission.
Then at the end of the game Mark, who finished with 116 yards and a score, can’t play in overtime because of a leg injury.
Oh yeah, how about the rainy conditions all day.
Thank goodness you play two halves (and then some).
James complete 11-20 in the second half, including a huge third down conversion to Keenan Davis.
Iowa had a second and 26 on their own 16 yard line when James found Keenan over the top for a 36-yard gain.
“The throw and catch by James and Keenan, just absolutely critical,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, who called the catch the biggest play of the day.
The Hawkeyes would finish the drive with their only touchdown, a 5-yard run by Mark Weisman which tied the score at 13 all.
“In games like this you can throw the stat sheets out,” said Captain Kirk. “That’s really where stats don’t matter. I’ll say one, turnovers. Outside of the first pick (thrown by Vandenberg), we protected that ball pretty good.”
Congratulations Kirk, for reaching 100 wins as a Hawkeye head coach.
You have to start with the defense, although special teams was as good as it gets, but when you hold a tough team like Michigan State to 16 points, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Talk about bend, don’t break…
The Spartans totaled 14 first downs and averaged 3.8 yards per carry. Their big boy, Le’Veon Bell, pounded out 140 yards in 29 carries, but Iowa’s pass defense came up big and helped win the game.
Andrew Maxwell, the Spartan quarterback, only completed 12-31 (38%) and threw the pass tipped by Louis Trinca-Pasat, which was picked off by Greg Castillo and ended the game in the second OT.
How about the front four (or six) which put pressure on Michigan State all day?
Joe Gaglione led the way with 11 tackles, including one sack.
Joe, Steve Bigach, Dominic Alvis and Louis Trinca-Pasat started, with Carl Davis and Darian Cooper keeping them fresh.
I really like the way coach Reece Morgan has got the D-line playing at a high level.
Anthony Hitchens had 15 tackles, James Morris 10 and Christian Kirksey seven. All three had tackles for a loss, and Christian forced a fumble and had a huge tipped pass.
Mike Meyer is in a zone to lead the special teams.
Mike’s four field goals were the difference in the game.
How about Mike for the season kicking all eight extra points and 14-15 field goals?
I have been a little critical of the punting game, but Connor Kornbrath averaged 40.5 yards on six punts including a 50-yarder.
Kickoff coverage was excellent, as the Spartans averaged only 17 yards per return.
Jordan Cotton had an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown called back because of an illegal block, but he still got 45 yards.
The offense came through when it was needed, and Mark Weisman continues to shine.
The Spartans knocked him down in the first half, but the Hawks kept pounding and Mark finished with 116 yards and a 4.5 yard average.
Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley both had six catches and the offensive line finished strong.
The game-winning interception was kind of a blur to me.
Two of my homeboys, Kirk Neustrom and Big Monk, were watching the game with me.
My cousin David Ives stopped by. He was on his way to Pocahontas, Iowa, coming from Tennessee, and Kirk’s grandson Cameron was with us.
I was cutting up a hot dog for Cameron when Greg intercepted the game-ending pass, so I wasn’t as excited as I could have been.
This was a game that I was more than a little worried about.
The Spartans had eight starters back on defense, had shut down the Hawks last year at Kinnick, 37-21, and were favored by 10 points.
Iowa sits at 4-2, 2-0 in the Big Ten and hosts Penn State this Saturday at 7 p.m.
Penn State also has a strong defense and will Mark Weisman be healed up?