That was a cold. I was present at Kinnick North with my son (Hayden), brother and nephew. PJ Fleck did us a huge favor by throwing the ball and the Hawks defense made two turnovers to beat the favorite Gophers. Salute to the three Hawk fans who sat in front of us and said they were BHGP readers!
Iowa’s offense has been abysmal this season. Our offensive line was bad. Hopefully our offensive coordinator is training his third last game for the Hawks. Our quarterback game was terrible. There was one constant in all of this. Spencer Petras has proven to be a tough guy. I hope the heck Spencer gets a terrific ovation on graduation day. He deserves it. On the day, Petras threw 221 yards on 15 of 24 passes (63%). Petras also scored with a sneak. It wasn’t an easy day to throw the football and Petras played well and guided us to an away win.
The Hawks’ backs had a quiet day on the ground. Kaleb Johnson ran 8 times for 43 yards (5.4 yards average). Leshon Williams ran 11 times for 38 yards (3.5) and Gavin Williams ran twice for 8 yards (4.0). The Hawks had some success throwing the ball, but we never quite got the running game on track.
The Iowa wideouts didn’t catch many balls, but some of them came at the right time. Brody Brecht had a multi-catch play (ok, it was only two, but that sounded better) and 21 yards. Nico Ragaini had a catch for 11 yards. Ragaini had a slightly high ball that he couldn’t catch. Had he got it, it would have been six points. Arland Bruce IV had a catch for 7 yards.
Iowa’s tight ends had prevailed against the Gophers for a day. Luke Lachey had five catches for 77 yards. Sam Laporta had four catches for 95 yards, including this beauty.
Addison Ostrenga had his first career catch for six yards. LaPorta left the game with an injury. The Hawks will need Lachey and Ostrenga to step up if LaPorta is unable to take on the Huskers.
The Gophers only fired Spencer Petras once. The Gophers had no quarterback rush. Two errors on snaps lost 16 yards for the Hawks. Iowa has no offense that can make up for these mistakes. Iowa averaged just 2.1 yards per rush attempt. This is a group that needs to make a big leap next year.
I think Iowa’s line of defense is pretty damn good. I also think Minnesota’s offensive line is pretty good. I know that Mo Ibrahim is a damn guy. Big Mo had 263 yards on 39 carries (6.7). In the last three games, Ibrahim has hit the rock 107 times. PJ drives him into the ground. John Wagener had six tackles to lead the defensive line. Logan Lee had five tackles, and Noah Shannon added four. Joe Evans and Yahya Black Each had three duels. Deontae Craig recovered a fumble.
Although the Hawks only dropped 10 points, the defensive stats aren’t great as the Gophers have been crushing us all day. The Gophers held the ball more than ten minutes longer than the Hawkeyes. Jack Campell is really good at football. He had ten tackles, 1 QBH, a forced fumble and the game-winning interception. He also had a touchdown taken away from what should have been a selection of six.
Seth Benson had seven tackles including 1 TFL. Jay Higgins had four tackles.
DB/cash register: B
The Hawkeyes were led Cooper DeJean and Quinn Schulte with seven duels. Riley Moss had two pass breakups, including the game winner, which Campbell intercepted. It’s not ideal football when your defenders make so many tackles. The gophers reached the second level of Iowa all day. The Hawks held Gopher quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis on just seven completions for 87 yards.
Special teams: A
student in the first year Drew Stevens scored two field goals, including the game winner by 28 seconds. It wasn’t pretty, but it was three points. He also converted his one extra point. ToryTaylor Punted five times for a 42.4 yard average. Once again he had shot down a punt deep in enemy territory.
Cooper DeJean becomes a weapon for both punt teams. Coop had two returns for 24 yards. I would think DeJean will be returning punts for the rest of his career as he is a natural there.
Let’s kick Nebby to the curb and go to Indy’s. All we ask is a chance. Let’s go Falcon!