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Miller Time: Indiana Postgame

Miller Time: Indiana Postgame

10/20/2002 by Jon Miller of Hawkeye Nation

 

While it wasn’t a pretty win for Iowa, it was still a win. An odd one at that.

Think for a second that you do not know the final score of the game and you only have the statistics as your basis for who may have won the game:

First Downs: Iowa 17, Indiana 26
Turnovers: Iowa 3, Indiana 3
Total Yards: Iowa 358, Indiana 481
Time of Possession: Iowa 24:51, Indiana 35:09
Net Yards Rushing: Iowa 168, Indiana 146
Total Offensive Plays: Iowa 53, Indiana 93

Umm, I don’t know about you, but there is no way that I would think Iowa was the winner of the game.

But, Indiana was 1-6 in the redzone, Iowa had six sacks and three INT’s in the redzone. The Iowa defense gave up just six points on two field goals. The Hoosiers never found the endzone.

That is incredible. I am not sure if I have ever seen such a statistical landslide in most of the key factors that determine a game and see the team on the rough end of those stats win the game, much less win it by 16 points.

It has been said before and it bears repeating: great teams just find a way to win. Not every win is a mandate and not every win is total domination.

Iowa has played average football in three games this season and it has won two of them.

Akron: Great
Miami (OH): Good
ISU: Average
Utah State: Good
Penn State: Great (yes, I know Iowa blew a huge lead, but they really did anything they wanted at Penn State and still gutted out the win)
Purdue: Average
Michigan State: Great Defensively, Good offensively
Indiana: Average

When Iowa has played average football under Kirk Ferentz, it has lost the games. That was before the 2002 season.

The Hawkeyes are truly ‘scratching it where it itches’ this year and they are playing basic, physical football.

By the way, check out the stats for Michigan v Purdue. The Wolverines won a tough road game and while the stats were not as out of balance as they were for Iowa v Indiana, the Wolverines were crushed in Time of Possessions and the Boilers had more first downs as well: BOX SCORE

* * * * * * *

I have felt all year that Iowa really matches up well with Michigan. But the play of Wolverine QB John Navarre over the last two weeks is beginning to give me cause for concern.

During his last two games, Navarre is 44 of 75 for 515 yards, two passing TD’s and one INT. Against Iowa last year, Navarre was not very good in the first half and just alright in the second half. But Matt Stockdale was injured at that time and walk on Chigoze Ejiasi was torched.

In the trenches, the Hawkeyes will not take a backseat to the Wolverines. In fact, I think Iowa is much more physical on both sides of the ball. Iowa is going to be able to rush for 150 yards, but maybe that is at the high end of expectations. Afterall, it’s still Michigan at the Big House.

Michigan will try to run on the Hawks and Iowa may have an easier time stopping the Michigan running attack than they did against Indiana, given that Michigan employs a different blocking scheme than the Hoosiers.

It’s going to be hard for me to pick against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, but this is going to be a fun game to watch. I do not know who I am going to pick as of Sunday. There are too many things that need to be considered and I want to see if the Hawks and Wolverines are healthy, what the weather will be like, etc.

But I know that I can’t wait for Saturday!

* * * * * * *

The Iowa football program is really coming full circle over the last five years.

1996: 9-3
1997: 7-5
1998: 3-9
1999: 1-10
2000: 3-9
2001: 7-5
2002: 7-1

As of now, 9-3 for Iowa would mean a 6-2 finish in the league and splitting its final four games, which is a realistic possibility.

It’s interesting that so much is riding on this Michigan game from a historical standpoint. The last time Iowa won the B10 title was in 1990 and Iowa defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor 24-23 on an 11:00a.m. ESPN game.

That was also the last time an Iowa team started the season 4-0 in B10 play.

In 1997, Iowa was ranked in the lower teens when they traveled to Ann Arbor. It was the last time that Iowa had been ranked that high since this year.

Now, the Kirk Ferentz-led Iowa Hawkeyes have a chance to make a statement of their own at the Big House. With a win in Ann Arbor, Iowa could find itself in the Top 10.

As of this writing, the Hawkeyes are 14th in the nation in the Coaches poll and should be 13th or 12th in the AP.

The Circle of Iowa Football is coming around again on Saturday.


Hawkeye NationHawkeye Nation was founded by Jon Miller, and later acquired by Rivals and Sports Illustrated. You can visit them at HawkeyeNation.com

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After Hayden Fry's death on December 18th, 2019, there was an amazing response on social media and in the news outlets about the impact he had on college football and the University of Iowa. Here a...12/19/2019

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Miller Time: Indiana Postgame - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games