Halftime reactions – Iowa vs. Indiana

Iowa holds a 21-10 lead over Indiana at halftime. Pregame Editor Adam Hensley and Sports Editor Pete Ruden give their takeaways so far.


Nick Rohlman

Iowa running back Mekhi Sargent carries the ball during Iowa's game against Indiana at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The Hawkeyes lead the Hoosiers 21-10 at the half.

Adam Hensley and Pete Ruden

The balanced Hawkeye offense hurts Hoosiers.

BLOOMINGTON, IN – Iowa’s offense has been incredibly balanced all game against the Hoosiers. The Hawkeyes have found big running lanes and used chunk plays in the passing game to attack a vulnerable Indiana defense.

The Hawkeyes finished the first quarter with 67 yards through the air and another 67 on the ground before finishing the half with 136 passing yards and 83 rushing.

Through it all, quarterback Nate Stanley has been fantastic – excluding a bad interception that gave Indiana goodfield position that it would cash in for a touchdown.

Stanley finished the half 12-of-17 passing for 136 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a pick. Despite the miscue, he has been extremely accurate with some of his throws.

He tossed two dimes to tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant in the end zone before completing his most memorable pass to Nick Easley for a score, escaping a sack and scrambling around the backfield in the process.

In the run game, Iowa’s offensive line has paved the way for Toren Young and Mekhi Sargent in the absence of starter Ivory Kelly-Martin.

Young has taken advantage of the large lanes, gaining 61 yards on 10 carries, while Sargent has 27 yards on 6 rushes.

Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz has to be pleased with the way the Hawkeyes have executed on offense.

Iowa has only been forced to punt once, and if it can keep up its level of play while eliminating mistakes, the Hawkeyes could be in for a big second half.

Pete Ruden

Iowa’s defense inconsistent through two quarters.

BLOOMINGTON, IN – Indiana marched down the field on its opening possession, going 64 yards in 13 plays. Since that drive, the Hoosiers have run 20 plays and gained 84 yards on five more possessions.

The Hoosiers burned Iowa initially with short, underneath routes in the passing game. Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey dinked-and-dunked the Iowa defense deep into its own territory before the Hoosiers put up a field goal.

Ramsey looked incredibly sharp last week against Ohio State. He completed 26 of his 49 attempts for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. Through two quarters against the Hawkeyes, Ramsey is 12-for-18 for 104 yards and a touchdown, posting a 133.5 passer rating. He’s also been sacked once.

The bend-and-don’t-break defense has been in full effect. Indiana scored its lone touchdown of the game on a quick 2-play, 34-yard drive. On the touchdown, a 33-yard score to Ty Fryfogle, Ramsey targeted Iowa corner Riley Moss. Moss had decent coverage, but the pass was even better. Both Moss and fellow true freshman Julius Brents made their second career starts.

Aside from that, Indiana has moved the ball inconsistently and failed to sustain a long drive capped with touchdown. Expect defensive coordinator Phil Parker to make some adjustments, especially in the short passing game. I wouldn’t be surprised if he dials up some more blitzes in the second half, too.

Adam Hensley

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