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Hawkeye offense shines against Terrapins

After the past two weeks where Nate Stanley and the passing game have been the story, the running backs get their turn with the glory.

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Hawkeye offense shines against Terrapins

Ivory Kelly-Martin smiles after getting a first down during the Iowa vs. Maryland game at Kinnick stadium on Saturday Oct. 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 23-0.

Ivory Kelly-Martin smiles after getting a first down during the Iowa vs. Maryland game at Kinnick stadium on Saturday Oct. 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 23-0.

Katie Goodale

Ivory Kelly-Martin smiles after getting a first down during the Iowa vs. Maryland game at Kinnick stadium on Saturday Oct. 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 23-0.

Katie Goodale

Katie Goodale

Ivory Kelly-Martin smiles after getting a first down during the Iowa vs. Maryland game at Kinnick stadium on Saturday Oct. 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 23-0.

Jordan Zuniga, Sports Reporter

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No. 18 Iowa continues to roll after a 23-0 win over Maryland on Oct. 20 at Kinnick. The Hawkeyes are riding a three-game winning streak, and they’ve won those three by a total of 66 points.

While the defense has continued to play exceptionally well, the offense has been the story in the past three games.

However, the Maryland game was a bit of an oddity, because Iowa’s rushing attack did most of the heavy lifting.

After throwing for 634 yards in the last two games, Nate Stanley didn’t even reach the century mark, as Alberta Clipper winds forced the Hawkeyes to run on 68.4 percent of their plays.

The successful switch from relying on the passing game to the running game demonstrates that the offense can get it done numerous ways.

“It shows that we can play a balanced offense,” Stanley said. “We have the ability to run the ball and throw the ball. It shows we’re a physical team, and we’re going to play four quarters. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

If the last two weeks proved that Stanley could be an elite college quarterback, this game proved that Iowa is still an excellent running team led by a stellar offensive line.

Eight Iowa runners combined for 224 rushing yards on 52 attempts for an average of 4.3 yards per carry.

What is unusual about the Hawkeyes’ great ground effort is that no Hawkeye gained better than 100 yards.

Ivory Kelly-Martin came closest with 98 on 24 attempts, but stats aren’t something that concerns the running backs.

“We’re just here to help the offense as much as we can,” Kelly-Martin said. “We’re not looking at stats or anything, we’re looking at we got a ‘W’ today.”

Toren Young, who hasn’t been the lead back for most of the season (but has shone in his time carrying the ball) echoed that.

“As long as there is a ‘W’ on the board at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me how we get there,” he said.

While the running backs are sure to have gained more confidence, the offensive line also has to be feeling good after demolishing the Terrapins.

In a game in which the Maryland defense knew Iowa was going to run the ball almost every play, the Hawkeyes still had success rushing.

They even picked up two third-and-longs rushing, one on an Ihmir Smith-Marsette jet sweep and the other on a quarterback draw by Stanley. Those plays are only possible with good blocking up front.

Of course, the members of the O-line were quick to spread the credit around.

“It was nice to be able to go out there and control the ball,” offensive lineman Ross Reynolds said. “But it doesn’t just happen because of the O-line, it’s everybody doing his job.”

The last three weeks have been huge for an offense that stumbled a bit out of the gate, and it’ll need another big performance next week when it travels to Happy Valley.

Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, their confidence has never been higher.

“The past couple weeks [our confidence has been] building every single day,” Stanley said. “We know that we can run the ball and throw it if we need to, and we know that the coaches have all the confidence in the world in us.”

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About the Writer
Jordan Zuniga, Sports Reporter

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @j_zuni

Jordan Zuniga is a sports reporter at The Daily Iowan covering football. This is Zuniga's second...

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