Talking Twitter, offensive line, and punting for Iowa football

Noah Fant spoke with the media for the first time since his father and brother tweeted their displeasure with his snap count.


Lily Smith

Iowa tight end Noah Fant (87) runs the ball during the Iowa/Maryland homecoming football game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 23-0.

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

Everyone has an opinion, and thanks to Twitter, every user has the right to share those opinions online. Sometimes, certain opinions get picked up and spread like wildfire.

Noah Fant’s brother Chris took to Twitter on Oct. 6 and expressed his displeasure with his brother’s playing time.

“These coaches must think the #1 Guy in the nation is the 2nd or 3rd best on there [sic] team! Because they both get more reps than he does. It’s hard to believe a player who is arguably the best at his position only plays sometimes. Hard to watch that mess over and over!” he tweeted.

Fant’s father, Willie, took to Twitter and expressed similar feelings, tweeting back at a user who criticized Chris Fant’s tweet.

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“I’m sure it’s easy for a good defense like Wisconsin to stop a sub-par Iowa offense, especially when you don’t play the best offensive player on your team … Ohhh Wait didn’t we just lose to Wisconsin?” Willie Fant tweeted.

Noah Fant met with the media for the first time since suffering his first concussion on Oct. 6, and he explained the so-called elephant in the room.

He said he had meetings with Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz in regard to the tweets. But in the end, Fant said his brother and father have a right to their opinions, and he’s not going to tell them what they can and can’t do.

“That’s my older brother. I’m not going to tell him, ‘Hey, take that down.’ That’s the guy I’ve been looking up to my whole life,” Noah Fant said. “I don’t think he’s hurting me, I don’t think my family’s hurting me. They only want the best for me … I don’t feel like it was a distraction for me or my teammates.”

Iowa’s offensive line playing at its best

In the past three games, Iowa’s offensive line has given up just 1 sack.

In the meantime, quarterback Nate Stanley has thrown 11 touchdowns during that span, and against Minnesota and Indiana, he surpassed the 300-yard mark in both contests.

The running game has gradually increased in productivity over the three-game stretch, too. Against Minnesota, Iowa ran for 106 yards. That total rose to 159 against Indiana and then exploded to 224 last weekend against Maryland.

In the game against the Terrapins, the Hawkeyes ran the ball 52 times, averaging 4.3 yards per carry.

“I’m glad we could establish the run — that felt pretty good,” offensive tackle Tristian Wirfs said. “It definitely felt like we had the ball for a long time.”

Iowa also ate up 40 minutes in the time-of-possession department.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” O-lineman Cole Banwart said. “That just shows how detailed we were that game, running the ball.”

The art of the punt

Colten Rastetter’s 2017 season was shaky at best.

The punter averaged 37.8 yards per boot last year, and, going into this season, head coach Kirk Ferentz said he honestly wasn’t sure what Rastetter’s future held.

“I wouldn’t say I had a low point, I just used the year as a learning experience, in a way, and built on that,” he said. “Last year, there were more negative words. I was like, ‘Hey, you might not be able to do this,’ while this year, it’s, ‘Hey, what can I do better to make my team better?’ ”

It’s clear that Ferentz and Company made the right call to stick with him, because Rastetter is averaging 43.6 yards per punt, and he’s been a big reason that Iowa’s special teams have been more dynamic compared with last season’s edition.

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