Grading Iowa’s Week 5 performance against MTSU

The Hawkeye offense put on a show, but other facets of the team need some work to be able to compete well in the Big Ten.

Iowa+payers+celebrate+a+touchdown+during+a+football+game+between+Iowa+and+Middle+Tennessee+State+University+on+Saturday%2C+September+28%2C+2019.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Blue+Raiders+48-3.

Megan Nagorzanski

Iowa payers celebrate a touchdown during a football game between Iowa and Middle Tennessee State University on Saturday, September 28, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Blue Raiders 48-3.

Anna Kayser, Sports Editor

Offense: A+

The most yards in head coach Kirk Ferentz’s 21-year tenure isn’t going to get you less than an A. 

From Nate Stanley to Tyrone Tracy, from Toren Young to Tyler Goodson, Iowa’s offense was firing on all cylinders for a whopping 644 total yards. 

Three running backs had 90-plus yards, three receivers had 50-plus yards, and both assets of the offense erupted for long gains to help Iowa to a win. 

You know it’s a good day when Iowa’s backup quarterback gets in on the action, and even he saw production. Spencer Petras completed 3 of his 4 pass attempts for 17 yards. 

Defense: B+

Iowa’s defense held Middle Tennessee in check in the first half after not allowing a first down until the second quarter. 

As the game went on, Blue Raider quarterback Asher O’Hara figured out the defense and started to throw downfield, racking up 110 total passing yards with a long of 21. 

Despite the fact that the Hawkeyes held the Blue Raiders to three points and completed 2 sacks, Iowa’s secondary needs to get healthy to hold tougher teams off of the red zone. 

Special Teams: B

Keith Duncan is no longer perfect. The confidence he showed in hitting a career-long 49-yard field goal — in addition to coming back from his 39-yard miss to hit a 42-yarder — means a lot going into an environment like the Big House, though. 

Punt and kick returning continues to be a struggle for the Hawkeyes, as Ihmir Smith-Marsette misjudged a ball which set the Hawkeyes up with bad field position on one of their drives. 

Michael Sleep-Dalton punted just once, a testament to how good the offense was this week. 

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