Grading Iowa’s performance against Minnesota

Iowa’s offense performed well enough in the first half to secure one of its best grades of the season.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa wideout Nico Ragaini lunges for a touchdown during a football game between Iowa and Minnesota at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. The 21-yard catch was one of only two on the day for Ragaini.

Offense — B+

Iowa’s offense didn’t produce eye-popping numbers from a yardage standpoint, but it did just enough in the first half to break the cold stretch it had been going through.

The Hawkeyes’ first drive set it up for success for the rest of the game, as they scored their first opening drive touchdown since their win over Middle Tennessee on Sept. 28.

Freshman running back Tyler Goodson ran for 94 yards and a touchdown in his first-career start, while Tyrone Tracy and Ihmir Smith-Marsette combined for 120 receiving yards and a score.

Nate Stanley also finished with 173 yards passing, two touchdowns, and no glaring mistakes.

RELATED: Iowa defense saves day against Minnesota

Defense — B

The Hawkeye defense has scored better than a “B” in nearly every game this season, but that doesn’t mean Iowa played poorly on that side of the ball against Minnesota.

The 368 yards Gopher quarterback Tanner Morgan threw for is the most Iowa has allowed all season.

In the end, Iowa’s defense held strong when it needed to in the fourth quarter to keep Minnesota off the board.

Three players — A.J. Epenesa, Joe Evans, and Kristian Welch — recorded at least one sack.

RELATED: Ruden: Iowa proves its best spoiler in nation 

Special teams — A-

Iowa couldn’t have done much more on special teams.

Keith Duncan made his only field-goal attempt from 27 yards out, and Michael Sleep-Dalton averaged 42 yards on his four punts, placing one inside Minnesota’s 20-yard line.

Securing an onside kick to put the game on ice only helps the unit’s cause.

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