Stanley owns quarterback sneak

Iowa's quarterback sneak has worked in the most unusual of situations this season.

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Stanley owns quarterback sneak

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley carries the ball during a football game between Iowa and Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, September 14, 2019. The Hawkeyes retained the Cy-Hawk Trophy for the fifth consecutive year, downing the Cyclones, 18-17.

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley carries the ball during a football game between Iowa and Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, September 14, 2019. The Hawkeyes retained the Cy-Hawk Trophy for the fifth consecutive year, downing the Cyclones, 18-17.

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley carries the ball during a football game between Iowa and Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, September 14, 2019. The Hawkeyes retained the Cy-Hawk Trophy for the fifth consecutive year, downing the Cyclones, 18-17.

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley carries the ball during a football game between Iowa and Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, September 14, 2019. The Hawkeyes retained the Cy-Hawk Trophy for the fifth consecutive year, downing the Cyclones, 18-17.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

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When Iowa’s in a pinch on third down and it needs a fresh set of downs, it can turn to a play that always seems to work for the Hawkeyes: the quarterback sneak.

As long as Iowa’s within three yards of the first-down marker, quarterback Nate Stanley will likely reach the line to gain.

“First and foremost, you have to run to an open gap,” Stanley said. “There are certain looks that are harder to do it against than others, but our coaches do a great job, and we’ve called it on some unusual situations when a team might not be ready for it.”

The play has become a staple for the Hawkeyes’ short-yardage offense this season.

Iowa even ran the play on a third-and-3 against Nebraska on Nov. 29. Although it’s certainly not conventional, it works.

Stanley has gained seven yards on a sneak this season, and it only helps his rushing numbers that have increased since the beginning of the season.

“We’ve ran quarterback sneaks at a lot of different things and kind of running it in unusual situations,” Stanley said. “I think that’s something coach Brian [Ferentz] has a really good feel for.”

Stanley also gives credit to his offensive line for the strong push they provide. That includes those up the middle, who open lanes up for their quarterback.

“I think Tyler [Linderbaum] and [Kyler Schott] love those plays — and our center and guards, in particular — love those plays,” Stanley said. “It’s just a situation where they just get to come right together, wedge together, and go hit somebody. I think they love doing that, as any O-lineman should.”

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