Grading the Iowa football team’s 24-14 win over Colorado State

Well, that was ugly.

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Casey Stone

Iowa defensive back Matt Hankins and linebacker Jack Campbell celebrate a turnover during a football game between Iowa and Colorado State at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Rams 24-14.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor


Daily Iowan Pregame Editor Robert Read graded Iowa’s performance in all three phases after the Hawkeyes’ 24-14 win over Colorado State.

Offense — C+

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before — Iowa’s offense struggled at points on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes only mustered 54 rushing yards, and quarterback Spencer Petras threw one of the ugliest interceptions of the year. But there were some positive takeaways, too. Iowa accounted for five passing plays that went for more than 20 yards — a season high. If not for that peek into the potential of Iowa’s downfield passing game, this grade would be even lower.

Defense — B-

Iowa giving up 14 points to a team like Colorado State would’ve been quite the bold prediction heading into the game.

The Hawkeyes were getting picked apart by short passes against the Rams, and had an inability to get off the field on third down — especially in the first half. Still, the defense registered three sacks, forced a turnover, and held Colorado State scoreless in the second half. Also, Jack Campbell and his 18 tackles are making me feel pretty good about my preseason admiration for him.

Special teams — B

Not even Tory Taylor is perfect.

The standout sophomore punter averaged 43.5 yards per punt against the Rams, but a shanked 22-yard punt set up Colorado State for its first touchdown of the day. Otherwise, kicker Caleb Shudak hit a clutch 45-yard field goal with wind swirling around him in the second half. It put Iowa up two scores late in the game. Oh, and Charlie Jones is still good at the whole returning punts and kicks thing. He averaged 17 yards per punt return against the Rams.

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