Grading the Iowa football team’s 27-22 win over Minnesota

Well, that game was weird.


Ayrton Breckenridge

The Iowa defense celebrates after a big play during a football game between No. 19 Iowa and Minnesota at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated Gophers 27-22.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Daily Iowan Pregame Editor Robert Read graded the Iowa football team’s performance in all three phases after the Hawkeyes’ 27-22 win over Minnesota.

Offense — B-

Iowa only gained 277 yards, but its offense looked as good as it has in over a month.

Quarterback Alex Padilla accounted for three touchdowns in his first start. Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz called plenty of plays that moved Padilla out of the pocket, while also allowing him to take shots down the field. Padilla isn’t afraid to sling it, which was apparent on his 72-yard touchdown to wide receiver Charlie Jones. Freshman wide receiver Keagan Johnson made the play of the day on a 27-yard touchdown that saw him break multiple tackles.

Defense — B-

Minnesota had the ball for 40 minutes of game time and ran for 189 yards, plus allowed scoring passes of 37 and 68 yards, but Iowa’s defense made plays when it had to. Defensive ends Zach VanValkenburg and Joe Evans both had timely sacks late in the game to preserve Iowa’s lead.

Linebacker Jack Campbell didn’t let any fatigue prevent him from being effective. Campbell recorded 17 tackles against the Gophers.

Special teams — A

Logan Lee’s blocked field goal to start the fourth quarter, which prevented Minnesota from taking the lead, was one of the most pivotal plays from Iowa’s victory.

All around, it was a pretty solid day from LeVar Woods’ special teams unit. Tory Taylor had a couple below-average punts, but overall averaged 45.6 yards per punt and downed two inside the Minnesota 20-yard line. Charlie Jones was quiet in the kick return game. His longest return was only 25 yards. Kicker Caleb Shudak nailed both his field goals on the day, including one from 50 yards out.

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