Things we learned Saturday
Things we learned from Iowa’s 34-27 loss to Arizona on Saturday night:
– Iowa is not going to win the national championship. Most of us suspected this wasn’t going to happen anyway. With an early-season loss such as this one, it’s now a veritable impossibility.
– Iowa’s offensive line is not quite as far along in its development as we thought. Even left tackle Riley Reiff, expected to be the Hawks’ best lineman, got burned a few times. And when the game was on the line in the final minutes, Arizona defenders flooded into the backfield like water through a spaghetti strainer. Give the Wildcats credit for doing some different things in that sequence – like bringing star defensive ends Rickey Elmore and Brooks Reed up the middle instead of off the edge – but a good offensive line handles it better than Iowa’s did.
– Ricky Stanzi may be a bit gun-shy. After throwing so many interceptions last season, he may now be too worried about throwing the ball up for grabs. A couple of times Saturday he took sacks in situations where he would have let the ball fly in the past. You can’t take a sack on fourth-and-25 with two minutes to go in the game.
– Iowa’s kick coverage still needs work. Arizona’s Travis Cobb may not have been touched on his 100-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads marveled the week before that Iowa used so few of its defensive starters on special teams. Maybe it’s time to start.
– The talk about Mike Daniels being Iowa’s “fifth starter’’ in the defensive line is more than just talk. While Adrian Clayborn and Karl Klug were relatively invisible (again), Daniels was a disruptive influence most of the night.