After what was without a doubt the worst Iowa loss i had ever witnessed, Iowa came out against Minnesota like they had something to prove. And whatever that was, they proved it. Having previously watched Iowa lose to a lowly Central Michigan Chippewa team that did what they wanted offensively, the Iowa defense showed up to play yesterday. For the first time since the first game of the season, Iowa’s opposition punted on their first drive. Iowa actually held Minnesota scoreless for the better part of two and a half quarters. All in all, a step in the right direction for Iowa football.
Iowa sure left lots of questions after last week. People called for the firing of head coach, Kirk Ferentz. People called for the benching of QB James Vandeberg. On a more positive note, people also called for converted fullback Mark Weismann for Heisman. According to defensive lineman Louis Trinca-Pasat, the team simply had more fun in preparation for Minnesota. Whatever it as, it worked this weekend, and it was a much needed relief for Iowa fans who went through so much pain last week. Iowa, especially in the first half, showed signs of being able to compete with and outplay Big Ten opposition. Now the issue is consistantly getting that output, which is sure no given.
Look no further than the second half of the Minnesota game. While it should be noted that offensively the focus was more on clock management, the Hawkeyes came out flat in the third quarter. James Vandenberg and his recievers were nowhere near on the same page, and the coaching staff went away from the running game that was so successful in the first half. It was a tale of two halves, with the second half resembling the collapses and futility of an Iowa squad that still are looking to find themselves going into their bye week. Sometimes it is a tale of good, bad and ugly, but thankfully Iowa decided to show us much more good than they had in previous weeks. This is where the real test begins, however. Iowa’s next opponent is Michigan State, and is the first true road game for Iowa. I really look forward to some good preparation in the next two weeks, and hopefully an Iowa performance that is closer to their potential.