Season Report Card: Iowa Hawkeyes
None of the team’s five losses were anything to scoff at; Iowa lost to Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and LSU—all ranked inside the AP Top 25 at different points throughout the season—by an average of 10.2 points per game.
Not great, but it was an improvement from winning just two conference games in 2012. That said, here is Iowa’s final report card for the 2013 season:
Considering Iowa had one of the least-efficient offenses in the nation during the all-too-frustrating 2012 campaign, this product was a major upgrade in many ways. Second-year offensive coordinator was finally able to get some production from the passing game, developing inexperienced sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock into a capable game manager that did a good enough job moving the chains. It helped that he had a decent backfield behind him, but would have benefited from a few more big plays from his playmakers.
Ranked 7th nationally in total defense, 11th in both points allowed and pass yards allowed, and 17th in rush yards allowed, Iowa tied with BCS title-winner Florida State in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (5) and fewest plays of 20 yards or longer allowed (30). Like usual, the defense was the anchor to the team’s success and was the main reason for the quick turnaround. Led by senior linebackers James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens, the front seven was one of the best in the country.
Ferentz’s seat was beginning to get a little warm heading into September. Being one of college football’s top-paid coaches with a 108-79 record, it’ll still sizzle here and there, but eight wins and a competitive bowl loss against a premier SEC opponent will hold the riots in Iowa City for now.
Jumping from four wins to eight in the matter of a year is always good, but there were still a lot of deficiencies in 2013—especially on the offensive side of things. Give Rudock a full offseason as the starting quarterback and things should only get better from here.
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