By Adam Hensley
Iowa thoroughly controlled the time of possession against Iowa State on Sept. 9 in Ames.
The Hawkeyes held the ball for 37:07 — almost 15 minutes more than the Cyclones (22:53) — using three drives surpassing 90 yards and taking at least five minutes.
The first came in the second quarter (a 10-play, 91-yard drive that took up 5:10). The next two came in the third and fourth quarters, both 11-play drives (the first going for 94 yards in 5:05 and the second going 92-yards in 5:22).
A balanced offensive attack fueled Iowa’s big drives. The Hawkeyes notched 29 first downs — 16 coming through the air and 12 on the ground.
Iowa State benefited from quick scoring drives. Four of the Cyclones’ touchdowns came on drives that lasted fewer than 2:45.
The quickest drive, a two-play, 35-second scoring strike, came in the fourth quarter.
Nine different receivers
In Iowa’s opener against Wyoming, quarterback Nate Stanley completed 8 passes to only three receivers.
In the win against Iowa State, Stanley tripled those numbers.
The sophomore connected on passes to nine receivers, spreading the ball out on various routes and keeping the Cyclone defense guessing.
Stanley distributed the ball to his wide receivers (14 catches), tight ends (6), running backs (5), and fullbacks (1).
He also found four separate targets on his 5 touchdown passes (two scores to Ihmir Smith-Marsette, one each to Nick Easley, Akrum Wadley, and Matt VandeBerg).
Stanley missed a few deep throws, but he had no issues finding teammates running crossing and comeback routes in the secondary.
260 all-purpose yards from Wadley
Wadley had himself a day against Iowa State.
The senior tailback churned out 260 all-purpose yards; the next closest player on either team was Iowa State’s David Montgomery, who totaled 165 yards.
Wadley’s damage came in the running (118 yards), receiving (72 yards), and returning game (70 yards).
His biggest play of the game came late in the fourth quarter when Iowa faced a 7-point deficit.
Stanley found Wadley on a crossing route a few yards past the line of scrimmage, and he scampered 46 yards for a score, sending the game to overtime.
Aside from Wadley, no Hawkeye compiled more than 63 all-purpose yards. Butler (63 yards), Easley (48 yards), and Smith-Marsette (43) rounded out Iowa’s top four performances.
Wadley also carried the ball 28 times on Sept. 9, the most carries in his Hawkeye career.
Different year, different scoring
Through two games last season, Iowa put up wins against Miami (Ohio) and Iowa State. The Hawkeyes’ scoring mainly came on the ground (8 touchdowns), but quarterback C.J. Beathard passed for 4.
Just as last year’s team, the 2017 Hawkeyes have two wins, but that’s when the similarities stop.
Brian Ferentz, now the offensive coordinator, has taken a different approach in scoring situations.
Through two games, the Hawkeyes have scored one touchdown via the run — a goal-line leap by Wadley against Iowa State.
Stanley tossed 8 touchdown passes (3 against Wyoming, 5 against Iowa State) in his first two contests as a starter, doubling the totals through two games last season.