By Courtney Baumann
Iowa’s game against North Texas may have been weird and ugly, but when it comes down to it, the Hawkeyes put up a necessary number — another tally in the win column after putting the Mean Green away, 31-16.
Now 3-0 heading into conference play, Iowa has shown some bright spots — as well as some not-so-bright spots — over the past few weeks.
The game against the Mean Green allowed Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley to continue to put up solid numbers in his first year as the starter. It also allowed some new faces, such as Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin, to show what they can do on the big stage.
Here’s a look at how Iowa stacked up against North Texas Sept. 16.
Iowa touchdowns: 4
Stanley kept his touchdown total rolling in Kinnick when he threw 2 passes to the end zone last weekend. His season-total of 10 puts him atop the Big Ten in the category and tied for No. 5 in the NCAA.
His 2 on Sept. 16 found the hands of Noah Fant — his third of the season — and T.J. Hockenson, whose 6 points were the first of his career.
Hockenson, a freshman, more than doubled his career receptions in the North Texas game after seeing his first time on the field the week before at Iowa State.
Another freshman, Ivory Kelly-Martin, also had himself a day by adding 2 touchdowns of his own.
Kelly-Martin, who stepped in and touched the ball for the first time as a Hawkeye after both Akrum Wadley and James Butler left the game with injuries, rushed for 74 yards on 11 attempts and scored both times in the fourth quarter to add some extra padding to the Iowa win.
Iowa time of possession: 40:45
The time of possession makes the game seem a whole lot more unbalanced than it actually was.
Iowa, which more than doubled the amount of time that North Texas had the ball, did not double the Mean Green in points, first downs, or total yards.
On their first drive of the game, the Hawkeyes ate up almost seven minutes of the clock but were unable to make anything of the drive after a Nick Easley fumble in the end zone.
Iowa possessed the ball for 3:59 or longer four other times throughout the game, including two touchdown drives that were 6:52 and 8:40.
Other than the first drive, Iowa made the most of all the times it had the ball for an extended period of time. Of the Hawkeyes’ 31 points, 28 of them came on the four drives that lasted almost four or more minutes.
Fourth-down efficiency: 4-5
Iowa’s offense has now gone for it on fourth down seven times this season and has kept the ball on six of those attempts.
Against North Texas, the Hawkeyes converted a fourth and 5, and fourth and 3, and two fourth and 1s, while failing just once, going for it on fourth and 4.
All five were within 34 yards of the North Texas end zone, and two were in the red zone.
The team’s success on fourth downs has put them at No. 15 in the NCAA and No. 4 in the Big Ten for the Hawkeyes’ 85.7 percent efficiency. Only 20 other teams in the FBS have attempted as many or more fourth down conversions as Iowa.