By Courtney Baumann
The Iowa football team is coming off its bye week, which arrived at the perfect time. The week of rest gave the team time to recuperate from nagging injuries and gave workhorses such as Akrum Wadley and Josey Jewell some time off.
Iowa, now 4-2, will head into a tough portion of its schedule. The Hawkeyes will face Northwestern, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin during the next four weeks.
However, Iowa will begin the second half of its season coming off a strong 45-16 routing of Illinois.
Over Iowa’s first six games, there were ups and downs. Here’s a look at Iowa’s first half of the season, by the numbers.
Akrum Wadley rushing yards: 483
The senior running back started the season with a goal in mind: 1,400 yards. That seems a little out of reach now, six games in.
Wadley was on pace to do so during the first two games, posting 116 and 118 yards. During the North Texas game, though, Wadley missed time with an injury and only put up 24 yards. The two games after that, he added only 110 yards to his season total.
The lack of success Wadley had against Penn State and Michigan State directly translated into the overall performance of the running game. Iowa rushed for just 101 yards over those two games, both of which were close losses.
On the other hand, when Wadley has had success rushing, the Hawkeyes have had better games resulting in wins.
Nate Stanley quarterback rating: 149.1
Not even Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was sure at the beginning of the season how Nate Stanley would perform.
The true sophomore had limited game experience and was in a long-fought battle for the starting position with Tyler Wiegers.
Stanley has been a pleasant surprise for the team and for Iowa fans.
Iowa’s starting quarterback has thrown 15 touchdowns, ranking him No. 2 in the Big Ten. This is opposed to just 2 interceptions, which is also good to tie him for second-best among Big Ten starting quarterbacks.
Though Stanley is at the top in both of those categories, he is right in the middle when it comes to passing yards. The Menomonie, Wisconsin, native has thrown for 1,210 yards, putting him at just over 200 passing yards a game.
Combined punter average: 39.5 yards
The Hawkeyes have had their troubles in this part of the game.
Colten Rastetter, a redshirt sophomore, has taken a majority of the punting duties. It hasn’t been all that pretty, though. On 25 punts, Rastetter is averaging just 39.7 yards per kick — he’s had trouble pinning opposing teams back deep in their territory, and they often come out of it with good field position.
In the Illinois game, true freshman Ryan Gersonde made his début, but it wasn’t much better for him.
Gersonde put together three punts for 113 yards, adding to Iowa’s punting woes.
The Big Ten’s top punter, Ryan Anderson of Rutgers, averages 44.5 yards a punt. Rastetter is all the way down at No. 13 in the conference when it comes to average.