The Box Score: Inside Iowa football stats, Week 2


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It’s been a backward world for Iowa football fans so far this season. They entered the season expecting a high-octane offense and a defense with plenty of question marks.

Instead, the Hawkeye defense has played well, and the offense has scored only one touchdown.

The offense is near the bottom of the nation in nearly every major category, while the defense is in or near the top 25. Here’s some of this week’s important stats:

Total offensive yards per game: 286
This comes in at 112th out of 120 nationally and dead last in the Big Ten. To put that number in perspective, in head coach Kirk Ferentz’s worst year — the Hawkeyes went 1-10 in 1999 — his team’s offense wasn’t that abysmal.

Passer rating: 90.25
Senior quarterback James Vandenberg was a preseason All-Big Ten selection by many pundits this summer. He has not lived up to that hype so far. Vandenberg’s passer rating — which takes yards, completions, touchdowns, interceptions, and attempts into account to measure a quarterback’s overall efficiency — ranks 116th nationally and last in the conference.

No Iowa starting quarterback under Ferentz has posted an efficiency rating below 109.5.

Field goals made: 6
Kicker Mike Meyer has been solid this season, earning a Big Ten special teams coplayer of the week award in week 1. The Iowa native also made both of his kicks in Week 2. It’s good that Iowa has a kicker it can rely on, but bad that the Hawkeyes have to do it so often.

Yards allowed per game: 271.5
The Hawkeyes weren’t predicted to have a stellar defense. They’re breaking in seven new starters, including four new defensive linemen. But the Black and Gold have locked down their opponents thus far, save for one 73-yard touchdown run by Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch in the season-opener.

Phil Parker’s defense is currently 20th in the nation and third in the Big Ten in this category. That mark is better than what either of the famous 2008 or 2009 defenses posted. Iowa hasn’t faced any scary offensive attacks, but it has been encouraging to see the defense tighten up in the second half of both games. And the team’s linebackers have been excellent. Anthony Hitchens leads the Big Ten and is second in the nation with 27 tackles, while James Morris has 20 of his own.

Tackles for loss: 16
The defensive line was considered by many the biggest question mark coming into the season. It has emphatically answered that through two games. The team’s tackle-for-loss mark ranks 26th in the nation, second in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes have gotten big-time performances from a few different linemen. Senior defensive tackle Joe Gaglione has led the way with 4 tackles for loss — tying him for second in the Big Ten.

In today's issue:

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