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The Box Score: Final Iowa football statistics

BY JACOB SHEYKO | DECEMBER 02, 2014 5:00 AM

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Carl Davis said that this team is much better than the record shows. Others said Iowa earned every result this season.

Quarterback Jake Rudock said it didn’t matter what anybody thought, that Iowa is a 7-5 team, and its record speaks for itself.

And the numbers back up the claim that Iowa was, in fact, a middle-of-the-pack football team in 2014.

Rushing yards per attempt — 3.92 (10th in the Big Ten)

Iowa is viewed as a program that prides itself on being able to run the ball. That was not the case this season — at least not consistently.

Flashes of dominance occurred, of course. The Hawkeyes ran for more than 200 yards against Indiana and Northwestern and eclipsed 300 rushing yards against Illinois.

But excluding those three games, Iowa rushed for 1,144 yards in the other nine games — an average of 127.1 yards per game and 3.43 yards per carry.

Even more, just twice this year did an Iowa running back run for more than 100 yards in a game — Mark Weisman against Illinois and Akrum Wadley against Northwestern.

Turnovers created — 15 (13th in the Big Ten)

While Iowa’s defense struggled at times when teams rushed to the edge, the unit was, generally speaking, pretty strong this season.

When it mattered most, the Hawkeye defense proved it could be among the Big Ten’s best. Of Iowa’s opponent’s 32 trips to the red-zone, the Hawkeyes allowed a touchdown on only half of those trips, a rate that is second best in the league.

However, something Iowa didn’t do a great job of was creating turnovers. Over the course of the regular season, Iowa created just 15 turnovers — three fumble recoveries and 12 interceptions. That number is second worst in the Big Ten.

Before John Lowdermilk’s pick-6 against Nebraska, Iowa hadn’t picked a ball off since the Maryland game, on Oct. 18.

Iowa’s defense held its own against some good teams. But with all the close games the Hawkeyes were in — four of their five losses were by one possession — a turnover could’ve altered some of those outcomes.

Passing yards per game — Jake Rudock, 218.5 per game (4th in the Big Ten)

Besides head coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Greg Davis, Rudock was perhaps the most-criticized member of the 2014 Iowa football team.

But statistically speaking, he’s among the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten.

Here’s a quick rundown of his stats: completion percentage, 62.6 (second in the Big Ten); total yards, 2,404 (fifth in the Big Ten, and he missed a game); interceptions, five (least among quarterbacks who played more than 10 games).

This doesn’t mean Rudock is a great quarterback. The knock on him is that he checks down too much, but even that aspect improved as the season progressed — his 7.1 yards per attempt ranks sixth in the Big Ten.

For all the criticism, there’s been an obvious improvement from Rudock’s sophomore season to his junior year. He’s thrown fewer interceptions, completed passes at a higher clip, and thrown for more yards.

There were even moments of brilliance, like the second half against Wisconsin and the first half against Northwestern, and even the fourth quarter against Ball State comes to mind.

Assuming he gets the nod as starting quarterback next year as well. It’s safe to assume he’ll improve again.


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