Iowa Football Position Grades: South Dakota State

I think this is my third year doing position ratings. I am often asked about how to rate the coaching staff. If people would like to see this, I’d be happy to do so. For now, let’s go with the following letter grades that may carry over from week to week.

kirk ferentz: B/C (I’m a huge fan of KF; his loyalty to his son has damaged his show)

brian ferentz: C to F (I think BF has run some great games: USC Holiday Bowl, Ohio State Woodshed, Kentucky Citrus Bowl.) For the most part, it seems like our offensive line has struggled, our QBs aren’t good and our receivers aren’t wide open like any other college football game you turn to. This, of course, is anecdotal, but I know many Hawkeye fans share this pain.

Philip Parker: A (drop this to D vs Purdue)

levar woods: A

Now let’s go to the game. I wrote that this game had the feel of the 2016 game against UNI where No. 22 Iowa had to block two field goals to preserve a 17-16 victory, and the 2016 game where No. 13 Iowa lost to Iowa State. North Dakota 23-21. My prediction of a 21-20 Iowa win showed how close the game was, but what the hell was I thinking about us scoring 21 points?!?!?


For starters, I was somewhat optimistic about Iowa’s offense heading into this season. Iowa’s offense is worse than he thought. It was painful to watch (perhaps the only benefit of watching it on my phone?).

Quarterback: D

Ok, first of all, this is an inexact science. Like, big time. I watched the game on my phone while my wife was driving to my son’s first college football game. His squad, Macalester, beat Minnesota Morris 45-24. Minnesota Morris has the same silly fight song as the Boat Rowers while replacing the word Gophers with Cougars. Bored. Watching the game I felt like spencer petrasThe grade would be an F. It was bad. I did about 45 seconds of “research” and went through some of my other articles. In the Hawks’ 2021 27-17 win against Iowa State, Petras was 11/21 for 106 yards. He threw no interceptions and had 1 touchdown. I gave Spencer a C+ for that particular game. He had written that I overestimate team wins when rating quarterbacks. That may need to be rethought. Still, against SDSU, Petras was 11/25 for 109 yards with one interception and no touchdowns. Petras made some good shots, but honestly I’m surprised every time we complete a forward pass. I grew up watching Chuck Long; he was surprising when he didn’t complete a pass. The bar has been lowered to ground level. Our OL didn’t do Spencer any favors.

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See above on OL. Iowa was missing Gavin Williams in the running game. leshon williams he ran hard but his day consisted of 24/72 (3.0). He also screwed up once. Williams caught two balls for 23 yards. kaleb johnson he’s gotten some rave reviews based on his ability in camp, but he “ran” three times for zero yards. He performed admirably just not to lose any yards. He was happy to see that Brian Ferentz didn’t drop out of the race even though it wasn’t working out. We don’t want to get into a throwing match with teams.

WR: C-

Not much going on here for the weary corps of Iowa WRs. Bruce Arland IV he was a guy with 5 catches for 68 yards. He also rushed once for 11 yards (more of this, please). alec wick was attacked once. He made a dive attempt but the ball was thrown to the ground.

TE: C-

This was another difficult grade. based on numbers, Sam La Porta (2 for 9 yards) and Lucas Lachey (1 for 6 yards), he struggled. They were targeted 9 times with only 3 balls being completed. Normally LaPorta is Petras’s security blanket. When he can’t hit it… yikes.


Captain Obvious, but how good it was Tyler Linderbaum? Damn, I’m going to miss watching him play football Hawkeye. Iowa often does a good job of developing an offensive line, but it takes time. Right now due to injuries, etc… this unit fought with a capital FIGHT. Iowa’s running game averaged 1.6 yards per rush. That’s as bad as you’ll see. Spencer Petras was fired twice. He miraculously avoided another sack; he is not the most mobile of call signs. This group will get better, but they have about five days to make significant gains or our streak against Iowa State will come to an end.

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Iowa’s defense was excellent. Logan Lee it was a standout. He had six tackles with 1.5 sacks. joe evans (4 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 safety) was a playmaker and noah-shannon He played excellent football getting 2 TFLs and 2 QBHs (rushing quarterbacks). Iowa will need more stats from John Waggoner and Lukas Van Ness.

State of South Dakota v. Iowa

SECURITY, Dance of Security.
Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images


jack campbell he’s good at soccer. He had 12 tackles (1.5 TFL), 1 QBH and a safety. Jestin Jacobs had 5 tackles with a pass breakup. He left the game a bit beat up. Seth Benson had four tackles and 2 QBHs.

DB/Cash: B

Kaevon Merriweather, Terry Roberts (it was excellent), riley moss, jean cooperY Quinn Schulte he played a solid game in the backcourt for Iowa. Schulte had four pass breakups. It was important that his goal review not force him to miss the first half of next week’s contest. This group had no food to go. Let’s hope the Iowa State quarterbacks indulge this unit with some footballs next week.

Special Teams: A-

This unit wasn’t perfect, but Tory Taylor was close. Taylor punted 10 times for 479 yards (47.9). He had a long 57 with seven down balls inside the 20-yard line. Cooper DeJean looked more like a punt returner catching Taylor’s high punts than any dumb rabbit. Aaron Blom missed a 40-yard field goal and made a 46-yard field goal. It was good that he was able to bounce back from his mistake. Arland Bruce was consistent in returning punts.


Things are never as good or as bad as they seem. South Dakota State is an excellent FCS team. They can go toe-to-toe with most people not named Alabama or Georgia. Iowa returns some talent. Until our passing game (schemes and QB play) can make defenses pay, I’m afraid our backs will see massive fronts deployed to stop the run.

It’s Iowa State Week. Turn the page and get better, Hawkeyes! As always, Come on Hawks!

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