What happened and what mattered in the Iowa 23-0 win over Maryland?
Iowa 23, Maryland 0
I was asked on a radio hit if the brutally windy conditions were going to screw up Iowa. My first thought was that it was going to kill Maryland. The Terps have no passing game, and now they were really not going to have one. Iowa could at least come up with a throw or two, and Maryland couldn’t.
In the wind, Maryland only hit 6-of-15 passes for 47 yards and a pick. The Iowa defense managed to load up and stuff everything the Terps wanted to do. The Hawkeyes dared Maryland to win through the air, allowed just 68 rushing yards, and that was it – total domination.
Blow off Nate Stanley’s statistics. Again, it was really, really windy. He was still able to at least hit 11-of-22 passes for 86 yards and a score with a pick, and he relied on the O line to take over. It blasted away for 224 yards, the ground game was great, and the D took care of everything else.
Maryland got huge games out of Tre Watson and Isaiah Davis – they combined for 29 tackles – but the Iowa defensive front dominated throughout. Between the third down conversions from the O, and the big stops from the D, Iowa managed the conditions. And now …
Can Iowa really win the West? The Hawkeyes need Wisconsin to lose at least once, maybe twice, and they need to win out. Now comes the test to see just how good this team is. Beat Penn State on the road, survive the Purdue passing game, and watch out. With the way the lines are playing, they can beat everyone else on the slate.
This was a horrible matchup for Maryland in bad conditions. They can bounce back quickly and beat Illinois, and then it’ll take a push to get one more win to go bowling with Michigan State, at Indiana, Ohio State and at Penn State to close. If there’s still no passing game over the finishing kick, getting two more wins will hardly be a breeze.