Big Ten Football Preview Keys To Every Team: Offense

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Football Preview Keys To Every Team: Offense

Big Ten

Big Ten Football Preview Keys To Every Team: Offense


Biggest Key To The Iowa Hawkeyes Offense

Start making more of the birdie putts instead of settling for pars.

The biggest key early on will be to crank up more downfield plays with the passing game. That will come in time – Spencer Petras has a serious arm, and this is the best Iowa receiving corps in a long, long time. Overall, though, it’s time to get more touchdowns when venturing into the red zone.

Helped by the kicking of Keith Duncan, the Hawkeyes were amazing when they got inside the 20, finishing fourth in the nation in red zone conversions hitting 40-of-42. The only problem was that 15 of the 40 were field goals, and 15 of the touchdowns came in three games.

However, when the team came up with the touchdowns, the O had its three biggest point total games of the year in easy wins over Miami University, Middle Tennessee and USC.

There was one trip inside the 20 in the 10-3 loss to Michigan – the team came away with a field goal. There were two trips against Penn State – both were field goals in the 17-12 loss.

The Nebraska game was the only other game without a touchdown from inside the 20, and that turned into a fight until the finish.

Over the last five years, Iowa is 23-1 when it scores three or more touchdowns when getting into the red zone.

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Biggest Key To The Maryland Terrapins Offense

Score whenever there’s a chance. Moving the chains is Job One after converting just 32% of the time on third downs. The offense simply has to move more, control the clock better, and just get into range to be able to score.

And then the Terps have to put up points when they get there. The kicking game was a disaster – hitting just two of five field goals on the year – and the offense was nightmare in the red zone.

Maryland scored a pathetic 66% of the time inside the 20, and even worse it only got there 15 times over the final nine games. By comparison, Ohio State got into the red zone 12 times in the 73-14 win.

NEXT: Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans

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