By Craig Fields
The North Texas Mean Green were beaten soundly by the Iowa Hawkeyes 62-16. The game came easy to the Hawkeyes while everything the Mean Green tried to do was made difficult by the Hawkeyes in this week’s: Three Things to Take Away From…
1. First and Foremost… The play of the Hawkeyes Quarterback
C.J. Beathard has really emerged this season as a leader and playmaker this season. He has not made many mistakes in any game he has played in up to this point. Perhaps that is why the Hawkeyes are sitting at 4-0 and on top of their division in the Big 10 West.
He was dang near perfect in this one as well completing 18/21 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns. His timing with his receivers was excellent and he managed to find eight different receivers throughout the game proving that he was moving the ball around and simply finding the open player.
Even though he is a capable runner and playmaker with his legs, he only managed one carry for nine yards. But, he did not have to run much because the ground game was productive enough with the work put in from the backs coming out of the backfield. Which leads me to my second point…
2. The Hawkeyes Ground Game was Dominant
Jordan Canzeri rushed 22 times for 115-yards and not one, not two, not three, BUT FOUR touchdowns. That’s right. The senior rushed for four tds and at times looked like a man possessed.
Running through the arm tackles and dominating the red zone is what Canzeri and the Hawkeyes offensive line did to the undersized and poor tackling defense of the Mean Green. The team managed 210-yards on the ground and managed to win the time of possession battle because of it.
The Hawkeyes did have two fumbles on the day, so if there is anything negative that could be taken away from this game is that they can be accused of being a little loose with the ball at times. But hey, the Mean Green had three turnovers so I guess even that can be spun into a positive for the Hawkeyes.
3. Lastly… The Play of the Mean Green Quarterbacks
The big elephant… No. The HUGE elephant in the room is what is head coach Dan McCarney and his coaching staff going to do about the inconsistent and poor play at the quarterback position. In the immortal tune of that famous Christmas song, “It’s beginning to look a lot like last year, everywhere you go.”
Andrew McNulty had a pretty poor game statistically completing 14-36 passes for 137-yards and one interception. That interception did not really come at a pivotal point of the game because by that point the game was pretty much over, but it was a pick six, one of two that the Hawkeyes actually got in the game. The other one came from Josh Greer.
Both interceptions were thrown right to the defender. Coach McCarney has never been called a quarterback whisperer, but he needs to find a way to get through to his signal callers. I am beginning to wonder if it may not be time for a change of the guard and insert DaMarcus Smith into the starting lineup.
There is no way to know if that will fix the offensive issue that this team has, but there is something to be said about giving a team hope. And sending out a fifth year senior in McNulty to do the same thing game after the game does not really lend itself to hope. No matter how much the head coach says that the team is behind him. I’m just saying…