A loss at the Citrus Bowl was a tough end to the season for the Hawkeyes 10-4.
ORLANDO, Florida – Daily Iowan Pre-game editor Robert Read assessed the performance of the Iowa football team in all three phases after the Hawkeyes’ 20-17 loss to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl.
Offense – C-
It all comes down to turnarounds. “That”, in this case, turned out to win or lose the Citrus Bowl. Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras threw three interceptions and the offense Hawkeye knocked the ball back on another occasion. These things overshadow an offensive performance that I thought was promising.
The two real backers (Gavin Williams and Leshon Williams) were productive for an Iowa team that totaled 173 rushing yards. And the on-screen passing game looked as good as it had been all season, especially on a 36-yard touchdown to tight end Sam LaPorta. The offense was effective in the second half, even without Tyler Goodson and Keagan Johnson.
It all boiled down to turnarounds.
Defense – B +
So the Iowa pass rush waited to face an offensive line that was a finalist for the Joe Moore Award to Dominate? I suppose. The Hawkeyes had six sacks and nine tackles for a loss to the Wildcats. In high school, Jermari Harris played his best game of the season and had a late assist.
What cost the Hawkeyes defensively were two long touchdowns they gave the Wildcats: one to start the game and one to end it.
Special teams – B
Nothing so noticeable in the Iowa special teams unit on Saturday. Caleb Shudak tried his luck. Tory Taylor averaged 50 yards per punt (although pinning Kentucky a little deeper on his winning drive might have helped). If anything, maybe I’m reducing that rating a bit absurdly because Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz shouldn’t have punted on the game fourth and 1. at the end of the match.