#44 LB James Morris*
-Lining up as middle linebacker, rarely comes off the field – walks out on slot at times.
-Can’t get off block at the second level, controlled by LT.
-Saw the pass, but hesitated as he broke on the ball.
-Good angle to the ball, recovered from false step on play fake.
-Tackled the RB very high, nearly called for penalty.
-Spying Jantz at times, reacts well to the QB’s eyes.
-Caught inside on QB run, can’t change direction in time.
-Sheds block from pulling guard, powers through the ball carrier.
-Flows to the ball, able to stop the QB in his tracks and force fourth down.
-Tracks the ball on zone read, comes up and puts a hit on the QB.
-Whiffs on open field tackle, didn’t break down and was left reaching.
-Catches up to RB on swing pass, beat by hesitation move.
-Shrugs off fullback’s block, takes down QB in the backfield.
-Great close and tackle in man coverage, kept the RB a yard short of the sticks.
-Great angle, closes on swing pass and makes a big tackle – forces fumble but called incomplete.
-Shoots the B-gap, jumps on loose ball for a fumble recovery.
-Perfect fill, reads the play, takes on the block, sheds and tackles.
Overview: Morris was the best defender on the field for the Hawkeyes, making a couple of impact plays that kept Iowa in the game. He looked back to his normal self – playing at full speed. I doubt he’ll declare for the 2013 NFL Draft, but he should be a top guy to watch for the 2014 NFL Draft. He has a little bit of Chad Greenway and Pat Angerer in him.
#18 CB Micah Hyde
-Lining up as outside corner, both field and boundary – also returning punts.
-Contains the run, wraps up on the tackle.
-Fights off block, able to hang on for the tackle, nearly slipped off running back.
-Another good fill in run support, knocks ball out on sideline – recovered by Iowa.
-Man off, can’t recover from cushion on dig route, comes up and makes solid tackle.
-In phase on “9” route, showing decent speed down the field.
Overview: Hyde wasn’t tested a lot in coverage, but was able to show his tackling acumen as well as his decent long speed. I’d really like to see what Hyde can do outside of the standard Iowa system – he might be a free safety in the NFL.
#53 OC James Ferentz
-Lining up as center, snapping well in shotgun.
-Pulls outside, gets to the second level very quickly and blocks the linebacker – feisty player.
-Gets position on the defensive tackle, good angle and gets under his pads.
-Nice combo block, made a big hole and then sealed off the linebacker.
-Gets a little high on the stretch, bowled over.
-Takes McDonough down on double team, saw him off balance and gave him a punch.
-Absolutely will not quit on a play.
-Misses linebacker on the second level, out-quicked.
-Pushed back into the backfield by DT on goal line.
-Steps on his quarterbacks foot, causes stumble.
Overview: Ferentz was overpowered at times by the bigger Iowa State defensive tackles, his size is certainly an issue despite good technique. That said, he is so smart on the field, such a competitor and just doesn’t quit – I’d want him on my team.
#6 WR Keenan Davis
-Lining up as an outside receiver.
-Crisp out route, hands catch, and turns up field for an extra yard on the sideline.
-Nice post route, a little bobble, but runs out of an arm tackle for big gain.
-High points the ball, but not strong enough to hold on – ball knocked out by CB.
-Nice out route, nearly stays inbounds and scores the winning touchdown – out by an inch.
-Tight split, good catch on post route, breaks two tackles and nearly takes it to the house.
Overview: Davis was the only receiver in this game for the Hawkeyes that was able to get open at all. His routes looked improved from last year, but I still want to see him consistently catch the ball. He has a lot of upside, but still needs some polish.
#16 QB James Vandenberg
-Very intelligent kid off the field – leadership group.
-Spends a lot of time under center, also uses shotgun sets.
-Three step drop, delivers accurate out route off back foot.
-Rolls to his right, late throw, nearly picked off.
-Hits Davis in stride on post, maybe a bit above average arm speed.
-Ball is coming out late, receivers are open, but the defense has time to react.
-Overthrows WR, sails it over his head after play fake.
-Beautiful play action, his WR in the chest on comeback route – good velocity.
-Great throw over the top, nice touch, WR can’t hold on.
-Horrible decision, throws lob into double coverage under pressure, intercepted.
-Three tipped passes in the second half.
-Misses WR by a foot on deep route – kept his eyes down the field under pressure.
-Rolls right, hits the TE in stride for a big gain.
-Play action, hits Fiedorowicz down the seam – nice touch.
-Shows some toughness, dives forward to try and get first down.
-Under pressure, has to throw the ball away.
-Three straight balls dropped, all accurate throws.
-Spins out of pocket, escapes pressure and runs to the sideline in 2-minute drill.
-Clutch 4th down conversion, hits Davis on post in stride.
-Great touch to the sideline wheel route.
-Tries to fit ball to TE in between LB and SS, tipped and intercepted.
Overview: Vandenberg certainly wasn’t helped out by his receivers in this game and it isn’t his fault that he lacks weapons to distribute the ball to. That said, he doesn’t see the field very well under pressure, which former Hawkeye QB Ricky Stanzi is struggling with as well. His ceiling might be as a 2nd-string QB at the next level, while 3rd-string is probably more accurate. On another note, tight end CJ Fiedorowicz is the real deal – he could be a top 100 pick this year or next.