Friday, 14th June 2024

Iowa vs. Ohio State: Grades

Posted on 21. Nov, 2010 by in Iowa Football


By Brendan Stiles

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes fell to the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium, 20-17. Iowa dropped to 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten, while Ohio State moved to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play.

Below are the grades I would give each group of players after Saturday’s game:

Quarterbacks — B

Once again, I feel like Ricky Stanzi played better than he’ll give himself credit for, completing 20-of-31 passes, including 17 of his first 21 throws. He threw one touchdown pass of 19 yards to Marvin McNutt in the first quarter. He didn’t throw any interceptions. That’s the good. The bad, and I base this off his standards, is that he wasn’t able to lead the Hawkeyes down the field for a game-winning score.

Running Backs — B

If I only grading Marcus Coker, I would give him an A. He played great. Adam Robinson, who missed the first quarter due to a coach’s decision that was academic-related, struggled a bit when he did get in there. To be fair, he also was injured late in the game. If Iowa is going to be successful next week and in its bowl, the ground game needs to be there.

Wide Receivers — B

I thought Marvin McNutt had a good game overall, posting seven catches for 92 yards receiving. He did have the lone touchdown reception of the day for the Hawkeyes, but he also wasn’t aware of the chains on Iowa’s final drive when he caught a 4th-down pass short of the first-down marker. Derrell Johnson-Koulianos had an OK performance. Paul Chaney, Jr., made a nice catch that he kept good concentration on. Blocking overall from this group was solid.

Tight Ends — B+

The statistics won’t suggest that they played great games, but I thought both Allen Reisner and Brad Herman were productive for the Hawkeyes, especially in the run game blocking for backs like Coker and Robinson.

Offensive Line — B

For the most part, this group played well, and cut down on the number of penalties. However, Ohio State’s blitzing eventually got to Stanzi, and the timing couldn’t have been worse for the offensive line. Riley Reiff and Julian Vandervelde both played well on the left side.

Defensive Line — B-

I’ll start by saying I thought Adrian Clayborn looked the best out of the defensive linemen. Christian Ballard also had a solid outing as he recorded the lone sack of the day for Iowa. They did a good job of putting pressure on Terrelle Pryor, but also weren’t able to make the plays needed to stop Ohio State’s offense, especially in the second half.

Linebackers — B-

Jeremiha Hunter led the Hawkeyes in tackles with 11 of them. James Morris had nine tackles, but only one was unassisted. Troy Johnson got the start on the outside, and looked OK. I would say, though, that this was the one part of the defense that struggled the most against the Buckeyes.

Secondary — B

The secondary can thank the two corners — Micah Hyde and Shaun Prater — for having the highest of my defensive grades from Saturday. I thought both guys played well. Both had interceptions of Pryor, and Prater’s pick looked to be the game-changer as Iowa took a 17-10 lead in the fourth quarter two plays later. The safeties were decent. Six of Tyler Sash’s eight tackles were solo, and Greenwood collected four of them as well.

Special Teams — C+

I’m going to give Chaney, Jr., credit for knowing when to call fair catch in this game as opposed to last week against Northwestern. Ryan Donahue was fine punting. Kickoff return was decent. Michael Meyer is the one who struggled the most. He missed a 40-yard field goal in the first half that ultimately proved to be the difference in this game, and he also had a kickoff that went out of bounds. Meyer has had better days, and being a freshman, I expect more to come his way. As a whole, special teams didn’t seem to really take advantage of the flaws Ohio State had in its third phase.

Overall — C

Look, the Hawkeyes are a good football team. They’re not a great team like they were a year ago, but they’re good. Now you might be wondering why I give a lower grade this week than I did last week given the difficulty of Iowa’s opponent. Here’s my reasoning: Look at how this game ended, and look closely at how all four Hawkeye losses have concluded. The bottom line is that in crunch time, the execution, for whatever reason, just isn’t there. Had this not been an issue all season, then yes, this grade would be a little higher. But all four losses have ended basically the same way.


My player of the game will get “Big Ups” from me (For those new to, I’ll give these out on Twitter every now and then). After No. 21 Iowa’s 20-17 loss to No. 8 Ohio State, I decided to give this week’s “Big Ups” to freshman running back Marcus Coker.

The news of him getting the start really came out of the blue, and Coker made the most of it, rushing for 70 yards on just nine carries. He also scored his first rushing touchdown as a Hawkeye on Saturday, and at the time he did it, the score gave Iowa a 17-10 fourth-quarter lead on a top-10 team. Not to mention the 1-yard touchdown run came after he picked up 26 yards on the play prior. “Big Ups” to Marcus Coker for stepping in and doing his part to help the Hawkeyes on Saturday, albeit in a losing effort.


9/4/2010: Iowa 37, Eastern Illinois 7 — Adam Robinson

9/11/2010: Iowa 35, Iowa State 7 — Ricky Stanzi

9/18/2010: Arizona 34, Iowa 27 — Jeff Tarpinian

9/25/2010: Iowa 45, Ball State 0 — Mike Daniels

10/2/2010: Iowa 24, Penn State 3 — Christian Ballard

10/16/2010: Iowa 38, Michigan 28 — Derrell Johnson-Koulianos

10/23/2010: Wisconsin 31, Iowa 30 — Adam Robinson

10/30/2010: Iowa 37, Michigan State 6 — Micah Hyde

11/6/2010: Iowa 18, Indiana 13 — Marvin McNutt

11/13/2010: Northwestern 21, Iowa 17 — James Morris

11/20/2010: Ohio State 20, Iowa 17 — Marcus Coker


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