Five sentences on next season:
1) The front seven needs immediate medical attention and I’m not sure the raw material for a fix is on campus.
2) Iowa is fine at quarterback.
3) Iowa needs a No. 2 RB right now, because if Marcus Coker were my son and I saw him slumping against the wall in the postgame yesterday, I’d be nervous about his well-being, physical and mental.
4) If Iowa uses more than five true freshmen from the ’12 recruiting class on special teams next season, special teams again will be an inconsistent march to frustration.
5) And two quick thoughts: self-scouting has shown up in a couple of games (Minnesota and Nebraska) and needs attention; something recruiting, I don’t know what, but something, message maybe?
Three players who can and need to make waves in ’12:
1) TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (It’s there, it really is, just needs to be there and there and there.)
2) CB B.J. Lowery (Good football player.)
3) RB Mika’il McCall (As far as I know, you’re wanted here, and I know for sure you’re needed.)
Three players I want to see more of to see what exactly they can do:
1) LB Anthony Hitchens
2) SS Nico Law
3) OL Brandon Scherff
Three players I think could be fun (by that, I mean energetic and physical, fan fave types):
1) WR Keenan Davis
3) FB Brad Rogers
Three players who can (key word) put Iowa on the path to a Big Ten title game:
1) QB James Vandenberg
2) LB James Morris
3) LB Christian Kirksey
Give me your three anything you want.
Yesterday’s stats and Iowa’s final regular-season stats:
Lost videos from a lost day:
Closer look at the numbers
Closing the deal (Red zone TDs/possessions)
The last time Iowa was held to one redzone opportunity was Penn State. This year, this offense crumbled against the Big Ten’s elite defenses. Sure, a lot of offenses walked away from Michigan State, Penn State and Nebraska saying that, and when Iowa says that that’s why Iowa is 4-4 in the Big Ten.
Setting the tone (defensive three-and-outs)
Iowa 3 (All in the fourth quarter when the Huskers held a 20-0 lead.)
Nebraska 3 (Doesn’t tell the whole story. Iowa punter Eric Guthrie tied a season-high with seven punts. He also punted seven times against Michigan State.)
After adjustments (second-half yards and avg. yards per play)
This was meaningless. The first half was more telling, with Nebraska checking in at 5.0 and Iowa with 3.92.
Game-changers (offensive plays of 20-plus yards)
Iowa 4 (Two of Iowa’s four 20-plus (19 really) came on its lone scoring drive when the Huskers led 20-7 and the air was out of the bowl. WR Marvin McNutt, a staple in this section, was held to one, and that came on the final drive.)
Nebraska 5 (All Taylor Martinez passes. That’s a winning stat for the Huskers.)
Two-minute magic (points, final two minutes of half)
Iowa 0 (Yes, Iowa had the ball and the 13 mph wind behind its back at its 28 with 27 seconds left before halftime and Nebraska set to receive the second-half kick. Here’s what Ferentz said: “Where were we, on the 30 or whatever it was? No, it wasn’t like we did anything at that point. I seem to get asked that a lot. . . . That’s pretty low percentage, but anyway.” I’ve taken my turn asking this question. Ferentz blows right through it. Here’s the conclusion: Ferentz puts more weight on the risks of this situation than the rewards. OK, he puts all the weight of this situation on risks. Risk is never going to win this. This is why every TV announcer says “Iowa won’t beat itself.” It won’t and therefore it won’t give coaches anything to really worry about because Iowa will not stress them in low-percentage situations. We’ve been over this. It’s safe football and it has moments where it works and moments where it probably makes you a little crazy. I’ll put more weight on crazy for you.)
Nebraska 7 (Slowed by an ankle injury, Martinez played quarterback yesterday and he was terrific. His 6-yard pass to TE Kyler Reed with 32 seconds left put up the Huskers 10-0 at halftime. Not a backbreaker, but more than the Huskers needed Friday.)