Hawkeyes' season by the numbers -- Part 2

Iowa's O-line made major improvement in 2013

Marc Morehouse
Published: January 16 2014 | 5:20 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:13 am in
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We conclude our run through the Hawkeyes' season through numbers.

I'll do a post that will attempt to show all these numbers in graphic form soon. (It's going to be a monumental pain and might be gibberish, so maybe not.)

PENALIZED

The 2013 Hawkeyes were extremely disciplined. It probably went right along with the discipline the defense showed in offseason video work, which, along with a spike in D-line play, was the reason for defensive improvement this season.

The 52 penalties Iowa was hit with tied for the Kirk Ferentz-era low (the 2005 team also had 52 penalties). The 425 yards were the second-fewest in KF era (2004 Iowa had 54 penalties for 349 yards).

These numbers make the fact that Iowa was called for 11 penalties against Missouri State this season all the more strange. It's a game Ferentz mentioned in Outback Bowl news conferences. The 11 penalties for 100 yards were the most for an Iowa team since 12 for 136 yards against Kent State in the 2005 opener.

Iowa's 52 penalties were 12th fewest in the country and were fewest in the Big Ten. In the last seven seasons, Iowa has finished first, second, second, third, second, second and seventh in fewest penalties (the 2007 team was 10th with 67 penalties). The most-penalized teams in the KF era? The 2002 team had 103 penalties for a loss of 873 yards (67.2 yards a game. The 2001 Hawkeyes had 78 penalties for 595 yards (that 49.6 yards a game was probably significant for a team that finished 7-5).

Conclusion: You'd take this every season (and, it seems, you have). These are the invisible yards that work for or against you.

CARRY THE ZERO

The 2013 Hawkeyes had more carries than any other KF team.

Iowa ran the ball 556 times last season (tied for sixth most in Iowa history). That's three more than the 2002 Hawkeyes (553) and the fourth time in the KF era the Hawkeyes rushed 500-plus times. If you're looking for patterns, it probably leans to fewest rushes. In 2012, Iowa rushed just 404 times and, of course you know, finished 4-8. The only years Iowa ran the ball fewer times were 2000 (403) and rock-bottom 1999 (339).

Iowa ran 152 more times than '12 and improved its output by nearly 1,000 yards (862). That's the second biggest improvement for a KF team (the 2001 Hawkeyes rushed for 2,104 yards compared to 1,090 for 2000).

Running back Mark Weisman rushed 226 times (sixth most in KF era) for 41 percent of Iowa's carries. As far as percentages going to one back goes, that's tied for eight in the KF era. In 2011, Marcus Coker soaked up 62 percent (280) of Iowa's carries. For 2013, Damon Bullock received 21 percent of Iowa's carries; Jordan Canzeri 13 percent.

The 2,338 rushing yards rank No. 3 in the KF era. The 2002 team rushed for 2,784 yards and 2008 Iowa rushed for 2,453. (BTW, the 2004 Big Ten co-champs are last here with 871. You remember that year.)

Here's an oddity (that may or may not say much), QB Jake Rudock's 218 rushing yards is second among Iowa QBs in KF era. Brad Banks' 423 yards and five TDs is by far the most productive an Iowa QB has been running the ball since KF took over. Rudock's five TDs were most for an Iowa QB since Nathan Chandler rushed for six in 2003. (After Rudock suffered the first of two sprained knees, he rushed 22 times for just 31 yards.) QB C.J. Beathard, who finished the Outback Bowl after Rudock aggravated one of his knee sprains, rushed 13 times for 49 yards and two TDs.

CONVERSELY

As far as KF era run-stopping defenses go, the 2013 issue finished in the bottom third.

The 1,669 rushing yards against is 10th in the KF era (2002's 1,065 is No. 1; 1999's 2,698 is No. 15). Iowa allowed 3.58 yards a carry this season, which is ninth in the era (2.5 in 2003 is No. 1; 5.0 in '99 is 15th).

But this group kept teams from running into the end zone and caused quite a bit of mayhem.

Iowa allowed just eight rush TDs this season, the fourth time in KF era that Iowa allowed single-digit rush TDs (2008 allowed just 7; 1999 allowed 20). Iowa also finished with 80 tackles for loss this season. That's No. 5 in the KF era. The 2001 defense (which is really underrated) racked up 92 tackles for loss.

Let's adjust the mayhem number to frequency. Iowa had a tackle for loss every 5.82 rush plays this season. That's sixth in the KF era (4.72 in 2002 is No. 1; it was 8.9 in 2012). Michigan State, hands down the best D in the Big Ten and perhaps the nation this season, had a tackle for loss every 4.67 downs.

MEASURING THE OL

The fact that Iowa ran the ball more this year than it ever had is a pretty good measure of confidence in the OL, which was led by tackles Brandon Scherff and Brett Van Sloten (center Austin Blythe was right there with them, too). (Aside, just about every defender I talked to this year mentioned what a pain in the butt it was to go against sophomore guard Jordan Walsh in practice. Just an FYI.)

That's one measure, the 556 carries.

Another is sacks against, tackles for loss against. Iowa allowed just 15 sacks, which was No. 12 in the nation. That's the second fewest in the KF era (2002 is No. 1 with just 12; the 2000 team allowed 57 sacks). Iowa allowed 66 tackles for loss, which is No. 7 in KF era (2009 allowed just 53; 2003 gave up 96 -- which doesn't sound right).

Just 12 percent of Iowa's rushes were for negative yards. Last seasont that number was 15 percent. Iowa allowed a sack on 4 percent of passing plays. Last season, it was 5.6 percent. Again, that shows the improvement Iowa's O-line made from 2012 to '13.

Now, sacks and tackles for loss aren't all on the OL. You know that. Let's go to the Outback. Bullock slipped after making a cutback at the line of scrimmage. That's not on the OL. Also, QBs can hold on to the ball too long (Rudock was pretty good at getting the ball out).

Conclusion: Keep doing what you're doing, OL.

QB FACTOR

I think it's probably best to just throw the numbers out there.

Rudock is about middle-of-the-pack for all of his numbers except 18 TD passes, which is upper third in the KF era. (The top KF era number in each category is bolded.)

2013 -- Jake Rudock 204 of 346 for 2,383 yards, 59 percent completions, 18 TDs, 13 INTs, 126.47 efficiency

2012 -- James Vandenberg 223 of 389 for 2,249 yards, 57.3 percent completions, 7 TDs, 8 INTs, 107.72 efficiency

2011 -- James Vandenberg 237 of 404 for 3,022 yards, 58.7 percent completions, 25 TDs, 7 INTs, 138.44 efficiency

2010 -- Ricky Stanzi 221 of 345 for 3,004 yards, 64.1 percent completions, 25 TDs, 6 INTs, 157.63 efficiency

2009 -- Ricky Stanzi 171 of 304 for 2,417 yards, 56.3 percent completions, 15 TDs, 15 INTs, 131.62 efficiency

2008 -- Ricky Stanzi 150 of 254 for 1,956 yards, 59.1 percent completions, 14 TDs, 9 INTs, 134.35 efficiency

2007 -- Jake Christensen 198 of 370 for 2,269 yards, 53.5 percent completions, 17 TDs, 6 INTs, 116.94 efficiency

2006 -- Drew Tate 207 of 352 for 2,623 yards, 58.8 percent completions, 18 TDs, 13 INTs, 130.89 efficiency

2005 -- Drew Tate 219 of 352 for 2,828 yards, 62.2 percent completions, 22 TDs, 7 INTs, 146.35 efficiency

2004 -- Drew Tate 233 of 375 for 2,786 yards, 62.1 percent completions, 20 TDs, 14 INTs, 134.67 efficiency

2003 -- Nathan Chandler 165 of 307 for 2,040 yards, 53.7 percent completions, 18 TDs, 10 INTs, 122.40 efficiency

2002 -- Brad Banks 170 of 294 for 2,575 yards, 57.8 percent completions, 26 TDs, 5 INTs, 157.12 efficiency

2001 -- Kyle McCann 167 of 252 for 2,028 yards, 66.3 percent completions, 16 TDs, 11 INTs, 146.09 efficiency

2000 -- Trio II 230 of 404 for 2,580 yards, 56.9 percent completions, 16 TDs, 11 INTs, 118.20 efficiency

1999 -- Trio I 202 of 376 for 2,275 yards, 53.7 percent completions, 6 TDs, 9 INTs, 105.03 efficiency

Trio I -- Kyle McCann, Randy Reiners, Scott Mullen

Trio II -- McCann, Mullen, Jon Beutjer

Conclusion: The KF era has had some pretty good QBs for Iowa. Tate and Stanzi are among the best in school history whether you want to measure numbers or wins. The KF era is still waiting for a hot shot, NFL-caliber QB who ends up a first- or second-round draft pick.

If you measure on the Big Ten level, at least in recent years, you have Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. We all can admit Iowa hasn't had that guy in the last 15 seasons.

Judging the QBs in the system and incoming (and for 2015, for that matter), Iowa seems to be shooting for a Matt Ryan-type -- tall, rangy, strong arm, great between the ears, excellent leader. The Tate-sized (around 6-foot) QBs aren't around anymore. The cutoff seems to be 6-3.

Iowa has six QBs in the chute -- senior Cody Sokol (6-2), junior Rudock (6-3), sophomore C.J. Beathard (6-3), freshman Nic Shimonek (6-4), incoming freshman Tyler Wiegers (6-4) and 2015 commit Jack Beneventi (6-6). Maybe there's a Matt Ryan in there somewhere.

Maybe it's Rudock. He showed high football IQ, poise and leadership in 2013. Maybe it's Beathard. He showed athleticism and arm strength in his playing time this season. Rudock probably holds the keys for 2014, but that's another post.

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