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Iowa 62--North Texas 16: Keep the Foot On the Gas

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Iowa played their highest scoring game since 2002 (lol jNW) and looked very sharp in their last out-of-conference game before the B1G schedule begins.

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We got everything we wanted to in this one. Iowa scored on the opening drive and never let the final outcome be in doubt. Drew Ott, Jake Duzey and LeShun Daniels were protected enough to avoid tweaking their existing injuries, while still getting enough playing time to help them get back up to speed. The backups got some playing time and nobody suffered any serious injuries. CJ Beathard was nearly perfect, completing his first 15 passes. Canzeri tied Tavian Banks' single game record with 4 touchdowns. Bo Bower and Josey Jewell each scored touchdowns off interceptions. North Texas is likely the worst team Iowa will play all season, but I don't think last year's Hawkeyes win this game by 46 points.

This game wasn't perfect, however. Iowa lost a couple of fumbles, one from Derrick Mitchell (a botched reverse on his first carry as a running back) and one from Jordan Canzeri (ugh...again).  Marshall Koehn missed a routine extra point and ended Iowa's nation-leading streak of consecutive games without doing so. The defense had a good game overall, but Mean Green coach Dan McCarney's halftime adjustments had Iowa looking slow and uninspired to start the second half, and North Texas was able to amass 183 rushing yards and 22 first downs. With such a lopsided final score I would have liked to see the stat lines skew a bit more towards Iowa, but in a way this is a good thing: a perfect game teaches Ferentz nothing about his team, but mistakes expose flaws that can be addressed before heading into B1G play where they will become a problem.

What else is there to say? This wasn't a particularly exciting or drama-filled game, at least not compared to the last two weeks. Canzeri's fumbling is troublesome, but he's turning into a real playmaker. Beathard played great, and for the first time in the Greg Davis era, Iowa has figured out how to effectively use their ace receiver. Iowa opens B1G play at Wisconsin on Saturday with the chance to win trophy #2 back and give the Cy-Hawk a bull to make friends with. Say what you will about the difficulty of Iowa's first 4 contests, but they're heading into Camp Randall with 4 wins, 0 losses and measurable improvement each week, and that's not nothing.

Go Hawkeyes. Go Iowa Awesome.