IOWA CITY - University of Iowa football fans should probably wait a few weeks before making their reservations for the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis this December.
The Hawkeyes might get there again, but they have a lot to prove following their 45-21 victory over Miami of Ohio in the season opener before 68,390 fans at Kinnick Stadium Saturday.
The Hawkeyes certainly looked good at times, especially with the 1-2 punch of Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels combining for 204 yards and four touchdown at tailback. C.J. Beathard looked good throwing the ball, especially in the first half when he was 10 of 11 for 151 yards, and the defense came away with three big fumbles that helped fuel the offense.
But there were also some disquieting moments for the Hawkeyes, who had trouble getting the RedHawks off the field at times as the visitors mounted three long, time-consuming drives for touchdowns.
Iowa jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter with a fast start, but Miami of Ohio patiently worked itself back into the ballgame and trailed only 35-21 with nearly 10 minutes left in the game.
The Redhawks had three touchdown drives that measured 75, 75 and 74 yards in the ballgame, all against Iowa's top defense. All three of those drives lasted approximately seven minutes - 6:59, 6:56 and 7:10, to be exact - as Miami quarterback Billy Bahl led his club up and down the field.
Iowa scored its six touchdowns in a hurry, especially in the first quarter when they reached the end zone three times in a total elapsed time of just 4 minutes and 14 seconds. The Hawks also reached paydirt on drives that took 3:04, 3:23 and 1:58 later in the game, so when they moved the ball they moved quickly and efficiently. Read more...