I generally don't take football losses too hard. I try to think about games that hurt more to help alleviate the immediate shock of losing a heart breaker. Last night, I went in to the game already pissed off because of the Georgie loss. I really couldn't get into the football game because the basketball game stuck in my craw so bad. We were by far a superior squad yet still couldn't shake the Stegeman monkey off our backs.
Anyways, I wanted to look at what we did well in the OB real quick. It mostly relates to individual play as the 11-men units struggled all night to execute. Individually, I think Derrick Morgan played a great game. He occupied blockers and was a noticeable force against some of Iowa's green linemen most noticeably Riley Reiff. The only guy that was effective one on one against Morgan was Bryan Bulaga.
I thought the secondary adjusted well in the second half. It didn't hurt that Iowa's only apparent wide receiver, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, hurt himself on Landshark's weird as Hell surface. Looking at the numbers, Stanzi went from completing 60% of his passes in the first half to 50% of his passes in the second for a whole lot less yardage. They didn't really need to pass but that's besides the point. The secondary limited the passing attempts to underneath routes as the yards per attempt dropped by about 30% in the second half (going from 8.8 YPA to 5.9 YPA). I'd say game ball in the secondary would go to Mario Butler.
The fullback option and Jonathan Dwyer in general were the offense. Dwyer appeared to be playing one on four the whole game. And I think it's really going to hurt our offense next year if he leaves early. It'll be tough to replicate his strength and tenacity. Even Iowa's best defenders couldn't bring Dwyer down without help. That's not an indictment of Iowa's excellent defense but more so a testament to Dwyer. He's gotta be the most NFL ready running back we've seen at Tech since Tony Hollings (pre-ACL tear).
I guess my final point is that last night felt like I was watching the Miami Hurricanes Thursday night debacle mashed with Georgie's Bobo the Clown attack. A squad that's not totally efficient on offense but only really needed to run the stretch, iso, and counter all night to keep our defense on the field. In addition, they brought a defense that didn't over pursue and flew to the ball like Miami. In short, a good old fashioned debacle. They defended us like Miami and ran on us like Georgie. I think with better backfield play, Iowa will definitely be in the hunt next year.
Thoughts are welcome. Also, I added a CPH Approval rating for today since we haven't had one since FSU.