Pre-Game thought blitz: It was COLD in Miami, Miamians love dance music, Iowa travels ridiculously well, the trip to Miami was the most relaxing trip of the year, and finally, there was no pre-game chaos with the Reck unlike Tampa.
its like we had a hot ferrari
but the race was on a gravel road
We are not there yet.
The negatives of the game came because of what Iowa did. After watching and thinking about the game, we didn't play sloppy ball (like we've done) and our defense played better than expected. We just could not hold our own against Iowa's monstrous offensive and defensive lines. Penalties may have killed momentum but that would be my best "excuse" for dropping an egg.
From the getgo, it was known that the Hawkeyes were not going to let Nesbitt or Dwyer beat them. Every time Josh tried to do something with the ball, or run the infamous midline option, the defense was keyed in on him. And they did it with their usual front 7, very rarely bringing in an 8th man to plug a gap.
The matchup between our offensive line and their defensive line highlighted some major issues for us at this time. I once saw
Claymore Clayborn grab Uzzi, throw him in the air and grab Josh and then tackle him to the ground. We were simply outmanned and outweighed in the trenches and THAT is how we lost the Orange Bowl.
I think back to the season and I have to laugh. The Orange Bowl is a bittersweet memory because of how we lost. But we must remember, that just two years ago, we were averaging 7 wins and going to bowl games that absolutely no one cared about. In two years Paul Johnson has taken our football program to a new level, the level where we are earning our right to participate with the elite programs. But what about to compete and to win these games? We simply aren't "there" yet and that's the answer as to what I think about the Orange Bowl loss. We didn't play sloppy and make ridiculous errors like dropping punts. Iowa just played significantly better.
We'll get there. Just give it a little more time.
9 more months until football begins again...