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MURPHY’S LAW: Hawkeyes Embarrassed, Cyclones Search for a QB

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By Chris Hassel

It wasn’t a good weekend to be a fan of an Iowa football team (unless you’re a UNI fan). I don’t know that I’ve ever seen worse quarterback play from Iowa and ISU on the same day. Check that, I know I haven’t. 

Let’s start with James Vandenberg and the Hawks. Wow. It was supposed to be a showdown between two Big Ten unbeatens. But it can only be a showdown if both teams show up. The Hawkeyes did not. It was 31-0 Penn State before Iowa fans started to lose their buzz from boozing all day. The final score was 38-14, but those 14 points meant nothing. It goes down in history as the 4th worst home loss in the Ferentz era. The other three came in 1999 and 2000, Ferentz’s first two seasons. In addition, all three of those losses were against top 15 teams. Penn State is an above average team, but Iowa made the Nittany Lions look like Alabama. 

Kirk Ferentz suffered his worst home loss in 12 seasons against PSU.

James Vandenberg was getting booed worse than any Hawkeye QB I can remember. It’s too bad. JVB is a great guy, but he just doesn’t have it. I thought Ferentz should’ve put in Rudock. Why not give the guy some game experience before throwing him to the wolves, next season? To say the Hawks were embarrassed would be an understatement.

It was an abysmal performance by the Cyclones in Stillwater. The defense was awful in the first half, and the offense was awful all game (outside of the opening drive). Oklahoma State isn’t anywhere near as good as it was a year ago. The Cyclones gave up over 400 passing yards to a freshman quarterback. But the big problem isn’t the defense — not by a long shot. The offense is without a running game, thanks to the injury to James White. That put all the pressure on Jared Barnett, and Barnett did not deliver. It’s the second straight awful performance from Barnett.

Paul Rhoads pulled Barnett in favor of Steele Jantz, late in the game. It was the right move, in my opinion. ISU wasn’t going to come back with Barnett. The Cyclones needed a spark, but they didn’t get it. Jantz’s first possession was a 3-and-out on three incomplete passes. It may have been the worst series in quarterback history. Jantz’s second and third passes on the drive were basically shovel pass laterals five yards behind the line of scrimmage. He’s lucky they weren’t called fumbles.

While subbing Jantz into the game was the right move, this week, I don’t want to see Jantz on the field to start the game against Baylor. I think you either stuck with Jared Barnett. I think it’s too early to go to Sam Richardson. Iowa State still has a great chance to make a bowl game. If Barnett doesn’t respond against the Bears, then you might give Richardson a try. The bottom line is, Iowa State doesn’t have a running game, and it doesn’t have a quarterback. Not a good combination. 

Jared Barnett was benched in favor of Steele Jantz. Neither had an answer for Oklahoma State.

But, hey, at least the Panthers and Bulldogs won.