5 questions with Iowa columnist Rick Brown

Rick Brown
Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Jake Rudock (15) in action against the Maryland Terrapins.

1. This looks like just a six- or seven-win team, even with the easiest schedule in memory. At the end of this year are we close enough to 2020 to do a buyout of the ridiculous contract and make the Iowa program at least respectable again?

Coach Ferentz will leave on his own terms. You may not like that answer, but that's the reality of the situation.

2. Rick, am I the only one not sold on Minnesota? Beat someone good and get back to me. No, Michigan doesn't count.

You're preaching to the choir there. If Iowa takes care of business against Northwestern, I think it wins at Minnesota. The Gophers have a tough final four - Iowa, Ohio State, at Nebraska, at Wisconsin. Then we'll see if Goldie has teeth or not. But Jerry Kill has done a fine job building that program.

3. The Desmond King punt botch (with 10 minutes 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter and Iowa down, 17-14) was the key to the game IMO. Bad play. Just awful. The team seemed to have their collective heads up their you know what.

That was a tough play. Desmond, it appeared to me, thought Riley McCarron was going to field it. He yielded to King. It was like the pop fly dropping between two outfielders, in a sense. Desmond's drop was big. Iowa would have started at the Maryland 35. But Iowa didn't lose this game because of that play. There were a lot of whoops moments to spread around. The team looked like they were collectively out of focus. With so much riding on the game, and a bye week waiting in the wings, that was hard to understand.

4. The guy that had the pick six for Maryland (William Likely, in the fourth quarter) said they knew exactly what Iowa was going to do most plays. Or he said something like this. Anyway…this is not good.

His exact quote: "They were running that play a lot. We knew every time they were in trips, three-by-two, with the back on that side, that they were going to run the stick route on that side." He guessed right.

5. Please, please, please let this be the end of the (offensive coordinator Greg) Davis experiment. This has been a complete "dud." Jake throwing the ball 56 times is not Iowa football. If he is going to fling it 56 times then he should have about 600 yards of passing.

Fifty-six passes generated 317 yards against Maryland.

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Braxton who? Ohio State freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett ranks in the Top 10 nationally in four categories: third in passing efficiency (182.1), fifth in yards per attempt (9.85), sixth in passing touchdowns (20) and 10th in total offensive yards per game (333.0). The Buckeyes are fourth nationally in scoring offense (46.5) and ninth in total offense (533.8)…Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah jumped two spots into fourth in the Big Ten's career all-purpose yards list with 6,263 yards. He leads the country in all-purpose yards with 192.7 per game…Ohio State takes an 18-game winning streak in Big Ten games into Saturday's meeting at Penn State. The Buckeyes are two victories away from the all-time record, set by the Buckeyes from 2005 to 2007. Michigan State takes a 12-game conference winning streak into its game with Michigan Saturday. That's the Spartans' second-longest Big Ten winning streak in school history. Michigan State won 16 straight from 1965 to 1967.


Maryland at Wisconsin (11 a.m., Big Ten Network). The Terrapins (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) are fresh off a 38-31 victory against Iowa. The Badgers (4-2, 1-1) are coming off a bye week. Maryland shut down Iowa's running game, holding the Hawkeyes to 116 yards in 31 carries. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon leads the nation in rushing at 174.3 yards a game, and his 7.92 yards per carry ranks fourth. If the Terrapins can slow down Gordon, they have a chance to become bowl eligible. Wisconsin will also face the task of slowing down quarterback C.J. Brown's run-pass threat.