5 questions on Iowa football: Time for offensive scrutiny

Rick Brown

Why did the football or marketing department feel the need to invite the Iowa State marching band? If we want it to be a hostile environment, let's make it that way.

So Iowa's band shouldn't be invited to Jack Trice Stadium next year, right?

Rick, can't say I was surprised by your piece supporting (Iowa coach Kirk) Ferentz . We saw the same thing with (Fran) McCaffery during this past season's debacle. In your "analysis," did you realize that three of Ferentz's best years were a decade ago? Since then, he's been a little over .500 coach in a weak conference. Results are not acceptable, especially given the enormous investment made in him. You're a journalist, not a public relations spin guy.

Thanks for the job description. I'll put it on my resume.

Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock fires a pass against Ball State on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

It's only been one loss, but there have been three games of timid play-calling. Everyone wants the playbook to open up, but I'm scared that we've seen the passing game stretched to its limits with (Jake) Rudock's arm. Overreaction?

A vertical passing game would be roundly cheered, even if there are a bunch of incompletions. And I'd like to see (backup quarterback) C.J. Beathard get a shot and throw some of them. He might not have a total grasp of the offense, but he's got the arm to get it downfield. I'd like to see it.

Does (Brandon) Scherff seem OK to go this week? And was ( LeShun ) Daniels hurt last Saturday?

Ferentz said Tuesday that Scherff wasn't as sore this Monday as he was last Monday. I expect him to be at 100 percent. Daniels was not hurt. They shortened the running back rotation and he was the odd man out.

I wish we would attempt to put the defense on their toes. Tunnel screen to ( Damond ) Powell, fly sweep, play action deep on first down. None of these were attempted in last week's game. Read pass, they drop to their zones, read run no need to choke the motor and they can fly to the point of attack, there is nothing keeping them honest. Get your playmakers the ball in space, good things will happen.

I like what you say. The tunnel screen has worked twice for touchdowns for Powell — a long one at Minnesota last season and a short one this season against Northern Iowa. I also agree with you that from my seat,Iowa looks pretty easy to defend right now. And I'm not alone.



Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah needs just 175 more yards to move into the Big Ten's top 10 list for career all-purpose yards. Abdullah had 110 all-purpose yards last week against Fresno State, giving him 5,449 for his career … Ohio State freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett had six touchdown passes in a 66-0 rout of Kent State last week. It was the 13th time a Big Ten quarterback has thrown for six touchdowns in a game, and it tied the school record set by the Buckeyes' Kenny Guiton last season. Iowa's Chuck Long did it twice (vs. Texas, 1984 and vs. Northwestern, 1985). Iowa's Chuck Hartlieb threw a Big Ten record seven TD passes against Northwestern in 1987 … Three Big Ten quarterbacks rank in the top 15 nationally in passing yards. Penn State's Christian Hackenberg is seventh (360.7 yards per game), Wes Lunt of Illinois is 13th (323.7) and Connor Cook of Michigan State 15th (314.0).



Maryland (2-1) at Syracuse (2-0), 11:30 a.m., ACC Network. The Terrapins lost at home to West Virginia last week, 40-37. Now comes a trip to Syracuse before Maryland jumps head first into the Big Ten portion of its schedule. The Terrapins have one of the nation's top receivers in Stefon Diggs (17 catches, 230 yards and a touchdown). He's also fourth nationally in kickoff returns, averaging 33.4 yards a game. C.J. Brown leads Maryland on the ground (219 yards, four touchdowns). Maryland's secondary has four interceptions this season. Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt has thrown for 269 yards (30-for-47).