Iowa loss to Maryland shows Hawkeyes not West contenders
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Time to silence any talk of Iowa winning the Big Ten's West Division.
The Hawkeyes looked nothing like a contender in Saturday's 38-31 loss to Maryland, fumbling and stumbling their way through most of the final three quarters.
"They basically beat us in every phase," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Not much fun for us. We got what we deserved."
The defense was pushed all around Byrd Stadium, but the offensive performance was even more baffling, netting a total of 163 yards during a span of 10 possessions.
And this was against the Terrapins, who gave up 40 points to West Virginia and 52 to Ohio State.
"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a few times," Rudock said. "It could be any number of things, but we just weren't moving the ball like we should have."
Rudock was consistently harassed while completing 32 of 56 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns.
His lone interception resulted in a costly pick-six and gave Maryland a 31-21 lead.
The Iowa running game wasn't much better, with five ball carriers combining for 121 yards on 23 carries.
Take out Mark Weisman's 78 yards on 10 attempts, and the other four averaged 3.3 per attempt.
"It definitely hurts," Weisman said of the loss. "If it doesn't hurt, you're not invested enough."
Even when the Hawkeyes tried to mount a late rally, there were misfires.
Precious seconds ticked away as Rudock made sure everyone was in the right alignment, and hopes for a comeback ended when Rudock's last pass was dropped near midfield.
"When you don't play well as well as you can and leave the door open, a good team is going to step right in," Ferentz said. "They certainly did that."
Maryland, 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten, rushed for 212 yards, while receiver Stefon Diggs caught nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.
"I'm just so proud of these kids," Maryland coach Randy Edsall of rallying from an early 14-0 deficit. "They just never say die and keep fighting."
The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, slipped to 5-2 and 2-1, with a week off before hosting longtime nemesis Northwestern on Nov. 1.
"They (the Terrapins) did a great job," Ferentz said. "They out played us. They out coached us. Check, check check, down the list.
"If we think we can play like that and be successful, then we better change our schedule."
It all started promising enough, with linebacker Bo Bower blitzing on the first snap and Drew Ott making his first career interception.
Five plays later, Weisman burrowed into the end zone putting the Hawkeyes ahead 7-0.
The margin grew to 14-0 after Iowa converted its 10th fourth-down opportunity of the season, setting up a 2-yard scoring pass from Rudock to Henry Krieger-Coble.
Then, everything flipped.
Maryland scored 24 unanswered points and owned a 38-21 advantage with less than 5 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
"Everybody took their assignment and executed it to the best of their ability," Edsall said. "When you do that, we have enough talent to be able to play the way we played."