At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Iowa Hawkeyes’ latest contest …
What happened: The Hawkeyes (1-0) rolled Wyoming, 24-3, in the season opener for both programs. The defense was expected to pick up the baton for a young offense, and it didn’t disappoint, holding the Cowboys and ballyhooed quarterback Josh Allen to 233 total yards, just 59 yards on the ground, and without a touchdown — the Cowboys’ first tilt without reaching the end zone since 2015. “That’s probably the best defense we’ll see all year,” Allen told reporters afterward.
What it means: Kirk Ferentz’s crew came as exactly as advertised in the preseason: tough, physical, relentless, blessed at tailback — Akrum Wadley and James Butler combined for 163 rushing yards on 34 carries — and green in the passing game. But one of those new faces through the air, tight end Noah Fant, scored 2 touchdowns and showed the makings of a star, a 6-foot-5 target who can outrun linebackers and outleap safeties and cornerbacks. The Hawkeyes’ 4 turnovers left a little to be desired, but this is a team with the kind of defense, and the kind of running game, that can help bring quarterback Nate Stanley along slowly. Which is good, because it’s also not built to win many shootouts.
Projected postseason destination: Holiday Bowl, Dec. 28, San Diego, versus a Pac-12 opponent.
Cheapest seat at TicketCity.com as of Sunday: $106
Up next: at Iowa State on Saturday in Ames. The Cyclones (1-0) knocked off Northern Iowa in their season debut, 42-24, thanks to a pair of interception returns for touchdowns. But Iowa State also got off to a slow start against the FCS Panthers, especially on the ground, and know the Hawkeyes wall won’t be any easier to crack.
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