The Iowa Hawkeyes survived a scare in week one, beating South Dakota State 7-3 at home Saturday. The game lacked offense but it was not without some big plays. Here are the highlights, and some lowlights from Iowa vs. SDSU.
Bruce, Campbell groove as Petras struggles
Iowa’s offense did not have much to hang its hat on going up against a stout Jacks defense. It was held to just four third down conversions and 168 yards of total offense. The bright spots came largely from receiver Arland Bruce IV. With Keagan Johnson and Nico Ragaini sidelined, Bruce led the team with 5 catches for 68 yards and a rush for 11 yards. It was not much, but Bruce showcased his ability to find soft spots in the defense and burst ahead of coverage.
To no surprise, All-American linebacker Jack Campbell announced his presence early and often. He was key in keeping Isaiah Davis under wraps on run defense and gave Iowa its first defensive score of the season. Following a 49-yard punt from Tory Taylor, Iowa downed the ball inside the 1-yard line. On the following play, Campbell shot the gap and wrapped Davis up for the safety to give Iowa a 5-3 lead.
Iowa would score on another safety late in the fourth quarter with Joe Evans bringing down quarterback Mark Gronowski in the end zone.
Taylor shines with number called
Our MVP Tory Taylor pic.twitter.com/vrbMIwdKo9
— KRUI Sports (@KRUISports) September 3, 2022
It usually is not a great sign when your punter is the star of the game but that is exactly what happened for Iowa on Saturday. Tory Taylor not only answered the call, he became an extension of both the offense and defense. Taylor punted 10 times with only 2 of those punts going for a touchback. Outside of that, he placed the ball inside the 10-, if not the 5-yard line with ease. His efforts led directly to two safeties and kept the Jackrabbits from opening up their playbook.
Iowa vs SDSU Statistics
Spencer Petras was 11-25 for 109 yards and an interception. He averaged just 4.4 yards per completion. Leshon Williams rushed 24 times for 72 yards at 3.3 yards per carry. He also had 2 catches for 23 yards.
Iowa held South Dakota State’s offense to 120 total yards and 3-16 on third down. The Jackrabbits ran the ball 31 times for just 33 yards.
The Hawkeyes are at home again next week to host rival Iowa State in the Cy-Hawk matchup. At the time of writing, ISU leads Southeast Missouri State 28-10 in the third quarter.