With three quarters of Iowa’s football season in the books and the calendar flipping to November, now is when NCAA statistics mean something and are relevant. Three of eight games remain in the Big Ten campaign, so those numbers likely will change as competition varies from one school to another. Ohio State, for instance, finishes up with Penn State, Iowa and Michigan.
We’re going to take a weekly look at the statistics from here on out this season, putting a little more stock in the NCAA numbers for now than we will the conference numbers.
- Scoring Defense - The Hawkeyes rank 13th nationally in one of the key statistics in the eyes of their coaching staff. Iowa allows 15.7 PPG, which rates third in the Big Ten behind Penn State (9.33) and Ohio State (11.67).
- Total Defense - Iowa is a little less concerned with this one because of the bend-don’t-break philosophy. Still, the Hawkeyes sit 19 in the country in this category allowing 297.56 YPG. Texas Christian, Florida, Alabama, Texas and Boise State all rank in the top 20. Penn State and Ohio State rank fifth and sixth, respectively. They’re the only teams higher than Iowa.
- Pass Efficiency Defense - This one is another biggie for the Iowa coaches. Iowa ranks third nationally and first in the Big Ten at 94.25. Florida and Alabama are 1-2.
- Net Punting - Ryan Donahue has Iowa 23rd nationally in this statistic at 37.9 net yards per punt. It would be nice if this category would include punts inside the 20, but it doesn’t. An interesting offspring of this stat is that Hawkeye opponents have returned only 16 punts for a total of 70 yards or 4.4 yards per return.
- Turnover Margin - Iowa is tied for 14th nationally and second in the conference in this very important category. The Hawkeyes have taken it away 25 times and given it away 20 times. Indiana leads the Big Ten at plus nine.
- Tyler Sash - The sophomore from Oskaloosa, Iowa ranks fourth nationally and first in the conference in interceptions at .67 a game. He has six total this season and 11 in his career.
- Daniel Murray - The Iowa City native rates 15th nationally and tops in the Big Ten in field goals made per game (1.56).
- Pat Angerer - The madman in the middle comes in at 20th nationally and third in the league for tackles per game (9.89)
- Adrian Clayborn - The human disruption ranks 38th in the country and tied for third in conference for sacks per game (1.00)
- Adam Robinson - While his regular season might be over, Robinson still ranks 52nd nationally and fourth in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (78.62)
- Total Offense/Scoring Offense - The Hawkeyes come in at No. 74 in total and tied for 74th in scoring among 109 FBS schools. They’re ninth and sixth, respectively, in the conference with 357.44 yards and 25.67 points per game.
- Sacks Allowed - Again, Iowa is 74th nationally in this category. Their two sacks allowed per contest ranks seventh in the Big Ten.
- Tackles for Loss - Iowa surprisingly rates 77th in the country in this statistic. Their 5.33 TFL (sacks included) rank ninth in the conference.
- Rushing Offense - This category goes hand-in-hand with sacks allowed. The Hawkeyes sit at 89th nationally in this statistic, which is their lowest ranking among team stats. They’re eighth in the Big Ten at 125.22 yards per game.
- Kickoff Returns - Iowa is 83rd in the country. Its 20.63 yards per return place them at sixth in the conference.