Iowa Offense Basics
Base Look - Multiple (Under Center and Shotgun)
Signature Look - Under Center - Multiple Tight Ends
12 (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR)
13 (1 RB, 3 TE, 1 WR)
22 (2 RB, 2 TE, 1 WR)
21 (2 RB, 1 TE, 2 WR)
Green Circle - #10 - Deacon Hill - Quarterback
Arriving at Iowa via the transfer portal from Wisconsin, and originally hailing from Santa Barbara, California, Hill makes his first start of the season in relief of Cade McNamara on Saturday. At 6’3”, 260, he’s a big, beefy lad with the arm strength to match. He’s appeared in 4 games this season, completing 15 of 35 passes for 164 yards, 1 Td, and 1 INT.
The best news for Purdue is he isn’t a threat to run....at all. If you’re looking for Deacon Hill, he’ll be set up somewhere behind the center and between the tackles. As we’ve seen, mobile quarterbacks have been an issue. It’ll be nice to play a pocket passer this week instead of the (normally) mobile Cade McNamara. That said, Hill is a load to bring down and shakes off arm tackles in the pocket. Purdue pass rushers have to break down and actually tackle Hill, because a fly by arm tackle isn’t going to work this week.
I expect Ryan Walters to make Hill win the game for Iowa. That means man coverage on the outside and the extra safety in the box to help with the run game. If Hill has a career game, hats off to the young man.
Blue Circle - #4 - Leshon Williams or #2 - Kaleb Johnson
Iowa has been without their presumed starter Kaleb Johnson since week 2, when an ankle injury against Iowa State sent him to the sidelines. Some of you may remember Johnson, he put up 200 yards on Purdue last season as a true freshman. At 6’0”, 220 with solid speed, Johnson is the type of physical back Purdue traditionally struggles to contain. If Johnson is close to 100%, I expect him to receiver the majority of the carries.
If he's not ready to go, Leshon Williams will continue as the lead back. At 5’10”, 210, Williams is smaller than Johnson, but not much smaller. He’s another powerful back that breaks arm tackles. He went off for 145 yards on 12 carries against a woeful Western Michigan squad, but has otherwise been held in check. He ran for 38 yards on 12 carries last week against Michigan State.
I look for Iowa to challenge the middle of the Purdue line with either Williams or Johnson early and often. The Boilermakers still have questions at middle linebacker and Iowa will look to punch holes in the interior of the Purdue line and let their backs challenge Purdue’s middle linebackers and safeties to make tackles.
Yellow Square - TE - #83 - Eric All Jr.
All is the latest tight end in the Iowa assembly line, although he’s a late addition, coming to Iowa after 4 seasons at Michigan. He leads the Hawkeyes in receptions (14), yards (183) and touchdowns (2). Whatever creativity Iowa can muster on offense is focused around getting the 6’4”, 250 pound All the ball in space. They like to utilize him in the screen game, similar to how Jeff Brohm used Payne Durham last season. They also like to have him fake blocks in the run game, and then sneak out into the second level for easy play action completions.
Purdue’s #1, #2, and #3 job in the secondary is keeping an eye on All. They can’t lose track of him, because the Iowa quarterback is looking to get him the ball on the majority of passing plays. If Iowa gets a cheap touchdown, it will probably come from All finding a way to get wide open. If Purdue can prevent that from happening, it’s going to be a long day for Iowa.
Without McNamara, I expect Iowa to revert to their usual bully ball style. Look for multiple tight ends, multiple running backs, and a whole bunch of game management. Iowa wants to win this game with their defense and special teams. They want their offense to stay out of the way.
This is all about patience and discipline for Purdue. If the Boilermakers stick with their assignments and play as a unit, I don’t see Iowa doing much on offense. What concerns me is Iowa not doing much with the exception of 3 plays where they put up 21 points on Purdue mistakes.
Purdue can’t get bored in the secondary because no team weaponizes boredom like Hawkeyes.