Sept. 28, 2011
- 2011 Game Day Central
- 2011 Fall Camp Central
- America Needs Farmers
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
- Iowa Football Wallpaper
IOWA CITY, Iowa — To say the Iowa Hawkeyes have been productive when they’ve advanced into the red zone thus far in 2011 may qualify as an understatement. Iowa was 6-for-6 in red zone visits against Louisiana-Monroe last Saturday during its 45-17 victory, a success rate that pushed the Hawkeyes to 17-for-18 for the season.
That’s a white hot 94 percent. However, as the attention of football fans across the country turns to the Big Ten Conference season, it’s probably worth noting that Iowa’s success where it matters most is not unique among its Big Ten peers. Four league schools have been more successful, including Michigan which is perfect on all 13 of its visits to date.
Iowa does currently rank third among its league peers in touchdowns scored from inside the red zone with 12. Seven of Iowa’s touchdowns have come via the pass, an area of Iowa’s offense that has been brilliant in the past two weeks.
“Our receiving group has really improved these past two weeks. We weren’t quite sure where we were coming out of camp. The last two weeks, clearly, they really performed well. We’re seeing that same thing going on at practice and were happy about that,” UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said after last week’s victory, a victory that include a pair of touchdown catches by senior wide receiver Marvin McNutt, who, after beginning his career at Iowa as a quarterback, is now just one touchdown shy of Iowa’s all-time record for a receiver.
“Our receiving group has really improved these past two weeks. We weren’t quite sure where we were coming out of camp. The last two weeks, clearly, they really performed well. We’re seeing that same thing going on at practice and were happy about that.”
“When we recruiting Marvin we knew he was a quality guy. We thought he was a really good projection (as a quarterback),” Ferentz said. “So, that didn’t work out. But he agree to move out to receiver and we saw good things early. The big thing is he continues to learn how to play that position and use what he has. He has great size and an ability to make plays.
“I think he’s also pulling the other guys with him a little bit and that’s nice to see,” Ferentz continued. “It’s a young group, outside of him. He’s doing a great job of mentoring them while doing his job very well.”
Iowa has scored on 123 of its last 134 red zone possessions dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. That 92 percent success rate includes 82 touchdowns.
Click HERE to watch this week’s Case IH Red Zone highlights package inside Hawkeye All-Access, the multi-media portal of hawkeyesports.com and a part of the Big Ten Digital Network.