Faith, evidently, is something that Iowa does not have in kicker Mike Meyer. Meyer is 0-for-1 on 50+ FGs this season, but that was into the wind against Michigan State.
Iowa found themselves twice around the 34-yard line and elected to hurry up punt it at the end of the first quarter, the second Iowa went for it on fourth and one and ended up stuffed at the line.
Getting stuffed at the line arguably was the turning point of the game. It led to a Wisconsin punt that pinned Iowa at the one-yard line. From there, a Jake Rudock interception led to a one-play scoring drive that opened the game up 14-6.
“The percentages weren’t great there,” Kirk Ferentz said, “We were playing pretty good field position at that point.”
What he means is, from 51 yards and considerable wind behind our backs, we don’t trust Meyer to go out there and get three points for us.
Obviously Meyer wasn’t guaranteed to make the field goal, but the try could have helped the offense put a few more points on the board.
Wisconsin with one second left in the first half elected to kick a 54-yard field goal with the wind, with a kicker that has never made a field goal before. Jack Russell made the first attempt, only to have it nullified by an Iowa timeout. His next attempt was a little short. Either way, Wisconsin Coach Gary Andersen had faith in his kicker.
It’s something alarming down the stretch, as the Iowa offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in almost eight full quarters and is going to need to rely on one of the leading scorers in Iowa history.
Iowa is caught between a rock and a hard place right now in their offensive identity, between the 40- and 30-yard lines they seem lost and default to Ferentz conservatism and the punt.
“You can go back to that one and flip a coin I guess,” Ferentz said.
That sounds like a new way to say coulda, woulda, shoulda. Maybe the Hawkeyes should have tried to take their points instead of playing the field position game. The field position game was working at that point, but running the punt team out there to hurry at the end of the first quarter showed something very important about Iowa special teams.
There is no faith in Mike Meyer.