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Iowa 30, Illinois 14: The Curtains Are Closing

Illinois all but needed a win against a struggling Hawkeyes team today. They did not get one.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois was trailing 9-7 at the half, thanks only to Iowa playing the role of a cat messing around with a mouse it caught before ultimately and mercifully killing it. Despite what the scoreboard may have said, the game was only close for about one quarter.

Il buono:

  • Justin DuVernois. That's it. JDV was called upon to punt 8 times for a 41 yard average. His game long was a 54 yarder. When your punter is one of the only highlights each week, your team is in dire straights.
  • Austin Teitsma. Teitsma has been one of the few consistent positives on the defensive half of the team. Before Iowa completely took over he was a massively disruptive force, doing the best he could to keep the Illini in it.
  • Mike Dudek. Six receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns is a pretty great day, even with one of the touchdowns coming in complete garbage time. Dudek continues to give hope for future offenses.

Il cattivo:

  • The defense. Yes, they had a nice first half but I'm not sure how much of that was actually them and not just a disturbingly anemic Hawkeyes offense. Iowa eventually stopped calling plays that wouldn't work and realized that all you need to do to beat Illinois is throw to your tight ends.

Il bruto:

  • Wes Lunt and the offense other than Mike Dudek. Lunt looks like a man coming off a leg injury and standing behind an incredibly piecemeal offensive line. The Hawkeyes have a damn fine defense, but it would have been nice to have put up a bit more of a fight than this.
  • The remaining schedule for viewers. Penn State and Northwestern are similar teams to Iowa, just in different shades. Even if those games remain close (I'm not optimistic that they will), the likelihood is high that there will be all kinds of ugliness displayed over the following two weeks.