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51 Random Thoughts on Iowa

The weekend that was against the Hawkeyes

NCAA Football: Iowa at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday afternoon, the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Iowa Hawkeyes engaged in a contest of American football at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. The Hawkeyes emerged victorious, 41-21. I have several thoughts, which are set forth randomly below:

1. Sean Clifford – Quarterback, 4 stars, Top 200 player nationally.

2. Will Levis – Quarterback, 3 stars.

3. Devyn Ford – Running Back, 4 stars, Top 100 player nationally.

4. Keyvone Lee – Running Back, 4 stars, Top 300 player nationally.

5. Caziah Holmes – Running Back, 4 stars, Top 200 player nationally.

6. Jahan Dotson – Wide Receiver, 4 stars, Top 200 player nationally.

7. Parker Washington – Wide Receiver, 4 stars, Top 300 player nationally.

8. Cam Sullivan-Brown – Wide Receiver, 3 stars.

9. KeAndre Lambert-Smith – Wide Receiver, 4 stars, 206th player nationally.

10. Daniel George – Wide Receiver, 4 stars, Top 300 player nationally.

11. Pat Freiermuth – Tight end, 4 stars, Top 300 player nationally.

12. Brenton Strange – Tight end, 4 stars, Top 400 player nationally.

13. Theo Johnson – Tight end, 4 stars, 72nd player nationally.

14. Rasheed Walker – Left Tackle, 4 stars, Top 75 player nationally.

15. Mike Miranda – Left Guard, 3 stars.

16. Michal Menet – Center, 4 stars, Top 30 player nationally.

17. Will Fries – Right Guard, 3 stars.

18. Caedan Wallace – Right Tackle, 4 stars, 81st player nationally.

19. CJ Thorpe – Guard, 4 stars, 89th player nationally.

20. Jayson Oweh – Defensive End, 4 stars, 76th player nationally.

21. PJ Mustipher – Defensive Tackle, 4 stars, 78th player nationally.

22. Antonio Shelton – Defensive Tackle, 3 stars.

23. Shaka Toney – Defensive End, 3 stars.

24. Jesse Luketa – Linebacker, 4 stars, Top 300 player nationally.

25. Lance Dixon – Linebacker, 4 stars, Top 200 player nationally.

26. Brandon Smith – Linebacker, 5 stars, 18th player nationally.

27. Ellis Brooks – Linebacker, 4 stars, Top 300 player nationally.

28. Curtis Jacobs – Linebacker, 4 stars, 36th player nationally.

29. Tariq Castro-Fields – Cornerback, 4 stars, Top 300 player nationally.

30. Joey Porter, Jr. – Cornerback, 4 stars, Top 400 player nationally.

31. Keaton Ellis – Cornerback, 4 stars, 310th player nationally.

32. Marquis Wilson – Cornerback, 3 stars.

33. Lamont Wade – Safety, 4 stars, 43rd player nationally.

34. Jaquan Brisker – Safety, 4 stars, 12th JUCO player nationally.

35. This is the team that was down 24-7 to Iowa at the half, Nebraska 27-6, Maryland 28-7, Ohio State 21-6, and Indiana 17-7.

36. The above list does not include Micah Parsons (Linebacker, 5 stars, 4th player nationally), Noah Cain (Running Back, 4 stars, 98th player nationally), or Journey Brown (Running Back, 3 stars), for obvious reasons.

37. Even absent those three players, does anyone look at the 34 names above and think that this season’s results are reasonable?

38. It’s not the Jimmies and the Joes, guys. It’s just not.

39. This isn’t “effort” or “desire” or “leadership” or any other slogan that magically becomes better when teams start winning.

40. This isn’t about raw natural talent either. See above.

41. These talented athletes are not performing up to their capabilities. They either aren’t prepared before the game or are not being put in a position to succeed during it.

42. I’m not going to nitpick singular play decisions, although the short yardage plays collectively are still making my head hurt. Everyone and their mother knew what Will Levis was expected to do.

43. I don’t understand how a defense can give up a 28-yard touchdown run on one drive, but force a 3-and-out with two sacks to open up the second half.

44. I don’t understand how an offense can put together a sustained drive on its second offensive possession, then fumble once and turn the ball over twice on downs on the next 3 drives.

45. I don’t understand how Sean Clifford can look like the loose freshman we saw sling touchdown after touchdown in relief of Trace McSorley on his first two passes, then two interceptions in the final 3 offensive possessions of the game.

46. I’m still down for James Franklin. He’s a good man and has proven himself to be a good coach. I like that he represents this university and I’d happily keep it that way.

47. But 0-5 is tough to come back from. I don’t want to imagine what the reaction will be if this team goes 0-9 or 1-8.

48. I’m still with you, Penn State. Time’s running out on the season, but we’ll still hope.

49. On to Michigan.

50. Happy Thanksgiving, BSD.

51. We are…