Isaac Newton's first law of motion states that an object will not change its motion unless a force acts on it. Newton first published this law in 1687, hundreds of years before Iowa football played its first game, but there's reason to believe the Hawkeyes offense is precisely what he had in mind when the thunderclap of inspiration struck.
Iowa beat South Dakota State 7-3 on Saturday, and upon first glimpse you're likely thinking, "Wow, Iowa only managed to score one touchdown against an FCS opponent?!" It's a logical conclusion to form, but it's also the wrong one.
Iowa's seven points came thanks to a field goal and two safeties. Yes, that's right: Iowa's defense scored more points than its offense and special teams combined, and it did so without any unit punching in a touchdown.
SAFETY! 🙌@HawkeyeFootball now leads 5-3 thanks to Jack Campbell 👏 pic.twitter.com/ETzNLhx9fO— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 3, 2022
Iowa fans have long been displeased with coach Kirk Ferentz's decision to give the offensive coordinator job to his son, Brian Ferentz, and nothing that happened against South Dakota State will change that feeling. The Hawkeyes finished the game with 166 total yards of offense and averaged just 2.7 yards per play. Quarterback Spencer Petras completed only 11 of 25 passes for 109 yards with an interception. On third down, Petras went 1 of 10 for 8 yards. The lone completion did not result in a first down.
Considering the passing attack was completely anemic, it shouldn't surprise that Iowa struggled to move the ball on the ground. It averaged only 74 yards on 33 carries (removing sacks) with Leshon Williams leading the way (24 carries, 72 yards).
SECOND SAFTEY OF THE DAY FOR IOWA! @HawkeyeFootball leads 7-3! 👏 pic.twitter.com/XvfqQAohHl— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 3, 2022
The good news is that the Iowa defense did more than pick up a couple of safeties. It held the Jackrabbits to a worse offensive performance than the one the Hawkeyes managed. South Dakota State finished with just 120 yards, averaging 2.1 yards per play. It might have been the only team in the world Iowa was capable of beating Saturday.