There’s no doubt the 2016 Iowa Hawkeyes football season has been disappointing. With most of the key pieces from a 2015 West division title-winning and Rose Bowl participating team back, much was expected.
Let’s just say those expectations were far from met, as Iowa finished the 2016 season 8-4.
Yet, despite the disappointment of the season overall, Friday was a celebration in empathic style over rival Nebraska.
There’s certainly joy in a 40-10 drubbing of your Western neighbors. But, there is also the question of where in the heck was this team all season long.
Iowa racked up 264 yards on the ground — 158 of it from LeShaun Daniels and 105 of it from Akrum Wadley — en route to the rout of the Huskers. That effort was the second best of the season, following a 365-yard effort at Purdue. It was also the fourth time a team had gone over 200 yards on the ground against the Huskers.
Both backs ran wild at times, with Akrum Wadley gassing the Huskers for a 75-yard touchdown to start the scoring.
Then there was a rather efficient performance from quarterback C.J. Beathard who was 10 of 15 for 144 yards and three touchdowns. It resulted in a 213.3 quarterback rating, his best of the season by nearly 50 points.
Beathard’s day included this insanity against one of the better secondaries in the Big Ten:
— HeavensBarstool (@HeavensHawkeye) November 25, 2016
Iowa’s defense came along for the ride as well, the exact opposite of what happened all season long. Ferentz’s bunch spent most of the season going from good offense and bad defense to vice versa on a seemingly weekly basis.
That was even the case in the historic win over Michigan two weeks ago. Iowa’s defense pummeled Michigan, but its offense was only good enough to do enough to squeak out the win.
On Friday the offense put up 408 yards, while the defense held Tommy Armstrong and Co. to just 217 total yards.
With that effort, on the final day of the season, the Black and Gold finally lived up to the level of play most expected from this team from the start.
Then again, with nearly $500,000 on the line for head coach Kirk Ferentz, putting it all together for the final day of the regular season is perhaps the most Ferentz thing ever.
For the rest of Hawkeye nation, most are still left shaking their heads at where this team was the previous 11 weeks of the year.