Will the Iowa Hawkeyes toss more than 15 passing touchdowns in 2022?

·3 min read

After discussing whether or not fans should expect Iowa to eclipse its 7.5 wins total in 2022, the Cover 3 Podcast crew broke down a viewer-submitted question.

Will the Iowa Hawkeyes have more than 15 passing touchdowns during the entirety of the 2022 season?

On the surface, it sounds like a ridiculous question, right? Then, the unfortunate reality settles in that Iowa only had 12 passing touchdowns in all of 2021, including just three in the season’s final eight games.

With all of that in mind, what did hosts Chip Patterson, Bud Elliott and Tom Fornelli have to say on that subject? Here was their discussion from the latest episode of the Cover 3 Podcast.

Bud Elliott: “An excellent stat from David Eickholt. From October 2 through the bowl game, Iowa only threw two passing touchdowns.

Chip Patterson: “What?!”

Elliott: “Yeah, I listened to the summer school episode we did last night. I’m pretty sure that’s what he said. It was like October 2 up until the bowl game, they only threw two passing touchdowns.”

Tom Fornelli: “Yeah, they don’t…I get the sense that they don’t trust Spencer Petras’ arm in those tight windows very much.”

Patterson: “And they won 10 games last year.”

Fornelli: “Once they get inside the 10, which they usually are because there aren’t a ton of explosive plays that they score from outside the 20, they’re usually handing that thing off and trying to pound it.”

Patterson: “So, under is the answer to 15 passing touchdowns.”

Elliott: “I do think they should throw a little bit more, though. Like, I know that sounds crazy, because I don’t really believe in Spencer Petras. However, teams knew when Tyler Goodson was going to run. They really did. Like, if you look at his early-down success rate, it was horrendous. Teams were basically like daring them to throw the ball. He actually—I think it was on first and 10 inside the red zone—had a success rate under 30 percent. So, Iowa was essentially giving away first down when it got into the red zone by just trying to slam the ball with Goodson. And that’s not saying…I think Goodson is a good back. I think Iowa will have a good offensive line, but, if everybody knows what’s coming, it is a little bit easier to stop, so play-action perhaps?”

Fornelli: “I think Goodson—staying on that subject—I think he’s somebody who once he gets to the NFL is going to actually be a pretty good player and surprise a lot of people based on the numbers he put up in college just because he’s facing eight, nine-man boxes on damn near every snap. There’s nowhere for him to go.”

Reaction

First off, to be completely accurate, Iowa had just two passing touchdowns—both from Alex Padilla in the Minnesota game—beginning with the Oct. 16 contest versus Purdue through the Big Ten Championship game against Michigan. Then, Spencer Petras added one final touchdown pass in the 20-17 Vrbo Citrus Bowl loss versus Kentucky.

For the sake of optimism and the belief that it’s just flat-out unlikely that Iowa has another nine-game stretch next season where the Hawkeyes only combine for three passing touchdowns, let’s bank on that over 15 passing touchdowns in 2022.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire