Iowa Football

Iowa football needs a new 2-point plan

10 straight failed 2-point conversions since 2016 qualifies as a pattern

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley (4) signals as teammates huddle before the Hawkeyes attempted a 2-point conversion late in the Hawkeyes' 24-22 loss at Wisconsin Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley (4) signals as teammates huddle before the Hawkeyes attempted a 2-point conversion late in the Hawkeyes' 24-22 loss at Wisconsin Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Saturday night in Madison, my amigo and former colleague Scott Dochterman of The Athletic told me Iowa’s football team had failed on its last 10 2-point conversion tries.

I only like sports statistics if they’re freaky, and that one is peak freaky. It was made more significant by the fact Nate Stanley wasn’t able to get two points on a quarterback draw with 3:12 left in Saturday’s game at Wisconsin, preventing the Hawkeyes from tying the Badgers at 24.

Teams generally install a specific play during the week for a 2-point situation, a 3-yard play in the college game. That’s what Iowa said it did in last week’s case.

Ten failures in a row, dating to 2016, is in defiance of the averages. Last year, FBS teams converted 130 of 304 2-point tries for 42.8 percent. It was 40.8 percent in 2017, 40.4 percent in 2016. (See page 191 of the 2019 NCAA records book.)

The Hawkeyes are 0-for-3 in 2019, having missed on pass attempts against Iowa State and Penn State. They were 0-for-2 last year, both in the 38-36 loss at Purdue.

They were 0-for-3 in 2017, missing on two passes against Penn State in a 21-19 defeat and on a pass against Purdue. They missed on a pass against Michigan and a run against Nebraska in 2016.

The last conversion was earlier in 2016, a LeShun Daniels run at Minnesota.

So there you go. The next time Iowa needs two points, it shouldn’t pass or go with a quarterback keeper. Give it to your tailback and block for him. After all, the Hawkeyes’ last previous 2-point conversion before Daniels was a Jordan Canzeri run in 2014.

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By the way, 50 FBS teams have 2-point conversions this year, including five from the Big Ten. Indiana has two. Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State have one apiece. SMU leads the nation with six, converting each of its attempts including three at Memphis. The last one was a lateral to an offensive lineman.

So forget the power-running idea, Hawkeyes. Dust off the play where your quarterback laterals to an offensive lineman who is an eligible receiver.

I should be a coach.

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