Five thoughts on the Iowa football team's performance in Saturday's season-opening 24-3 win over Wyoming:
1. The good
Iowa's front seven on defense lived up to the hype. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker threw praise a couple of weeks ago on what he saw developing on the Hawkeyes' defensive line, calling it the best he had seen since assuming the coordinator's role in 2012. Pair that with three senior linebackers who combined for 38 tackles against Wyoming and you get a sense for what the Hawkeyes were dishing out against the Cowboys.
Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, the architect of FCS national championship teams at North Dakota State, said the Hawkeyes "front seven is as talented, collectively, as I've seen in a long time.''
Iowa limited the Cowboys to an average of 2.0 yards per rush and 3.3 yards per play, numbers that will win a lot of football games. Saturday's work was a starting point, but a very solid one for the Hawkeyes.
2. The really good
Josey Jewell is good at football, like really good. The preseason all-American demonstrated that repeatedly with his work in Saturday's opener. Jewell finished with 14 tackles, sacked Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen twice, had 2.5 tackles for a loss and broke up a pass to lead the Hawkeyes' defensive attack.
With scouts from eight NFL teams in the house to get a look at Allen, regarded as a potential first-round draft pick in 2018, they also got an eye full of what Jewell can do.
3. The hey, that's OK
Iowa's offense is going to be a bit of a roller coaster ride for a few weeks, which is to be expected with a new starting quarterback and a large contingent of new receivers. An injury-created shake up on the offensive line didn't help things Saturday. The expected return of center James Daniels from a knee injury for this week's game at Iowa State and the ability of Boone Myers to move beyond a nagging ankle injury will be important.
Nate Stanley's debut was filled with potential. He completed 8-of-15 passes and connected only with three receivers -- four times with Nick Easley and twice each with Matt VandeBerg and tight end Noah Fant -- and reached the end zone on three of those throws.
Iowa's passing game will grow with time but the run game will remain the bedrock of what the Hawkeyes accomplish this season. Iowa gained an average of 3.4 yards per rush and 4.7 yards per play as it piled up a modest 263 yards on Saturday. The rushing total is more than one yard less than Iowa averaged per carry in 2016 and the per play total was a half-yard less, leaving plenty of room for growth.
4. The average
Iowa's new special teams specialists had an average debut.
Miguel Recinos had three touchbacks on five kickoffs and placed two more inside the 20 in addition to converting on a 44-yard field goal in his only attempt and hitting all three of his PAT tries. That's the type of consistency that coaches have been talking about over the past few weeks.
Colten Rastetter had an average average of 38.2 yards on four punts. He was effective and on a Saturday when Wyoming's rookie punter whiffed on an attempt that set up an Iowa score late in the first half, effective was good enough.
5. The ugly
Ball security is a big deal. It will be an even bigger deal moving forward. Against a Wyoming offense that never gained any traction, Iowa's four turnovers cost the Hawkeyes only three points on Saturday. That can't be counted on. The three fumbles Iowa lost were one more than the team lost during the entire 2016 season. The Hawkeyes' ability to get the message and learn from a somewhat sloppy opener will be big.