Iowa Indiana Football

Iowa safety Geno Stone comes down with an interception in the end zone during the Hawkeyes' 42-16 win at Indiana on Oct. 13. 

Five things to think about about following Iowa's 42-16 victory at Indiana on Saturday:

1. The good

Nate Stanley shares credit with everyone but the team bus driver -- he may be doing that as well but he hasn't stated that publicly yet -- but Iowa's quarterback looks comfortable at the controls of an offense which has topped 400 yards in each of the Hawkeyes' last four games.

After a 50-50 start through the season's first two games, numbers that nearly mirror his passing percentage at that point, Stanley has connected on two of nearly three passes he has attempted since. The junior is 81-of-123 in his last four four games and has topped 300 passing yards three times in that span.

He flirted with some school records held by Chuck Hartlieb and Chuck Long on Saturday as part of a 21-of-33 performance that covered 320 yards.

His 14 touchdown passes over four games matches a school record over that stretch that Long set in 1985 and his six touchdown strikes at Indiana matched Long for the second most in a single game in Hawkeye history, one shy of the record Hartlieb set in 1987 against Northwestern.

Stanley has it all working right now. Sit back and enjoy. The second-year starter enters Saturday's game against Maryland needing 28 yards to become the 11th Hawkeye to throw for 4,000 yards in a career.

2. The better than good

Iowa's human mismatches, also known as T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, were more than Indiana could handle Saturday.

Dealing with man coverage throughout much of the game, the Hawkeye tight ends used their combination of size and speed to toy with the Hoosiers.

"Those big bodies, they could run," as Indiana coach Tom Allen pointed out, referencing a skill set that has is creating opportunities throughout the Iowa offense.

Both topped 100 receiving yards while catching four passes apiece, Hockenson finishing with 107 yards and Fant with 101.

It is the first time Iowa has had two 100-yard receivers in a single game since Keenan Davis caught 10 passes for 129 yards and Marvin McNutt had eight for 112 in a 2011 game against Pittsburgh.

Combined, they've caught 46 balls for 691 yards and scored 10 touchdowns this season.

3. The acrobat

The game-turning nature of quality kick returns can electrify or quiet a stadium and Iowa has a player in Ihmir Smith-Marsette who has that ability.

He's shown that skill in returns the past two week which nullified any momentum the opponent may have seized, setting up touchdown drives with a 49-yard return at Minnesota and a 60-yard run back Saturday in a 14-10 game at Indiana.

The sophomore weaved his way through the Hoosiers for his lengthy return Saturday, finishing things off with a leap over a kicker attempting to make a tackle early in the second quarter.

Smith-Marsette landed a little gingerly and after being complimented by coach Kirk Ferentz for execution "just the way it was drawn up,'' he ended up with a quick trip to the training room to make certain all was well.

Iowa needs Smith-Marsette's skill set as a receiver and return specialist more than it needs an acrobat. Stay energetic, but stay smart.

4. The getting it done

Geno Stone has been up to the challenge whenever he has had the opportunity.

He stepped in at safety at Nebraska last season and delivered and in making starts at Minnesota and Indiana to allow Amani Hooker to move into a role which has helped Iowa overcome injuries at linebacker, Stone has been an effective defender.

He has recorded eight tackles and two interceptions this season in starting assignments against the Golden Gophers and Hoosiers and coach Kirk Ferentz said people are seeing what only Iowa saw among power-five programs.

He said Stone seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

"I'm in about my 18th month of trying to figure out what other people missed," Ferentz said. "We really liked him in recruiting, just seemed like our kind of football player."

That seems to be the case.

5. The bad and the ugly

There was enough laundry thrown around Saturday at Indiana's Memorial Stadium to confuse the turf there with a nearby dorm room floor.

The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers combined for 21 penalties totaling 209 yards. Iowa's contribution was a season-high 11 penalties totaling a season-high 110 yards.

It was one of those games where once flags started flying, there was seemingly no end to them.

Indiana was flagged for a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct calls on its bench and postgame coach Tom Allen said that while he didn't like them his "shirt doesn't have stripes on it."

Kirk Ferentz said simply that his team, flagged once for five yards three weeks earlier against Wisconsin, has "a lot to clean up" as it works toward Saturday's 11 a.m. game against Maryland.

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