IOWA CITY, Ia. – In Greg Davis’ first season as Iowa’s offensive coordinator, fans brought new meaning to the term “going postal.”
The Hawkeyes ended 2012 with their lowest scoring average since ’07 and their least impressive yardage totals since 2000.
Davis accepted the blame Wednesday, while talking about a lack of big plays.
“I’m sure part of it was a limitation of play calling,” he said, “especially from the cards and letters I got.”
Davis inherited an offense that averaged 27.5 points and 372.5 yards in 2011, and featured returning quarterback James Vandenberg.
Those numbers dipped to 19.3 points and 310.4 yards last season.
“I feel pressure every day of what I’ve done for 40 years,” Davis said. “But we did sit down and evaluate things we felt we could do better, things we should do more of, less of, whatever.
“And I think we’ve got a pretty good mix going right now.”
Davis was the offensive coordinator for Texas from 1998-2010, helping the Longhorns win a national championship in ‘05 and earning praise as one of the top assistant coaches in college football.
He resigned, however, after Texas finished 5-7 in 2010.
When Davis was asked Wednesday if there had been any doubts about his returning for a second season with the Hawkeyes, he answered, “You’re asking the wrong guy.”
He also joked that some of the angry notes and messages came from his own parents.
“It wasn’t a lot of fun,” Davis said.
One of the most baffling aspects of Iowa’s struggles was a decrease in Vandenberg’s production. He threw for 25 touchdowns as a junior, but just seven as a senior.
“James is an outstanding young man and brilliant,” Davis said. “It’s as much my fault as any player’s.
“I’m sure I could have done a better job with James. He is a better player than he played last year.”
Davis now finds himself overseeing a three-man battle to be the next starting quarterback. Jake Rudock, Cody Sokol and C.J. Beathard remain even on the Hawkeyes’ depth chart.
“We have no idea who the quarterback will be,” Davis said. “We started spring training with the idea that every time we practice we would rotate every two snaps.
“And then when we scrimmaged, we let the quarterback own his drive.”
Davis talked about the need for more “explosive” plays, but Iowa’s strengths continue to be at running back and tight end.
“That’s been a big emphasis in evaluating those guys,” Davis said of the quarterbacks. “If they’ve had an opportunity, did they create that play?”
The rest of the offense should benefit from being more familiar with Davis’ system.
“He’s calling the same plays in certain situations,” receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley said. “He’s coaching the same. Nothing has changed with him.”
If Davis feels the weight of those cards and letters, it hasn’t brought down his mood.
“He’s the same guy,” running back Mark Weisman said. “Gets on us when we’re not doing good. Gets really excited when we’re doing things that are good.
“I don’t think there’s anything much different that he’s been doing.”
IOWA’S WORST OFFENSES UNDER FERENTZ
Iowa’s total offense last season was its worst in 12 years. A look at the Hawkeyes’ worst offensive averages since Kirk Ferentz’s first season of 1999:
Year… Passing… Rushing… Total Avg… Record
1999 – 206.8 – 93.5 – 300.3 – 1-10
2000 – 215.0 – 90.8 – 305.8 – 3-9
2012 – 187.4 – 123.0 – 310.4 – 4-8
2004 – 240.1 – 72.6 – 312.7 – 10-2
2007 – 190.1 – 126.3 – 316.3 – 6-6
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football