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Iowa’s Nate Stanley will keep the Hawkeyes competitive against Ohio State in Week 10

The quarterback seems to always make the correct play.

Penn State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Nate Stanley is smart with the football, he takes care of the ball and takes what the defense gives him. Nate Stanley is the prototypical Iowa Hawkeye quarterback.

I mean, look at this play against Iowa State:

Iowa came out in a double tight end set on second-and-ten. The flexed tight end ran the outside linebacker out of the play, while the tight end on the line of scrimmage blocked down on the defensive end. The other two linebackers flowed away from the play due to the play-action, and the tight end released from his block into the flat. Stanley faced pressure but threw the ball accurately to his tight end, who rumbled down the sideline to the end zone.

When re-watching Iowa’s big win over current No. 15 Iowa State, it’s clear Iowa is still very much Iowa.

The Hawkeyes run the ball 56-percent of the time (Ohio State has a 52:48 run:pass ratio). They have a solid run game with Akrum Wadley that sets up play-action. Stanley utilizes his tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson better than just about any other quarterback. Most importantly, Stanley takes what the defense gives him, finds the open receiver and throws an accurate football — completing a season-best 65.9-percent of his passes vs the Cyclones.

This isn’t the flashiest play of the afternoon, but Stanley showed some poise in the pocket while facing a rush. He stood his ground and delivered a strike to Fant, to move the chains on third down with two minutes remaining.

Stanley drove his team down the field to tie the game and send it to overtime. He relied on his tight ends and Wadley, who took a pass from Stanley and found the end zone on a brilliant individual effort. Stanley then hit his receiver in overtime to win the game and defeat the Cyclones.

The talent discrepancy between the Buckeyes and Iowa is more than evident. However, they’re well-coached and they can play with just about anyone. They defeated No. 15 Iowa State in Ames, IA, lost a heart breaker to Penn State, and fell to Michigan State in East Lansing by a score.

Ohio State’s talent will be the difference in the game, but don’t be surprised if Stanley tests the linebackers and secondary in coverage if he gets the time to do so. If they can control the clock and play sound defense, they should keep it competitive.