Josh Allen struggles in season debut vs. Iowa

The first of Josh Allen's two chances this year to show NFL scouts what he can do against a defense from a Power Five conference didn't go well for the Wyoming quarterback.

Iowa smothered the Cowboys in a 24-3 home win Saturday as Allen completed 23 of 40 passes for just 174 yards and a pair of interceptions. Allen is considered one of the top prospects in college football, and returned to Wyoming as a fourth-year junior after an agonizing decision to pass on entering the 2017 NFL Draft.

Allen's struggles were interspersed with the occasional throw that showed why NFL scouts are intrigued by his talent. He completed some impressive out routes from the opposite hash mark that flashed his arm strength. He also got no real help from his running game (30 for 59) and was victimized by a young receiving corps that often couldn't get open and dropped too many passes.

Make no mistake, however, Allen wasn't on his game, either. Both interceptions were poor decisions by Allen, and he couldn't attack the middle of the field with any sustained success.

One third-quarter pass illustrated the quarterback's frustrating afternoon. Trailing 21-3, Allen stepped up in the pocket on a play-action pass and threw a strike in the end zone to C.J. Johnson -- perhaps Allen's best throw of the day -- but Johnson bobbled the would-be 36-yard TD pass through the back of the end zone for an incompletion. Wyoming subsequently missed a field goal.

Earlier in the quarter, with a second-and-3 from the Iowa 49, Allen was victimized by back-to-back drops by his receivers, both on short passes toward the sideline, to force one of seven Cowboys punts on the day. The second of those drops was thrown a bit behind the receiver, but was still a catchable ball.

NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah's summer scouting report on Allen revealed a quarterback who needs development and forces too many throws, but one who has major upside. In two weeks, Wyoming will play host to Oregon in what will be Allen's last game against a Power Five opponent in the regular season.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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