Sam LaPorta's big game for the Lions on Saturday made football fans wonder why Iowa couldn't get more out of the star rookie tight end. Photo Credit: Joseph Cress/USA TODAY NETWORK Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta (84) warms up before a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Northwestern, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Photo Credit: Joseph Cress/USA TODAY NETWORK 221029 Northwestern Iowa Fb 111 Jpg

After getting shut out in the first quarter, the Detroit Lions quickly found its form on Saturday night, scoring touchdowns on six of its final seven possessions in a decisive 42-17 win over the Denver Broncos. Tight end Sam LaPorta was a big reason why.

LaPorta was on the receiving end of three of the five touchdown passes thrown by quarterback Jared Goff. LaPorta, in general, has been a beast for the Lions this season. Including Saturday, he’s caught 71 passes on the year for 758 yards with nine touchdowns. It’s already one of the best statistical seasons a rookie tight end has ever had — and Detroit has three more games remaining.

Before getting drafted by the Lions, LaPorta was a four-year player at the University of Iowa. Iowa has become something of a hotbed for tight ends, with George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant and now LaPorta having all played college football for the Hawkeyes. Despite that, the results haven’t been there for Iowa, especially on offense.

LaPorta’s three touchdowns on Saturday matched his best season at Iowa. His nine touchdowns on the year are three more than he had in four combined seasons with the Hawkeyes. Iowa, meanwhile, has consistently been one of college football’s worst scoring offenses, particularly among power five teams.

And while LaPorta’s big day on Saturday earned him a lot of praise, it also earned his alma mater more scrutiny.

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