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2017 Football Game Watch: Iowa vs. Michigan State

Football Game Watch #5
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Michigan State Spartans

Saturday, September 30, 2017, 1:00 p.m. Pacific time.
Barney’s Beanery (2 locations: Santa Monica and Redondo Beach) 

A NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Always innovating, always growing and always helping.  That’s the LA Iowa Club way.  Fresh off a trip to Iowa City, and what a rewarding trip this was.  If you haven’t heard, or wasn’t able to be a part of it; the LA Iowa Club was featured live inside of Kinnick Stadium to a ruckus crowd of 75,000 fans.  I’m sure you have all heard about the best new tradition in all of college football, the Iowa wave.  Fans turn to the Children’s Hospital located right next to the stadium and wave.  Our home for Hawkeye sports Barney’s Beanery, felt LA should be a part of this tradition and suggested fans join in.  Eric “The Mayor” Brune was quick to respond and reached out to get everyone on board.  Without hesitation, this was such a fantastic idea I had to take this to the head of the Iowa Alumni Association; Susan Griffith.  Susan was on board and Associate AD of Marketing for Iowa, Charlie Taylor made it happen!  It took a great deal of coordination, but fans throughout the stadium cheered the children on alongside LA Iowa Club and members of the New York Iowa Club (Shout out to Alvin Chang).  To watch the reaction from inside of Kinnick Stadium, visit our Facebook page Los Angeles Iowa Club or our Twitter page @LAIowaClub.
 
We’re also very committed not only to our LA Hawkeyes, but the next generation of Hawkeyes as well!  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to students from the University of Iowa’s Journalism and Communications program.  Our new initiative will bring you voices from the students and campus life, and give them an opportunity to hone their writing skills.  The first student we would like to introduce you to is Tanner Lafever and he wrote this week’s Iowa vs Michigan State game preview!
Go Hawks!
Isaiah Scales
LA Iowa Club President

IOWA VS MICHIGAN STATE

So close. Damnit we were so close. But as is the life of an Iowa Hawkeye football fan sometimes you’ve got to take one on the chin even amidst what could turn out to be a memorable season. Sure, our hearts were all broken on Saturday night, but the dream is still alive if you can bring yourself to see it.
 
Captain Kirk’s crew stood toe to toe with a playoff contending opponent and its Heisman candidate superstar on the biggest of stages, showing a national audience that these Hawkeyes are a team to be reckoned with. Now the next step is putting their best foot forward and getting back on the winning track.
 
The opportunity to do so comes this Saturday afternoon in East Lansing, Michigan at 1:00 PM PST on FOX.
 
Similar to Penn State last week, Iowa has a bone to pick with the Spartans as well (something about a championship game two years ago that I don’t really even want to talk about anymore, so sorry for bringing it up).
 
Both teams enter this match-up with a single loss on their respective records, though Michigan State (2-1) has one fewer win courtesy of the bye week it took before getting curb stomped by Notre Dame 38-18 at home this past Saturday.
 
Your typical rules for a Mark Dantonio coached team apply. The Spartans will play a physical, fight-for-every-inch style of defense, allowing just over 250 yards/game through the first month of the season. On offense, they want to pound the football with a group of backs led by junior LJ Scott, but in a new wrinkle the ground attack is buoyed by a signal caller with some wheels of his own.
 
Sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke has thrown for over 700 yards through three games while picking up an additional 206 on the ground thanks to his considerable athleticism. It would behoove the Hawkeye defense to treat Lewerke with similar disdain to what the likes of Josey Jewell, Anthony Nelson, and A.J. Epenesa showcased this past weekend in their assault on an opposing quarterback.
 
When Iowa has the ball you can expect a similar strategy of resistance as to what it faced against the Nittany Lions. The Hawkeyes certainly had their struggles against aggressive looks last weekend, but the second half performance by the offense indicated that it certainly has the capability to exploit such tactics. Finding a few more ways to get Akrum Wadley (HOW ABOUT THAT GUY) in space is never a bad thing, and Nate Stanley continues to show that he’s able to make big throws when called upon. I’d imagine we’ll see a little bit of both on Saturday.
 
Michigan State is typically a tough out at Spartan Stadium, so victory is no easy guarantee for these Hawks. But a well-earned win would be huge to help the team regain some momentum heading into two consecutive bye weeks in early October (OK one of them is a home game against Illinois, but you get the point).
 
So wash off your tear soaked dirty Black & Gold gear from last weekend, fix that hole you may or may not have punched in your wall, and settle in for a Saturday of Hawkeye football. It’ll be another great day to be an Iowa fan and a season that still has the makings of something special. GO HAWKS!
MEET THE WRITER: TANNER LAFEVER

Tanner Lafever is a senior at Iowa, majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications and a minor in Sports Studies.  Outside the classroom, Tanner’s always ready for a game of pickup basketball; so, don’t bring that weak stuff down his lane.  A jokester, movie buff and avid sports competitor; Tanner was born a Hawkeye; spending his childhood tailgating and attending Iowa football games his entire life. 
 
Look for more stories from Tanner in the upcoming weeks, and if you would like to drop Tanner a line or two of support; email us at laiowaclub@gmail.com
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2017 Football Game Watch: Iowa vs. Penn State

Football Game Watch #4
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 4:30 p.m. Pacific time.
Barney’s Beanery (2 locations: Santa Monica and Redondo Beach) 

IOWA VS PENN STATE
Last year’s victory over #3 Michigan was the highlight of the season, a truly inspired effort that derailed the Wolverines hopes of a National Championship.  But that win came with a price, as just one week earlier; Iowa’s heart and effort was questioned by members of the Nittany Lions.  Penn State’s star running back Saquon Barkley said after the game “They quit, you could tell”.  Iowa had no answers, suffering a brutal 41-14 loss.  There’s no stinging loss to rally behind this time, now it’s about payback, pride and making Barkley regret every word out of his mouth.
 
No ESPN College GameDay for Iowa City, there’s a more important game going on in New York’s Time Square apparently.  Doesn’t matter!  Iowa vs Penn State will be nationally televised as ABC’s Primetime matchup.  This is not the game you can repeat a 41-14 thumping; all eyes are on the Hawks and anything less than an inspired effort won’t be a good reflection on the program.  There’s plenty to be concerned about, Penn State is a legitimate college football playoff team.  Barkley is complimented by Quarterback Trace McSorley, a QB who’s moxie energies the entire team; and can beat you with his arms or legs.  Setting a Penn State record, McSorley threw 258 yards in one half; yes, just one half.  Much like Wyoming QB Josh Allen, McSorley can damage a defense by extending plays long enough to give a receiver time to shake free.  Once you start focusing on a QB scramble, it’s easy to forget Barkley is waiting in the wings and in open space; the turf monster might be your best chance of stopping him.
 
Defensively, Penn State is feeling pretty good after shutting out Georgia State 56-0.  The defensive ends are flying off the edges and there’s depth to keep guys fresh throughout the game.  No one including the Nittany Lions really know how good they are and the Hawkeyes will be their toughest challenge and Kinnick Stadium can’t be underestimated.
 
Did Iowa somewhat struggle with North Texas? Absolutely, and the officiating had a lot to do with the inconsistent play from both teams really.  Tailgate conversations centered around one thing, getting our backups reps in the second half would be ideal.  Careful what you ask for, as we got just that; with injuries to Akrum Wadley, James Butler, Noah Fant and Matt VandeBerg, we learned a lot about our depth at running back.  Wadley’s injury appears to be minimal, unfortunately for Butler; he’ll miss several weeks due to an elbow injury.  Freshman Ivory Kelly-Martin stole the second half with his burst through the holes and gritty performance.  Hopefully Wadley’s ankles are ready to go, as Iowa will need every bit of him a full go.  Losing Butler means a loss of valuable experience, but the reps the young backs received will pay off greatly in due time.
 
QB Nate Stanley is proving to be just as worthy as Wadley for team MVP.  That might sound crazy to many, as without a doubt; the team’s success ultimately rides on Wadley’s playmaking ability, but give Stanley a lot of credit for developing game to game.  We’ve seen several potential touchdowns become incomplete passes, but Stanley put up a bomb on North Texas right on the money; and credit the Mean Green for making an incredible play to break it up.  Stanley is growing and he’s leading his offense in ways that Iowa hasn’t been able to do very often.  The defense is struggling, that would doom plenty of season’s in the past; but instead, Stanley picks up the pieces and gets the team down the field for points.  There’s nothing that could prepare Stanley for this Saturday.  It’s the number 4 team in the nation, it’s a night game in Kinnick; how does he handle this kind of pressure?  The answer will result in a W or an L.
 
The butt kicking in Happy Valley was the closest feeling I’ve had to the Rose Bowl, and I didn’t play in it.  The players did and there’s no doubt in my mind they’ll prepare for this game with a demeanor to unleash all of their past demons.  Get the field ready, I feel a storming coming on.  Go Hawks!
 
BEST. GAME WATCH. EVER.
Official 2017 Iowa Football Game Watches will only be in Santa Monica and Redondo Beach this season.  Many of you have enjoyed getting together at our Pasadena game watch location, but only Santa Monica and Redondo Beach will be honoring our 40% off food and drinks specials.  If this changes in the future, we’ll let you know; apologies for any inconveniences this causes. 

Check out the fun and excitement at this year’s game watches. Wear your Hawkeye gear to get 40% off food and drinks during the game.
 

Santa Monica
1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401 310.656.5777
Santa Monica will once again be the featured Iowa Hawkeyes game watch location. We’ll continue with full sound for both top and lower areas, with the majority of TV’s tuned to our game. 
 
Redondo Beach
100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite H, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 424.275.4820
Redondo Beach will build on last season’s great turnout of incredible fans. Bonus: beach and ocean views. Look for Game Watch Coordinator Garrett Darland. 
http://barneysbeanery.com/
 
RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’re coming!
Be sure to support the waitstaff at Barney’s, our terrific sponsor. Please tip on the full bill. We look forward to seeing everyone at the game watch. 
If you’re interested in helping host the game watches (or volunteering with the club in other areas of need), please reply and let us know.
GO HAWKS!
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2017 Football Game Watch: Iowa vs. North Texas

Football Game Watch #3
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. North Texas Mean Green

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 12:30 p.m. Pacific time.
Barney’s Beanery (2 locations: Santa Monica and Redondo Beach) 

IOWA VS NORTH TEXAS
And just like that, all of Ames went silent.  Easily one of the most memorable Cy-Hawk battles of all time, Nate Stanley not only silenced Jack Trice Stadium; but every fan that doubted his abilities as a playmaker.  X’s and O’s, talent and rankings simply don’t matter in rivalry games as a true rivalry is fueled off passion, emotion and hatred of your enemy.  The Cyclones are a much better team than most experts would acknowledge, and when adversity came knocking; the Hawkeyes answered the challenge.
 
What’s the opposite of high?  Hitting a low, and that is what Iowa must avoid when North Texas visits the pink locker room.  The energy and excitement won’t be the same, but for the 100 players suiting up; it’s still the most important game of the season.  First year play-caller Brian Ferentz is just as much a work in progress as his young quarterback.  As he finesses, the team will finesse as well.  This game is built for Brian to showcase his running backs.  Akrum Wadley and James Butler will be the workhorses, and that means the offensive line will have to create the holes.  James Daniels return was the best news Stanley could have received but the line re-adjusts again losing Ike Boettger for the season due to an Achilles injury.
 
No one predicted Iowa to have much of a passing attack, but with the emergence of Nick Easley, Noah Fant and true freshman Ihmir Smith-Marsette; Stanley is finding weapons all over the field.  Stanley’s job over the next few days of practice is finding the chemistry with them to convert on big play opportunities, instead of leaving 3 potential scores off the board as was the case in Ames.  That timing comes with more practice, more experience and knowing your receivers speed and acceleration. 
 
Wyoming was held to 3 points, but the Cyclones certainly exposed a weakness of the defense.  This is why coaches get paid the big bucks, you don’t know what is broken until it happens; their job is to fix it.  The defense was expected to receive a boost with the return of corner Manny Rugamba, but that wasn’t the case as he showed in-game rust.  There will be a lot of time spent in the classroom reviewing game film, as Iowa was sucked into over-pursuits one too many times.  The zone defense was a head scratcher and left a lot of open space for receivers to roam free against linebackers who can’t match that kind of speed.  The Mean Green from Texas won’t present the same challenges, so the D needs to focus on controlling the line of scrimmage and pressuring the QB.  Defensive lineman AJ Epenesa has earned more playing time and could be the one key to creating a consistent rush needed to force QB’s into making errors. 
 
With Penn State looming in the background, it could be easy for Iowa to lose focus of North Texas.  For me, this game is about Brian Ferentz and does he bring a new attitude to the table.  When Banks, Clark and yes; Brian himself were the show, they destroyed inferior opponents at will.  The killer instinct hasn’t been in Iowa City for some time, and this is Brian’s opportunity to remind college football that Iowa is a powerhouse program and only the big dogs run with us.  Set the tone early and handle the job convincingly.  In case they didn’t get the memo, let them know why it’s called the Hawkeye State. Go Hawks!

BEST. GAME WATCH. EVER.
Official 2017 Iowa Football Game Watches will only be in Santa Monica and Redondo Beach this season.  Many of you have enjoyed getting together at our Pasadena game watch location, but only Santa Monica and Redondo Beach will be honoring our 40% off food and drinks specials.  If this changes in the future, we’ll let you know; apologies for any inconveniences this causes. 

Check out the fun and excitement at this year’s game watches. Wear your Hawkeye gear to get 40% off food and drinks during the game.

Santa Monica
1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401 310.656.5777
Santa Monica will once again be the featured Iowa Hawkeyes game watch location. We’ll continue with full sound for both top and lower areas, with the majority of TV’s tuned to our game. 

Redondo Beach
100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite H, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 424.275.4820
Redondo Beach will build on last season’s great turnout of incredible fans. Bonus: beach and ocean views. Look for Game Watch Coordinator Garrett Darland. 
http://barneysbeanery.com/
 
RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’re coming!
Be sure to support the waitstaff at Barney’s, our terrific sponsor. Please tip on the full bill. We look forward to seeing everyone at the game watch. 
If you’re interested in helping host the game watches (or volunteering with the club in other areas of need), please reply and let us know.
 
GO HAWKS!
 
Comments { 0 }

2017 Football Game Watch: Iowa vs. Iowa State

Football Game Watch #2
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Saturday, September 9, 2017, 9:00 a.m. Pacific time.
Barney’s Beanery (2 locations: Santa Monica and Redondo Beach) 

IOWA VS IOWA STATE
Preparing for top NFL draft prospect Josh Allen was no easy feat, but the Hawkeye defense made a huge statement allowing just 3 points.  The team celebration won’t last long, as clearly this season is a work in progress and the coaching staff will get right back on the field to improve.  The clash between bitter foes is next, and one team will walk away claiming victory and bragging rights across the entire state of Iowa.
 
The problem with analyzing week one, is its only one week.  Every team in America is trying to evaluate if their team is what they saw on the field or something else.  Preparing for your opponent and even yourself becomes tricky, as the team you see on game film; now has a week to access what worked and what didn’t.  At first, Iowa seemed a bit lost at times; turning the ball over, and not establishing control of the line of scrimmage.  But as the second period winded down, the lights turned on and you could see confidence starting to build in young quarterback Nate Stanley.  Kirk Ferentz will appreciate the growth he saw from his team in 30 minutes of play.  The addition of Nevada running back James Butler will prove to be a key off-season pickup, as he provided a spark at just the right time with Wyoming focused on limiting Akrum Wadley early on. 
 
Leaders began to emerge as well with Noah Fant and Nick Easley running solid routes and gaining tough yards after the catch.  The biggest question was who was going to catch the ball?  They have answered that question and in due time, this is going to payoff big for Matt Vandeberg.  As expected, this is the Wadley show and should be.  Every commentator picks up on one thing, Wadley’s instincts.  It’s what you can’t teach that separates him from the rest.  His ability to read a defense and make a move at just the right time is sensational to watch.  The highly touted offensive line didn’t blow anyone away, but don’t underestimate what team leaders brings to the table, and with James Daniels back this week; it will look like a new unit.
 
The Cyclones are still clowns, but their improved clowns.  David Montgomery may be the most impressive back in Ames in a long time.  He flashed a brutal power attack and displayed his own unique set of moves to break defender ankles.  Almost mirroring their big brothers, the Cyclones linebacker crew is quick, decisive and pursues the ball extremely well.  Brian Peavy will be the name you hear most, he’s talented enough to have played D-1 football, not sure why he picked the Cyclones instead.  Where’s the shush emoji when you need it?
 
The spectacular performance by the Iowa defense will have another tough test and being on the road won’t be easy.  Don’t forget, this will be Stanley’s first road game; so, expect a turnover or two.  This is where Ferentz relies on this defense to make things happen.  Keeping the Cyclones off the field often and early is essential to walking out of Ames with a victory.  The secondary deserves a lot of credit, especially being such a young group.  If Josey Jewell and AJ Epenesa can disrupt the backfield and pressure the quarterback, the secondary will have their chance at two picks.
 
You haven’t seen everything from Brian Ferentz, it was the smart play.  Some plays didn’t work, but Wyoming was his chance to test them out.  He didn’t forget the screens, he just didn’t need them; but he will this week.  Stanley can’t afford the turnovers, not in Jack Trice Stadium.  The pressure is always on our defense, and they can do the job; but you can’t put them in bad positions.  This is hate week, and I hate it until we win the game!

Go Hawks!

BEST. GAME WATCH. EVER.
Official 2017 Iowa Football Game Watches will only be in Santa Monica and Redondo Beach this season.  Many of you have enjoyed getting together at our Pasadena game watch location, but only Santa Monica and Redondo Beach will be honoring our 40% off food and drinks specials.  If this changes in the future, we’ll let you know; apologies for any inconveniences this causes. 

Check out the fun and excitement at this year’s game watches. Wear your Hawkeye gear to get 40% off food and drinks during the game.

Santa Monica
1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401 310.656.5777
Santa Monica will once again be the featured Iowa Hawkeyes game watch location. We’ll continue with full sound for both top and lower areas, with the majority of TV’s tuned to our game. 

Redondo Beach
100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite H, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 424.275.4820
Redondo Beach will build on last season’s great turnout of incredible fans. Bonus: beach and ocean views. Look for Game Watch Coordinator Garrett Darland. 
http://barneysbeanery.com/
 
RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’re coming!
Be sure to support the waitstaff at Barney’s, our terrific sponsor. Please tip on the full bill. We look forward to seeing everyone at the game watch. 
If you’re interested in helping host the game watches (or volunteering with the club in other areas of need), please reply and let us know.
GO HAWKS!
 
Comments { 0 }

2017 Football Game Watch: Iowa vs. Wyoming

Football Game Watch #1
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Wyoming Cowboys

Saturday, September 2, 2017, 9:00 a.m. Pacific time.
Barney’s Beanery (2 locations: Santa Monica and Redondo Beach) 

IOWA VS WYOMING
Big Ten Football- It’s brutal, unforgiving, emotional, passionate and its history rivals any conference in college football.  Where all the talk of football experts means nothing, as there are no weeks off; no matter who you play.  Who will this year’s Iowa Hawkeyes be?  That’s unknown, but we do know they’ll be different.  And unless you’re one of those talking heads that just hasn’t Herd, the Hawkeyes are just fine flying under the radar.  This Saturday, Iowa will get their first opportunity to make noise of their own.
 
Wyoming’s rise in college football can be traced right back here to California.  Quarterback Josh Allen is widely considered the number one draft pick in next year’s NFL Draft, as the Firebaugh, California native capitulated the Cowboys to the Mountain West Conference Championship game and Poinsettia Bowl last season.  Maybe a nominee for Kevonte Martin-Manley’s 2 Star of the year, Allen truly has earned the 5th; receiving only 3 offers coming out of high school.  Two top 25 teams were saddled by the Cowboys last season, and a win on the road against Iowa solidify his worth as an NFL QB.  Wyoming is built around scoring a lot of points, averaging 35 a game last season.  Not exactly what a Kirk Ferentz team would like to have to keep pace with.  Allen led the conference with 28 touchdowns, so expect this to be two polar opposites of offenses.  All is not well in Laramie, Wyoming, 8 players have been suspended or dismissed from the team earlier this year.  How well Allen can move this offense without his full arsenal will be put to the test right out the gate.
 
Kirk Ferentz returns as college football’s longest tenured head coach, and he’s bringing back familiar faces with former Iowa offensive lineman Brian Ferentz taking command of the offense, alongside Ken O’Keefe.  Yeah, that guy!  Hey, he wasn’t always a fan favorite, but after lackluster offenses under Greg Davis, KOK is a pleasant return for many fans.  Sometime between now, and when you read this, a decision will be made on who will lead the offense to the field.  It’s down to Nathan Stanley and Tyler Wiegers, neither QB has done enough to solidify their position in Ferentz’s eyes.  That’s tough for Hawk fans to digest, as it’s not entirely clear if they’re both excelling or if there hasn’t been enough separation since spring practice.  There is no lack of confidence on what is expected to be one of college football’s best offensive lines.  Akrum Wadley is a dynamic back, and most expect his opportunities to grow even more his senior season.  An already hyped backfield received a huge boost when Nevada graduate transfer James Butler announced he wanted to be a Hawkeye.  This duo could duplicate last year’s production between Wadley and LeShun Daniels.  A mostly inexperienced wide receiver corp, but Matt VandeBurg’s return from injury should assist on key 3rdconversions.
 
The Defense lost its King, as the LA Chargers drafted Desmond King in the 5th round.  While the losses of King and Jaleel Johnson leave big holes to fill, Josey Jewell will be a wrecking ball of havoc for offensive coordinators.  Corner Manny Rugamba earned playing time as a true freshman and if he plays to his potential, should have a good season.  Upfront, there’s solid experience, only time will tell if players are ready to step into their roles and pick up where this defense was last year. The D has potential to be great, but be patient, practice makes perfect.
 
These Cowboys are not America’s team, but we may be looking at the next Dak Prescott.  We don’t need history lessons, be ready to play anybody, anytime, anywhere.  Go Hawks!

 

BEST. GAME WATCH. EVER.
Official 2017 Iowa Football Game Watches will only be in Santa Monica and Redondo Beach this season.  Many of you have enjoyed getting together at our Pasadena game watch location, but only Santa Monica and Redondo Beach will be honoring our 40% off food and drinks specials.  If this changes in the future, we’ll let you know; apologies for any inconveniences this causes. 

Check out the fun and excitement at this year’s game watches. Wear your Hawkeye gear to get 40% off food and drinks during the game.

Santa Monica
1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401 310.656.5777
Santa Monica will once again be the featured Iowa Hawkeyes game watch location. We’ll continue with full sound for both top and lower areas, with the majority of TV’s tuned to our game. 
 
Redondo Beach
100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite H, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 424.275.4820
Redondo Beach will build on last season’s great turnout of incredible fans. Bonus: beach and ocean views. Look for Game Watch Coordinator Garrett Darland. 
http://barneysbeanery.com/
 
RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’re coming!
Be sure to support the waitstaff at Barney’s, our terrific sponsor. Please tip on the full bill. We look forward to seeing everyone at the game watch. 
If you’re interested in helping host the game watches (or volunteering with the club in other areas of need), please reply and let us know.
GO HAWKS!
Comments { 0 }