Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m. Pacific time
Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, and Pasadena
IOWA VS MINNESOTA
It’s okay Hawk Nation, you can be frustrated; but the season is far from over. Other than the Cy-Hawk trophy, there’s no bigger rivalry than Minnesota and the battle for Floyd of Rosedale. Iowa heads North in a key matchup against the 3-1 Gophers.
There’s one name that stands out for Minnesota and that is Quarterback Mitch Leidner. He got my attention earlier this summer as he put in serious dedication to better himself. He’s leaner, quicker, healthier and has a nasty attitude about the Hawkeyes. We all know the Iowa-Minnesota hate is real, but Leidner clearly felt Iowa disrespected him during the recruiting process and has stated such. He understands the importance to their fan base of winning and to show up the program that “Strung him along” is all the motivation he’ll need to come out guns blazing. Minnesota’s struggles are near mirror images of the Hawks, the O-line is questionable; leaving Leidner to have to create his own plays. The D-Line isn’t giving much help either, struggling to generate a pass rush.
Dissecting Iowa’s issues is both confusing and frustrating. Looking at the offense, team chemistry is a glaring problem. Pass protection has been poor and CJ Beathard hasn’t adjusted his pocket awareness enough to compensate. Iowa has to keep Beathard moving with more play-action and designed runs to keep the linebackers in check from dialing up the blitz. The run game is going to work best, when the Defense has to concern themselves with a deep ball threat. Wide-out Jerminic Smith is the one guy who has the speed to do it, and did show he’s capable on the one opportunity he was given. It may be time for the Hawks to cut the playbook loose and get the offense out of their comfort zone and give the defense an unexpected attack. If the first 20 plays are scripted and you go 3 and out on your first series; throw it out.
Here’s the truth, there are 7 games remaining and Iowa has every chance to right this ship and propel themselves back into the national spotlight. It begins Saturday, bringing Floyd back to Iowa City and this team needs Hawkeye Nation behind them more than ever!
Keys to victory on the road- get Beathard moving and breathe new life into the offense. Defensively, take more risk and blitz the corners forcing QB’s into mistakes. And finally, fire the officiating crew because they need serious help!
Let’s get the Hawk spirit fired up! Barney’s Beanery will be ready to go and the food and drinks will be flowing! Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Pasadena…let’s get it on!