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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) 

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!


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.
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.
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Basketball Game Watch: Iowa vs. Maryland

What: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins
When: Saturday, February 25, 2017, 3:00 p.m. Pacific time
Where: Barney’s Beanery (Santa Monica location only)

Come watch Fran McCaffery and the Iowa Men’s Basketball team take on Maryland this Saturday at Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica!  Make sure you wear your Iowa gear for 25% off food and drinks during the game!
Led by senior Peter Jok, the Hawks have seen it all this year; some lows and some promising highs!  The NCAA tournament is unlikely for this year’s team, but McCaffery has put together a solid recruiting class, and there’s more help on the way.  Maryland is one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten, and Iowa nearly pulled off the huge win a few weeks ago.  As the Big Ten tournament begins, every team wants to hit their stride and Iowa is no different.  The Hawks put on quite the show to a national audience on ESPN handling the Hoosiers at home, and that’s just the kind of win to get a team rolling.  A strong finish puts the Hawks in the thick of earning an NIT bid, and pulling off the upset and winning a Big Ten title would just be mind-blowing. 
The top level of Barney’s Beanery will be reserved for Iowa fans, so head out and talk hoops with your fellow So Cal Hawkeyes!  If you can’t make it on Saturday, don’t worry; we’ll be back at Barney’s Beanery on Sunday March 5th as the Hawks take on Penn State.

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Outback Bowl: Football Game Watch, Iowa vs. Florida

Outback Bowl

Iowa vs. Florida, 2017 Outback Bowl, Monday, January 2, 2017, 10:00 a.m. Pacific time

Iowa Hawkeye Outback Bowl official game watch locations are Barney’s Beanery (Santa Monica and Redondo Beach ONLY).  Please note, Barney’s Beanery Pasadena will not be an official game watch location for the Outback Bowl, due to Rose Bowl activities.  Santa Monica and Redondo Beach will honor 40% off food and drink purchases for anyone who wears Iowa gear during the Outback Bowl only.

Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica

1351 3rd St. Promenade

Santa Monica, CA


Barney’s Beanery Redondo Beach

100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite H

Redondo Beach, CA


In the words of Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, 2016 Hawkeye Football was a classic example of the ebbs and flows of college football.  On September 17th, Hawk Nation was stunned when North Dakota State pulled off the upset on #11 ranked Iowa.  After a tough stretch which included a one sided affair against Big 10 foe Penn State, many fans accepted that Iowa would be home for the holidays.  And just like that, Hawkeye fans were stunned once more; turning the College Football Playoffs upside down after a 33-yard field goal eliminated the Michigan Wolverines and turned Kinnick Stadium into the largest outdoor party.
Rebounding from adversity earned the Hawkeyes the right to represent the Big 10 in the Outback Bowl against SEC’s Florida Gators.  So much history between these programs and maybe no one wants the opportunity of redemption more than Iowa Linebacker Chad Greenway, who tweeted “#IWasNotOffsides”.  Hovering over the Hawkeyes program is the reminder they haven’t won a bowl game since 2010.  The incentive for the team is there but they’ll be met with one of college football’s toughest test.  The Gator Defense is ranked in the top 10 nationally and has been lights out all season.  If LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley are to be the workhorses, the O-Line will have to win the battle upfront and this will be a test like no other.  CJ Beathard has struggled staying upright all year and now he’ll face a defense with 30 sacks on the year and over 70 tackles for loss.  You want to talk about speed?  There’s no denying they possess speed on the edges.  We all know Iowa better than anyone, so we know there’s no changing the philosophy; Ferentz will run right at them.  However, In order to combat the pressure, Iowa will most likely need to get Wadley in open space with screens to counter-balance their speed and let him make his own path.  Beathard is likely to focus on short throws since he may not have a lot of time to sit in the pocket and go through his rotations.  Winning 1st and 2nd down battles will be key for Iowa to put points on the board.  3rd down must be manageable, and it will also make play-calling less predictable if the defense has to consider Iowa could run or pass.
With the offensive struggles Iowa has seen this season; Florida has felt their share of pains as well.  Plagued with turnovers, Quarterback Austin Appleby should plan to steer completely clear of Cornerback Desmond King.  Tis the season for giving, so Iowa’s D needs to capitalize on any gifts Florida’s offense is handing out.  Jaleel Johnson’s safety against the Wolverines completely flipped momentum, and without it; the comeback most likely doesn’t happen.  Coach Parker may find sending blitz’s more often will provide the secondary with better opportunities to make plays on the ball.
On paper, the similarities between these two programs make for an interesting matchup; and expect them to live up to every bit of it.  There’s no love lost anytime the Big 10 meets the SEC, and the Hawkeyes have plenty to be playing for.  The New Year is upon us, but the past is what will make this another classic rivalry showdown.  We’ll see if we can add Alligator to the Barney’s Beanery menu for one day only.  Time to send the SEC back to the swamp.  Chomp on that!  Let’s Go Hawks!
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Football Game Watch: Iowa vs. Minnesota

Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m. Pacific time

Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, and Pasadena


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!

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Football Game Watch: Iowa vs. Rutgers

Saturday, September 24, 2016, 9:00 a.m. Pacific time

Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, and Pasadena


I told you the Bison would earn our respect, but I didn’t see the Hawks not pulling that one out.  Iowa turns the page as quickly as possible, in hopes that a road victory can steer this season back on the right track.  This is the first meeting between the Hawkeyes and the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers is one of the new kids on the block after joining the Big 10 conference in 2014.  Rutgers First year head Coach Chris Ash grew up a Hawkeye fan, growing up just south of Iowa City, in Ottumwa.  But he would love nothing more than taking down the Black and Gold in his Big 10 debut.  Not so much a secret weapon, because everyone knows it’s coming; Rutgers has quite the weapon in Janarion Grant.  This is one team that truly believes in getting the ball into the hands of their playmaker, and you’ll see Grant catching balls, returning balls, running the ball and yes; even passing the ball.  Film session will likely lead the Scarlet Knights with one agenda, and that’s running right at the Iowa line and taking their shots down field.  When you have a dynamic runner with great hands, you put all the pressure on the defense to stop what they already know is coming.

If you’re like me, a lot of fan excitement was seeing a new forward thinking strategy dubbed “New Kirk 2.0”.  Last week, didn’t feel new; more like a sequel with a few changes but mostly the same plot from the original story.  Players didn’t execute perfection, and they never will; but the play-calling could have been more aggressive as well.  The good news Hawks, dropping a non-conference game is something we do even on our good years!  So what’s next for Iowa?  It’s about establishing the right attitude and maintaining that attitude every week.  There wasn’t the same hunger that was seen when the Cyclones came into Kinnick.  Tackling was optional, as was staying upright before making contact with a defender.  This is when the captains must take back control of their team, and expect CJ Beathard to put this loss on his shoulders and vow to step his game up.  Not because it’s Beathard’s fault, but because it’s his team and he will want to be the example for everyone in that locker room.

Iowa has to get back to winning the basics and that means controlling the line of scrimmage and executing proper tackling form.  Win the line of scrimmage and your running backs have lanes, and Beathard isn’t getting smashed into the ground.  Poor tackling turned too many 3 yard gains into first downs, and getting off the field early is the best way to help a defense win the 4th quarter battle.  There’s plenty to clean up, but the Hawkeyes have the talent to do it.  There’s no better way to test a team’s heart then sending them in enemy territory.

Iowa prides itself on being a run oriented team, but they can’t be so prideful that they run regardless of the scenario or the result.  The ultimate goal is to win every game, it doesn’t matter how.  A great week of practice is helpful, but adjustments in-game will dictate who wins and who loses.  The Hawks must find what’s working and commit to the ultimate game plan of doing what it takes to win, even if it’s not what the original plan called for.  Do that and Iowa will be 1-0 in Big 10 play, with the chance of another great season right in front of them.

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