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)
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!
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.
1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401 310.656.5777
100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite H, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 424.275.4820