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Football Game Watch: Iowa vs. Iowa State

Saturday, September 10, 2016, 4:30 p.m. Pacific time

Barney’s Beanery (3 locations: Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, and Pasadena)

IOWA VS IOWA STATE

Some love it, some hate it; and the debate to play this game or not won’t end anytime soon.  The Cy-Hawk trophy has made its’ home in Iowa City for a year, but if the Hawks aren’t careful; it will fly away west back to Ames.  It’s the Hawkeyes, it’s the Cyclones, it’s HATE WEEK!

The Cyclones find themselves searching for answers after dropping the home opener to Northern Iowa.  They were riddled with mistakes, turning the ball over in bunches; giving the Panthers every opportunity to pull off the upset.  What does that mean for this Saturday?  Absolutely Nothing.  It’s what drives a large portion of Hawkeye Nation crazy.  If Iowa wins, the nation says “So what? You’re supposed to beat them.”  If Iowa loses, good luck making any case for national respect.  In what feels like a win-win situation for the Cyclones, there’s no denying the boost a win would do for their program.  Returning running back Mike Warren was held in check last week, but if he gets hot; he’ll keep the Hawkeye defense on their heels and may provide just enough spark to ruin Iowa’s year.

Enough about the Cyclones, let’s talk about the Hawks!  Overall, a solid out the gate performance; I think Miami of Ohio had some quality players and was a good early test.  Offensively, CJ Beathard did what he was asked to do; make some plays and get the win.  It felt like the coaching staff wasn’t looking to unleash full Beathard just yet.  Why would you, when you have a team of running backs in LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley?  Both players did some serious work on the ground and that was due to the dominance of the offensive line. Many speculated Iowa would have one of the best lines in college football, and they wasted no time showing what they’re about.  Dominate the Cyclones D and Iowa will find themselves in the red zone often.

The Hawkeye defense hit highs and lows all through the night, just minutes into the game defensive leader Josey Jewell was ejected due to a targeting penalty.  That was felt immediately, and it was clear there are instincts and intangibles that Jewell brings that can’t be replaced.  Sure the front line gave up more rushing yards then Ferentz will like, but you have to like their ability to add pressure on the quarterback as well as the intensity with every hit.  The forced fumbles weren’t just defensive stops, but also momentum changers.  The secondary got all they could handle from the Red Hawks.  We all knew QB’s have studied Desmond King well enough to know to avoid him, so that leaves Greg Mabin left to ward off heavy assaults.  Let’s just say, that didn’t go well.  It’s too early to know if this can be corrected or if Iowa will need to get additional coverage his way.  The further along we go in the season, the better the competition will become and they’ll need to see a much improved secondary or offenses will have their game plan ready to attack one side of the field.

One thing that hasn’t changed, and that’s Iowa State always finds one game a year to pull off an upset, and that keeps their coach hanging onto their job by just a thread.  Who will it be this year?  Not the Hawkeyes, not on Beathard’s watch!  The Cyclones will once again make our hearts pound, but the Hawkeyes will take full command by the end of the 3rd.  The energy from Kinnick stadium will be pulsating, giving this team every bit of momentum they need to send the Cyclones back to Jack Trice sporting a 0-2 black eye.  Get to your Barney’s Beanery early, you don’t want to miss this one!

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2016 Football Game Watch #1: Iowa vs. Miami (Ohio)

Saturday, September 3, 2016, 12:30 p.m. Pacific time

Barney’s Beanery (3 locations: Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, and Pasadena)

IOWA VS MIAMI (OHIO)

Fresh off a stellar 2015 campaign, Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz seeks to repeat the historic 12-0 regular season finish and first Rose Bowl appearance since 1991.  Returning seniors CJ Beathard and Desmond King give Hawkeye Nation more than enough reason to believe this season can be special as well, but winning with expectations high isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Let’s be honest, it’s difficult for any team to repeat an undefeated season.  So is a 1 or 2 loss season a letdown?  For some maybe, but more important than a blemish on a perfect season; is Iowa’s ability to position itself for the B10 Championship game again, and defeating the B10 East Champion.  If the Hawkeyes want to be respected by the world, they have to win on the biggest stage; and a win in a college football playoff or Rose Bowl has to be the focus.

Iowa welcomes Miami University (Ohio) to the pink locker rooms this week, and while there’s no Ben Roethlisberger at the helm; they do field an experienced offense of 10 returning starters.  Miami sure likes their QB’s tall.  6’4 sophomore Billy Bahl hopes to show his freshman growing pains were worth it, and will translate to greater on-field success.  Alonzo Smith will handle the bulk of the carries and the experience across the front line should allow him to find some holes between the tackles.  J’Terius Jones, Jr hopes to disrupt the Iowa offense, the 263 pounder is already topping list of potential 2016 All American candidates.

Joining Iowa’s Beathard is returning running back tandem LeShun Daniels, Jr and Akrum Wadley.  Daniels a bruising powerback, Wadley delivers speed and finesse.  Daniels is most effective when he hits the hole hard, but tended to be a bit hesitant after returning from injury.  Wadley is the guy college football will be talking about very soon.  We call him the “Northwestern Special”.  Wideout Tevaun Smith is catching touchdown passes for the Colts now, but Matt Vandeburg will be the feature receiver, and when the ball is in his reach, he’s going to get it.  If the Hawkeyes air attack is going to explode, Jerminic Smith is going to play a big role in it.  He showed raw talent his freshman year, and if he’s developed timing with his QB’s and honed in on his catching ability (go figure), he’s the 2016 Breakout player for the Hawks.

Defensive Lineman Drew Ott was not granted an additional year by the NCAA committee, but the Iowa defense is loaded.  The All American King wanted to finish what he started and brings the nastiness that can’t be replaced.  What’s really exciting about the program is seeing a host of young players coming in and contributing early in their careers.  This is a sign that recruiting is hitting the trail hard and doing a great job of recognizing talent.  Josey Jewell and Parker Hesse are defensive wrecking balls and shining examples of that young talent Iowa has been able to attract.

2015 was a magical season, but the Rose Bowl lingers in both players and fans minds; so expect there to be a lot of motivation to settle for nothing less than perfection.  With Beathard, the sky is the limit because he’s a winner and makes everyone around him better.  College Football Saturday’s are back…In Black!

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Basketball Game Watch: Iowa vs. Michigan

Saturday, March 5, 2016, 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

At Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica.

Join your fellow Hawkeyes for the Hawkeyes vs. Wolverines men’s basketball game.

Wear your Hawkeye gear and get 25% off on food and drinks during the game.

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Men’s Basketball Game Watch: Iowa vs. Ohio State

Sunday, February 28, 2016. 1:0o p.m. Pacific time

Wear your black and gold to receive a 25% discount on food and drinks during the game.

At the Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica location only.

1351 3rd Street Promenade

Santa Monica, CA

 

 

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Basketball Game Watch: Iowa vs. Michigan State

Join your fellow Hawkeyes on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time, at Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica.

Wear your Hawkeye gear to enjoy 25% off food and drinks during the game only. There is no cover charge for this event at Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica.

It’s the Iowa Hawkeyes vs. the Michigan State Spartans.

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