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!