Monday, September 28, 2015

The real season kicks off in October with Big Ten play in the B1G West and East

September has come to an end, with five Big Ten teams finishing 4-0 in out of conference play. Of course, with the variety of schedules, it doesn't always indicate the true strength of a team ...

2015 marks the 120th season of Big Ten Football.
It is the second season of the B1G West vs. B1G East.
  • Ohio State - the defending champions are looking to repeat in the Big Ten, as well in the College Football Playoff, after being crowned the first champion
  • Michigan State - The Spartans were dethroned in year one of the West vs. East format ... they will be seeking a date in their third Big Ten Championship Game in 2015
  • Indiana - The Hoosiers are off the their best start, since 1990
  • Iowa - The Hawkeyes are undefeated for the first time, since 2009, when they won nine straight and fell one game short in Columbus of a Big Ten title
  • Northwestern - The Wildcats are off to a solid start after back to back 5-7 seasons ...
The Big Ten West race appears to be wide open. There are three huge games to kick off the Big Ten West opening weekend in October.

The defending Big Ten West champs will host Iowa to kickoff the 2015
Big Ten season, as the Heartland Trophy will be on the line in this rivalry
that the Badgers lead 44-42-2. This is the first game in Madison, since 2009,
when Iowa defeated Wisconsin. The Badgers won last year, 26-24 in Iowa City.
  • Iowa @ Wisconsin
  • Minnesota @ Northwestern
  • Nebraska @ Illinois
Purdue has to travel to Big Ten East counterpart Michigan State, so there is always a odd match up, since there are seven teams in each division of the Big Ten today.

The Big Ten East witnessed the kickoff of the 120th season of Big Ten Football, with Penn State (1-0) defeating Rutgers (0-1) 28-3 in Happy Valley. Penn State will host Army, in their final out of conference game, while Rutgers will enjoy a bye week. They close out the non-conference play, with a trip to Army in late November.

There are two Big Ten East headliners to kickoff the 120th season of Big Ten Football: 

  • Michigan @ Maryland
  • Ohio State @ Indiana
The road to Indianapolis kicks off in full force in the month of October around the Big Ten ...

Embedded image permalink
First year Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst meet
with the Media on Monday, ahead of the 
Big Ten opener vs. Iowa, in Madison.
Wisconsin (3-1) is on a three game winning streak at home, after losing the season opener in Arlington, TX to Alabama (3-1, 0-1 SEC West) 35-17. The Badgers own a three game winning streak over the Iowa Hawkeyes (4-0) heading into the Big Ten opener in Madison.

Iowa defeated Paul Chryst's Pittsburgh team last year on the road, 24-20, so there are some good story-lines heading into the Heartland Trophy Game. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is tied with former Wisconsin head coach and current Barry Alvarez for ninth on the Big Ten football win list.

Ironically, Iowa defeated Wisconsin in 2005, in Barry Alverez's final Big Ten game at Madison, by the score of 20-10. Ferentz and Alverez both got their coaching start under Hayden Fry at Iowa. They coached together from 1981 to 1986 for the Hawkeyes, as assistant coaches.

Chryst was a former player and assistant at Wisconsin, so the Iowa-Wisconsin rivalry is very well known to him. He mentioned today during his press conference, how he learned about the rivalry.
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Wisconsin RB #28 Taiwan Deal had
a career high 147 yards rushing and
2 TDs, in the 28-0 win over Hawaii.
"I first was exposed to it as a player, but I thought that was one of the best things we did, learning that from Coach Alvarez. When you look at the rivalry games, the trophy games that we have, if you want to win your side (of the Big Ten), you've got to beat those teams and, therefore, I think they are big. And I think our players, even before that trophy came in, I know our players always enjoyed and it was a big deal to play Iowa." - Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst
Iowa senior RB #33 Jordan Canzeri
leads the Big Ten in 2015, with 8 TDs
rushing. Hawkeye fans saw climpses
vs. UW last year, of what Canzeri can
due as a running and receiver in '15.
Wisconsin has a young power running game, with junior Corey Clement sidelined for 3-5 weeks due to injury. In the final non-conference game against Hawaii (2-2), red-shirt freshman Taiwan Deal stepped up for the Badgers with a 147 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Deal was named the Big Ten Conference freshman of the week, due to his performance in the Week 4 game vs. Hawaii, a 28-0 win in Madison.

This will be an interesting difference between the last five years, where Wisconsin had experience running backs, when they faced Iowa. This season, Iowa returns the experience at the running back position, rather than the Badgers.

Wisconsin played Tannor McEvoy at quarterback last year, as well as starter Joel Stave. In last year's 26-24 win over Iowa, McEvoy was very effective on the option, including the game's first touchdown. Now, a full-time free safety, it will be interesting to see how each of the seniors play vs. Iowa. It will be a different game in 2015 in Madison.

Of course, Iowa now has a new quarterback, in junior C.J. Beathard, who is 5-0 as a starter and will be making his third road start for the Hawkeyes in Madison on Saturday. The Wisconsin head football coach saw Beathard lead Iowa to a 24-20 win over his Pittsburgh team last year. He entering the game, after halftime, in relief for the injured Iowa starting quarterback, leading Iowa from a ten point deficit and the win on the road over the new Badgers head coach.
Iowa junior QB #16 C.J. Beathard
has been leading Iowa with both his
feet and his arm leading Iowa to their
first 4-0 start, since 2009. It was also
in 2009, the last time Iowa beat UW.
"I thought he's been playing really well. Actually last year he was in a game where he came in and I think he made the difference in it. He comes from a football family, and I think that like a lot of players, now he knows it's his team, his turn and I think he's playing confident. Looks like he's playing confident. He's certainly very talented, and I think he's -- I don't want to say a big part because I think they have a lot of parts working for them, but certainly a big contributor in their success to this point." - Wisconsin's Chryst shared to the media his thoughts on Iowa' Beathard.
Defense wins championships in the Big Ten. Iowa's 2013 team, which went 8-5 during the season, fell hard in a 28-9 defeat vs. the Badgers. Wisconsin's defense dominated the Hawkeyes on their home turf.

Iowa junior DT #67 Jaleel Johnson is
one of two new starters at tackle. He
will be an important cog in Iowa's
run defense in Madison on Saturday.
Iowa's defense and special teams appear to be improving over last season's disappointing 7-6 team. The Badgers head coach reflecting on Iowa's defense heading into this Saturday's rivalry game in the Big Ten.

"I think they've got very good players and I think that they understand and know their scheme, and I think the scheme is a good scheme, and so I think anytime you've got a good scheme with good players, it makes it a good defense." - Chryst discussing Iowa's effectiveness in 2015 against the run.
Offensively, Wisconsin has been good on third and short. But, there has been more difficulty in 2015, when the Badgers face third and medium and third and long.
Wisconsin senior QB #2 Joel Stave is
no longer in a two-QB system, like '14.
He is 8th among B1G QBs in passing,
5th in passing efficiency in OOC games.
"You’ve got to make plays. I think if you go back, Joel (Stave) and Alex (Erickson) didn't connect on the streak; you know, Alex was open and Joel thought it was going to be a little different spot than where Alex was. I thought that we had the other one, where the ball was behind Reggie (Love), that was another chance for conversion; we got sacked. I think it comes down to execution more than anything, and that's where we've got to keep working." - Chryst on the Badgers challenges facing third down and four or further.
Wisconsin senior WR #86 Alex
Erickson is the Badgers top
returning WR for 2015.
Wisconsin has a new head coach and new offensive coordinator in 2015. Though, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is 2-0 vs. Iowa, the past two seasons, since arriving in Madison in 2013. The head coach and offensive coordinator faced Iowa last season, while at Pitt.

Iowa changed offensive and defensive coordinators, after the 2011 season. Iowa is 3-0 in Big Ten road openers, under the new coordinators. Ferentz is only 8-8 over his 16 years at Iowa in Big Ten openers, with 12 of those games coming on the road.

The visitor has won six of the last eight in this series, including four in a row. It was a game down to the wire last year, in Iowa City, with Iowa cutting the deficit to two points, on two occasions, in the fourth quarter.

Iowa and Northwestern are the only two Big Ten teams, with two Power 5 wins to open 2015. This is a huge two week window for the Big Ten West race.

  • Wisconsin opens with Iowa, then travels to Lincoln to face Nebraska
  • Minnesota opens with back to back road games @ Northwestern, then @ Purdue
  • Illinois hosts Nebraska, then travels to Iowa City, to face Iowa on it's Homecoming
  • Northwestern hosts Minnesota, then travels to Ann Arbor to face Michigan
It appears to be a wide open Big Ten West race in 2015, while the Big Ten East appears to have two at the top, with Ohio State and Michigan State. Michigan (3-1) is improving. Penn State (3-1) appears a year away, at least. Maryland (2-2) and Rutgers (2-2) are not as good, after winning bowl trips, in their inaugural seasons in the conference. 

At season's end, Indiana travels to Purdue, so who knows, if the Hoosiers can get to six wins? The Hoosiers haven't bowled, since 2007, which is the longest drought among Big Ten programs.

Last season, a record eleven conference programs went to bowl games in the first season with 14 programs. Only Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue were home for the Holidays. Northwestern and Purdue, last bowled in 2012.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 4: Game Day Saturday, September 26th

Saturday, September 26th, Week 4 of the 2015 College Football season

Purdue freshman RB #36 Richie Worship provides a big back
for third year coach Darrell Hazell in '15.

  • Bowling Green at Purdue 11:00 am on BTN - Battle of two 1-2 teams in this MAC @ B1G showdown in West Lafayette, as Boilermakers seek first win against a FBS school in '15, while Falcons seek another B1G win! 
  • BYU at Michigan 11:00 am on ABC / espn3 - The Wolverines are undefeated at home, after losing at Utah in Jim Harbaugh's debut as head coach; while the Cougars have one already in B1G country ...
  • Central Michigan at Michigan State 11:00 am on BTN - An in-state clash between a MAC and a B1G, but Spartans should take care of business over Chippewas in East Lansing! 
  • Georgia Tech at Duke 11:00 am on ESPN2 - Two 2-1 teams open ACC play, looking to rebound, after first season loss in Week 3; Yellow Jackets should prevail over Blue Devils ...
  • Kansas at Rutgers 11:00 am on BTN - The Jayhawks are winless, while the Scarlet Knights fell hard in the B1G opener at Penn State last week ...
  • LSU at Syracuse 11:00 am on ESPN - Tigers should take down Orange in this SEC-ACC clash!
  • Navy at UConn 11:00 am on CBSSN - The Midshipmen are now in the AAC looking to make it two straight in their new conference, as they face Huskies on the road ...
  • Southern at Georgia 11:00 am on SEC Network - Yawn, when it is FCS at SEC program ... Bulldogs can't overlook, as they host Alabama back in SEC play in first game in October!
  • Southern Miss at Nebraska 11:00 am on ESPN News 
  • UCF at South Carolina 11:00 am on ESPNU - The Knights are 0-3, while the Gamecocks have lost two straight, after taking care of Carolina in season opener ...
  • Delaware at North Carolina 11:30 am on ESPN Extra / FSN Affiliates / ACC-RSN / espn3 - The Tar Heels host a FCS program ahead of ACC play at GA Tech next week ...
  • Indiana at Wake Forest 11:30 am on ESPN Extra / ACC Network / espn3 - Last week there were five B1G-ACC games, as the Hoosiers look to remain undefeated, in season road opener ...
  • Nicholls at Colorado 12:30 pm on PAC-12 Network - Nicholls is winless, as Bullaloes look close out non-conference play with three out of four, ahead of Pac 12 play ...
  • Florida International at Louisiana Tech 1:30 pm on DTV: 608 / FCSA (cable) - Golden Panthers bring a winning record into match up with Bulldogs ... 
  • Maryland at West Virginia 2:00 pm on FS1 - Terps first road test, as they seek to win forth straight in road openers under Randy Edsall ... while Mountaineers seek to remain undefeated ahead of Big 12 play ...
  • New Mexico at Wyoming 2:00 pm on RSRM / RSSW - The Lobos are 1-2 heading into MWC play, while the Cowboys are 0-3 ... can New Mexico really win as a road favorite?
  • Rice at Baylor 2:00 pm on FSN Affiliates - Two old SWC programs face one another in this C-USA vs. Big 12 showdown ...
  • Miami-OH at Western Kentucky 2:30 pm on CBSSN - The RedHawks are 1-2, while the Hilltoppers are 2-1 in this MAC vs. C-USA showdown ...

Iowa State (1-2) and Northern Iowa (2-1) are idle, while Iowa (3-0) wraps up non-conference play by welcoming back Dan McCarney back to Iowa City, as North Texas comes to Kinnick to close out September ...

Dan McCarney vs. Kirk Ferentz - two former Hayden Fry
line coaches square off again as head coaches at Kinnick!
  • North Texas at Iowa 2:30 pm on ESPNU - The Mean Green are win less in two outings to open '15; while the Hawkeyes seek to go 4-0 to open season for first time, since '09. Our Pick: Iowa 31, North Texas 3, as Mean Green QB Andrew McNulty and head coach Dan McCarney come home to Iowa City ... 
  • Ohio U at Minnesota 2:30 pm on BTN - Could this be a trap game for the Golden Gophers? The Bobcats under Frank Solich look to open 4-0 this season, while Jerry Kill's Minnesota team seeks to stay about .500 to close out non-conference play in '15 ...
  • Oklahoma State at Texas 2:30 pm on ESPN - It is a Big 12 opener as the Cowboys (3-0) head to Austin, as the Longhorns (1-2) work to get on track, as a home underdog in Year 2 of the Charlie Strong era at Texas! 
  • San Diego State at Penn State 2:30 pm on BTN - The Nittany Lions opened B1G play last week with a 28-3 win over Rutgers, while the Aztecs come to Happy Valley for the first time
  • Tennessee at Florida 2:30 pm on CBS - The Volunteers vs. the Gators in a SEC opener for Tennessee, while the Gators seek to make it two wins early in the East 
  • UMass at Notre Dame 2:30 pm on NBC - No surprise this is the first meeting in the series, as Fighting Irish seeks a 6-0 all-time record vs. current MAC programs
  • Virginia Tech at East Carolina 2:30 pm on ABC/ESPN2 / ESPN Extra / espn3 - The Hokies hit the road to face a Pirates team that is seeking to get to .500 in the early season 
  • Western Michigan at Ohio State 2:30 pm on ABC/ESPN2 / espn3 - The Broncos face a Buckeyes team that need to clean up things, after a Labor Day hang over in the season opener at Blacksburg
  • California at Washington 3:00 pm on PAC-12 Network - Pac 12 showdown as the Golden Bears seek to close out September undefeated, in the conference opener ...
  • Louisiana Monroe at Alabama 3:00 pm on SEC Network  
  • Middle Tennessee at Illinois 3:00 pm on ESPN News - The Blue Raiders only loss was against Power 5 Alabama, so visit to Champaign should be an interesting one ...
  • TCU at Texas Tech 3:45 pm on FOX - The Horned Frogs and Red Raiders each open Big 12 play undefeated in the non-conference ... this was an ugly loss for Tech last season ... 82-27
  • Akron at Louisiana Lafayette 6:00 pm on ESPN Extra / espn3 - The Zips travel to Lafayette to face the Ragin' Cajuns in this MAC-Sun Belt showdown, in the return date of the '13 match up, where Akron fell 35-30 at home ...
  • Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, TX) 6:00 pm on ESPN / espn3 - The Aggies have opened the season 3-0, while the Razorbacks have fallen in two straight, in this SEC opener for each team ...
  • Arkansas State at Toledo 6:00 pm on ESPN Extra / espn3 - The Rocket have started '15 with back to back Power 5 wins; while the Red Wolves opened with back to back Power 5 losses then a blowout win over Missouri State ...
  • Colorado State at UTSA 6:00 pm on CBSSN 
  • Florida Atlantic at Charlotte 6:00 pm on NESN2 / ASN (affiliates) / CSCA - The Owls are win less heading into the C-USA opener; while the 49ers are 0-1 in conference, but undefeated out of conference to open '15 ...
  • James Madison at SMU 6:00 pm on ESPN Extra / espn3 - The Mustangs seek to get back to .500 before beginning AAC play in '15 ...
  • Vanderbilt at Ole Miss 6:00 pm on ESPNU - The Rebels took care of business at Bama to open SEC play, as they seek to close out September undefeated, against a Vandy team 0-1 in the conference and only one win against a FCS program ...
  • Mississippi State at Auburn 6:30 pm on ESPN2 - The Bulldogs have two wins vs. non-Power teams in '15, but are 0-1 in the SEC West, as they hit the road against the Tigers, who also are 0-1 after a loss at LSU ...
  • Missouri at Kentucky 6:30 pm on SEC Network - Mark Stoops has his Wildcats playing their third SEC game in September, as the Tigers open conference play ...
  • Ball State at Northwestern 7:00 pm on BTN (alternate) - The Wildcats need to take care of business against the Cardinals to start 4-0 ahead of Big Ten play ...
  • Hawaii at Wisconsin 7:00 pm on  BTN - The Badgers seek to win third straight at home, ahead of the Big Ten opener at home against the Hawkeyes in October ...
  • North Carolina State at South Alabama on 7:00 pm ESPN News -
  • Texas State at Houston 7:00 pm on ESPN Extra / espn3 -
  • UCLA at Arizona 7:00 pm on ABC / espn3 (also in Spanish) - 
  • Utah at Oregon 7:45 pm on FOX -
  • Fresno State at San Jose State on 9:30 pm CBSSN -
  • USC at Arizona State 9:30 pm on ESPN -
  • Appalachian State at Old Dominion 2:30 pm on ASN (affiliates) -
  • Army at Eastern Michigan 5:00 pm on espn3 -
  • Georgia Southern at Idaho 8:00 pm on espn3 (possible for ALT2) / SWX TV (cable) -
  • Idaho State at UNLV 8:00 pm - The Rebels seeking their first win, as the return home against the Bengals ...
  • Incarnate Word at UTEP 7:00 pm - The Miners looking to get to a .500 record vs. a 2-1 FCS program ...
  • Marshall at Kent State 2:30 pm on espn3 / ASN (affiliates) - The Thundering Herd didn't fare well the last trip into the State of Ohio vs. a MAC program, so can the Golden Flashes turn the ship around and get a W, for a change in a FBS match up?
  • Nevada at Buffalo 2:30 pm on espn3 - The Wolf Back are 1-2, so the game against the Bulls becomes even bigger on the road, as a one point favorite ...
  • Northern Illinois at Boston College 12:00 pm on espn3 - The Huskies gave Ohio State an exciting game, while the Eagles fought hard against Florida State last week, in the ACC opener .. 
  • Samford at Louisville 5:00 pm on espn3 - The Cardinals are 0-3, 0-1 in conference play to kickoff '15, so a loss against a FCS program would be close out a terrible September ...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Week 4: Thursday and Friday Night College Lights

Thursday, September 24th
  • Cincinnati at Memphis 6:30 pm ESPN - AAC Thursday night show down!

Friday, September 25th

  • Boise State at Virginia 7:00 pm ESPN - The Broncos head to UVA for a non-Power 5 vs. Power 5 showdown
  • Stanford at Oregon State 9:00 pm FS1 - The Cardinal opened the season with a B1G loss; but rebounded in the Pac 12 opener vs. USC, as the Beavers look to get a Win in Pac 12 play!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Iowa (2-0) vs. Pittsburgh (2-0) - The Fifth Big Ten vs. ACC Football game on Saturday

Iowa City, IA -- The Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) will host their first night game at Kinnick Stadium, since they hosted Penn State during the 2012 Big Ten season, as the Pittsburgh Panthers (2-0) come to Iowa City for a 7 p.m. kickoff on the Big Ten Network.

Close calls and fourth-quarter drama have ruled recent Pitt-Iowa series history. In the past three meetings, the average margin of victory has been three points. The Hawkeyes rallied from double-digit deficits to win each of the past two games, 31-27 in 2011 and 24-20 in 2014. The Panthers won in 2008, 21-20.

Tyler Boyd had 11 catches in Pitt's victory at Akron.
Pitt junior WR 23 Tyler Boyd
is back, after a solid performance,
10 catches for 153 yards,
in last year's Iowa-Pitt game.
The Panthers are seeking a 3-0 start for the second consecutive year and fourth time since 2000. Pitt previously opened a season with three victories in 2000, 2009 and 2014. Those quick starts ultimately resulted in bowl invitations in each of those years.

The Hawkeyes have not opened with a 3-0 start, since the 9-0 start, during the 2009 season, under coach Kirk Ferentz, who is entering his seventeenth season as head coach at Iowa. On the flip side, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi is entering his third game as head coach for the Panthers. As a former defensive coordinator at Michigan State, Narduzzi was 3-4 vs. Iowa from 2007-2013. The Hawkeyes and Spartans didn't play in 2014.

This is the seventh game in the series, that is tied 3-3. The rubber match will take place in prime-time in Iowa City at historic Kinnick Stadium, as Pitt coach Narduzzi spoke about the upcoming match against the Hawkeyes. On Big Ten Network, Joe Beninati on play-by-play and Chuck Long, as analyst.

We have a big road game, with a crazy atmosphere, out at the University of Iowa. I don’t believe I’ve ever played at night there so I can imagine that it’s going to be a good atmosphere for our kids and theirs. We told our guys yesterday that preseason is over. This is a big time for us to find out what we have. Our guys are going to prepare a little bit more every week as we go on. The games get a little bit bigger and we’ll be 2-0 going out to Iowa City. It’s going to be a big ball game,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi shared on Monday.

On Iowa coach and Pittsburgh native Kirk Ferentz, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi:

Kirk Ferentz is an offensive-minded coach. He’s an O-line guru and a tremendous football coach. [Iowa] will be known for their toughness and like us, will be known as a blue-collared tough football team. It will be a tough football team up front. They have a lot of [alumni] playing in the NFL, seems like they have a first-rounder every year. They’re going to be a tough football team. We have to be ready.”

Since 1999, Kirk Ferentz's first year as Iowa head coach, the Hawkeyes have had a future NFL player start on the offensive line in every season. In each of the last eight years, an eventual NFL first-round draft pick started on the offensive line. Brandon Scherff, selected by the Washington Redskins fifth overall in 2015, was Iowa's left tackle from 2012-14. 

Riley Reiff, selected 23rd overall by the Detroit Lions in 2012, started at left tackle from 2010-11. Bryan Bulaga, selected 23rd overall by the Green Bay Packers in 2010, started at left guard in 2007 before moving to left tackle in 2008-09. From 2005-06, Baltimore Ravens All-Pro Marshal Yanda shared time at tackle and guard for the Hawkeyes. Mike Elgin, a seventh round selection of New England, was Iowa's starting center in 2004. Pete McMahon, drafted by Oakland in 2005, was Iowa's right guard in 2003. Oakland's first round pick in 2004, Robert Gallery, was Iowa's left tackle from 2001-03. Eric Steinbach (Cincinnati) started at guard for Iowa from 2000-02, and Bruce Nelson (Carolina) was a four-year starter from 1999-02. Both players were second round draft picks in 2003.

Iowa junior 89 Matt VandeBerg
caught a 44 yarder last year at Pitt.
He had career day in the ISU win

last week on the road.

On if he’s curious to see how his team matches up with a Power-5 team in Iowa, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi shared:

A 13 yard TD pass to make it 7-7 
in the first quarter at Pitt in '14.
Iowa senior TE 80 Henry Krieger
Coble scored the Hawkeyes' first
TD in the 24-20 win at Pitt.
Of course. Every coach is. Like I told the kids last night, they don’t care what you did last week. Even if you beat USC last weekend, they don’t care what you did last time or the week before. We only care about next Saturday. That’s all we care about. That’s all I really care about. I don’t care how many sacks you had. I want to know how many sacks you’re going to have this week or how many touchdown passes. You get more curious every week how we’re going to react on the field in a big-time atmosphere on national TV. It’ll certainly be interesting. Again, you can get beat at any second, so you better come ready. Arkansas saw that this week with Toledo and Maryland saw that this week with Bowling Green. We could’ve seen it, but we came ready to play and our guys played a darn good ball game. We can say it’s easy, but it isn’t easy. Every game is a battle.”

Iowa junior QB 16 C.J. Beahard
leading the Hawkeyes 2nd half
come back victory at Pitt in 2014.
Iowa is facing it's second Power 5 out-of-conference opponent, after winning at Iowa State, 31-17, in Ames last weekend. The Hawkeyes return to Kinnick Stadium, with the first of four trophies in hand, that Iowa will compete for in rivalry games in 2015. Pitt is playing their first Power 5 opponent for 2015, after a 24-7 road win at Akron.

Two 2-0 teams, from Power 5 conferences, in the final of five ACC vs. Big Ten match ups in Week 3 of the 2015 College Football season.

Last year, Pitt junior QB 16 Chad
Voytik lead the Panthers, but this
season, new OC Jim Chaney has
two QBs he is considering for today.

A look at the Quaterbacks in Iowa-Pitt game:
Last year, Iowa played two quarterbacks at Pitt, after starter Jake Rudock was injured at the end of the first half.  C.J. Beathard led the University of Iowa football team on three second-half scoring drives to rally the Hawkeyes from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat Pittsburgh, 24-20, at Heinz Field. He hit seven of eight passes for 98 yards.

Now, a junior and #1 QB for Iowa, Beathard improved to 3-0 in his career as a starter. He is 1-0 at home, and 2-0 on the road (Purdue, 2014; Iowa State, 2015). He was 15-of-25 for 215 yards passing and a career high three touchdown at ISU, last week. He rushed 10 times for 77 yards. The 10 rushing attempts was a career high. Senior transfer Jake Rudock is leading the Michigan Wolverines against UNLV in the Big House today.

Pitt junior transfer QB 4 Nate Peterman
running the ball in 24-7 win at Akron.
Pittsburgh has two junior quarterbacks at OC Jim Chaney's disposal. Junior Chad Voytik lead Pitt in 2014, but junior graduate transfer Nate Peterman, left Tennessee, where he started one game and figures into the rotation for the Panthers this week, at Iowa.

On if he hopes a quarterback will separate himself:

Yes, you always hope for that. I think both of those guys are pretty equal back there. We’ll find out in the heat of the battle,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi shared on Monday during his press conference.

Iowa has been very balanced running and passing the ball, after the first two games in 2015.
Iowa senior RB 33 Jordan Canzeri
started last year's game and enters
the starting lineup tonight vs. Pitt.

The Hawkeyes offense at Iowa State, Iowa senior RB Jordan Canzeri had another career game, with a career-high 24 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. He scored from eight yards on Iowa's final scoring drive. It was his fourth career rushing touchdown and second this season. Canzeri had had over 100 all-purpose yards for the second straight week.

Iowa junior WR Matt VandeBerg has scored a touchdown in three straight games. He caught touchdowns against Tennessee and Illinois State, and returned a fumble three yards today for a touchdown. VandeBerg played 22 career games before catching his first touchdown. He had career highs in receptions (9) and yards (114). His 47-yard reception in the fourth quarter was a career long.
Iowa senior PK 1 Marshall
Koehn hit a career long
52 yard field goal near
the end of the 3rd quarter
at Pitt last season to pull
Iowa to a 20-17 deficit.

Iowa Junior WR Riley McCarron's first catch of the season was a 25-yard, eventual game-winning touchdown at Iowa State. It was his first career touchdown. Iowa's #1 WR, senior Tevaun Smith, also had a touchdown against ISU. It will be interesting to see how the Iowa passing game figures in the Iowa-Pitt game. 

Senior TE Henry Krieger Coble had a career best 34 yards receiving. He scored a TD reception, in last year's game at Pitt. Redshirt freshman TE Jameer Outsey made his first career start last week at ISU. Junior TE George Kittle played last week and is expected to play more coming off a knee injury in the season opener against Illinois State.

Iowa senior PK Marshall Koehn has connected on five consecutive field goal attempts over the last five games. Koehn is 5-of-6 in his career on field goals 40-plus yards. He hit a career long 52 yard field goal at Pitt.

Pittsburgh OC Jim Chaney is a former Big Ten coordinator, like his head coach. He was at Purdue from 1997 to 2005. Also, like his head coach, he had a 3-4 record against Iowa, against Hayden Fry and during the early Kirk Ferentz era.

Unlike Iowa's #1 running back junior LeShun Daniels, Jr., who suffered an ankle injury at Iowa State last week; Pittsburgh lost junior starting RB James Connor for the season, to a knee injury in Week 1.

On Pitt freshman RB Qadree Ollison’s first game as a starter, last week against Akron, coach Pat Narduzzi said:

Pitt true freshman RB 22 Darrin Hall
scored a TD last week at Akron.
He was good. He could’ve been better, like a lot of us. I probably could’ve been better, too. I think he was a little sore, though. Qadree was good. Was he great? No. He missed some things. Darrin Hall came in and played pretty solid, too. It’s his first start, too. It’s always easy coming in as a reliever, don’t forget that. It takes a little bit of pressure off of you when you’re not the guy starting. Qadree came in being the guy with maybe a little bit more pressure on him than he wanted or we wanted, but he’ll step up. You could say that the Youngstown game was his first game. He came in and didn’t have any time to think about being the guy. He had no idea he was going to be the guy. Now that he has an idea he’s the guy, we’ll see how he responds in week two.”

The Pittsburgh Panthers are lead in the passing game by junior WR Tyler Boyd and senior TE J.P. Holtz. The running backs likely will be an option in the Panthers passing attack, as well, as each of the running backs have caught passes.

Kirk Ferentz is in his 20th year as a college head coach and his 17th year as Iowa's head coach. His career record is 129-106 and he is 117-85 at Iowa. He is the 12th Big Ten Conference coach to win 100 games.

Pat Narduzzi is in his first year as a college head coach, with a record of 2-0. He most recently was the defensive coordinator at Michigan State for eight seasons (2007-14), and has also been an assistant coach at Rhode Island, Northern Illinois, Miami, Ohio, and Cincinnati.

Tyrique Jarrett had a career-high three TFLs against Akron
Pitt junior NT Tyrique Jarrett
anchors the Panthers defensive
line with 1 sack, 3 TFL.
The Panthers return seven starters from the 2014 6-7 team, lead by now Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst. The strength of the unit may be the secondary for the Panthers.

Senior SLB Nicholas Grigsby leads the Panthers in tackles and two sacks on the young season. Junior MLB Matt Galambos is second in tackles for the Panthers thus far in 2015.

This should be a physical game, as Narduzzi is known for solid run defense and winning at the line of scrimmage.

Special teams could be very important in this game. Pittsburgh's junior PK Chris Biewitt has missed two field goals, in four attempts this season. He is in his third season as the placekicker. Sophomore punter Ryan Winslow returns for 2015 and is averaging just under 40 yards a punt.

Iowa's defense is lead by senior DE Drew Ott, who has two sacks on the season, but suffered a dislocated elbow at Iowa State in the first quarter. It will be interesting to see how the Pittsburgh offense attacks Ott's replacement. Iowa will likely see redshirt freshman Parker Hesse forced into action again. Hesse has one sack on the season.

Iowa's defensive line will be lead by DEs senior 34 Nate Meier, redshirt freshman
40 Parker Hesse and junior DT 67 Jaleel Johnson. Iowa's other DT is sophomore
99 Nathan Bazata. The Hawkeyes will be tested by a Pittsburgh O-Line.
The Iowa defense are off to a strong start in 2015, but the unit isn't basking in its success. The Hawkeyes have surrendered 98 rushing yards and no touchdowns through the first two games. Iowa is allowing 1.78 yards per carry to rank 10th nationally, and the Hawkeyes have the No. 8 rushing defense in the country, giving up 49 yards per game.

"(Defensive coordinator) Phil Parker and defensive line coach Reese Morgan say never to become complacent," said Johnson. "We have another opponent coming up."

"Pitt has a big, aggressive offensive line and both guards are back. If we play like we did at Iowa State, we should be good up front."

On Pitt’s pass protection:
We have a lot of guys rotating in there. We have to protect the quarterback, obviously, better than we did [on Saturday]. Like I said, they [Akron] had two very good defensive ends that are athletic and physical. We just have to continue to understand what someone is doing to us. We have to change some of our sets. We can’t just rely on the same set every time. That’s something the young guys are going to have to learn how to do, and they will,” as Pitt coach Narduzzi talked ahead of the Iowa game.
The Iowa offensive line is anchored by senior C 63 Austin Blythe. The Iowa offense
is lead by junior QB 16 C.J. Beathard, as the Pitt middle defense is lead by
junior MLB 47 Matt Galambos. It is a 7 p.m. kickoff on the Big Ten Network.
Look for another close game in the Iowa-Pitt series on Saturday night. 

Our pick: Iowa 27, Pittsburgh 24.

Week 3 Saturday: It is a mini ACC-B1G day in College Football with 5 match ups

Saturday, September 19th

  • Air Force at Michigan State 11:00 am on ABC - no let down for the Spartans, coming off big time, prime-time win over Oregon in Week2
  • Buffalo at Florida Atlantic 11:00 am on CSNC / ASN (affiliates) - The Owls over the Bulls works here, though you never know on any given Saturday ...
  • Illinois at North Carolina 11:00 am on ESPN2 - can Bill Cubit raise the bar with the Fighting Illini in the first B1G - ACC match up of the day?
  • Kent State at Minnesota 11:00 am on BTN - the Golden Gophers should unload the roster today back home in the friendly confines of TCF Bank Stadium.
  • Nevada at Texas A&M 11:00 am on SEC Network - The Aggies at home should take care of business as Wolf Pack hit the road coming off a road loss against another Power 5 opponent.
  • South Florida at Maryland 11:00 am on ESPNU - Turnovers derailed the Terps in Week 2, so all hands on deck, as they work to rebound ahead of conference play in a couple weeks ...
  • Tulsa at Oklahoma 11:00 am on FS1 - The Sooners are coming off a big road OT win at Tennessee, so could it be a slow start before the better team takes care of business?
  • UNLV at Michigan 11:00 am on BTN - The Wolverines should take care of business in the Big House, as QB Jake Rudock looks to get to 2-1 as a Michigan man!
  • UConn at Missouri 11:00 am on ESPN - The Tigers return home, after a brief scare on the road against a non-Power 5 program ...
  • Wake Forest at Army 11:00 am on CBSSN / ESPN GoalLine - Power 5 vs. non-Power 5 ...
  • Central Michigan at Syracuse 11:30 am on ESPN Extra / FSN Affiliates / ACC-RSN / espn3 - another non-Power 5 on the road at a Power 5 - upset alert?
  • Northwestern at Duke 11:30 am on ESPN Extra / ACC Network / espn3 - Game II Big Ten vs. ACC, with the Wildcats hitting the road, lead by a redshirt freshman QB ... Blue Devils may earn one here!
  • Georgia State at Oregon 1:00 pm on PAC-12 Network - The Ducks rebound in an early game, after a late night game in the Central Time zone in East Lansing ... this may be a grinder on Saturday ...
  • Rice at North Texas 1:30 pm on DTV: 608 / FCSC (cable) - Go the Fighting McCarney's ahead of his homecoming in Iowa City in Week 4 ...
  • Louisiana Tech at Kansas State 2:00 pm on FSN Affiliates - Non-Power 5 vs. Power 5 ... the Wildcats need to take care of business, as they break in some new players in bigger roles in '15.
  • Memphis at Bowling Green 2:00 pm on (CSNC / espn3) / ASN (affiliates) - Bowling Green is coming off a B1G road win ... can they stay focused and take care of business at home?
  • Auburn at LSU 2:30 pm on CBS - SEC West showdown in Baton Rouge ...
  • East Carolina at Navy 2:30 pm on CBSSN - Two non-Power 5 programs that have made noise at times over the past years ... Pirates vs. Midshipmen 
  • Georgia Tech at Notre Dame 2:30 pm on NBC / NBC Video - The Yellow Jackets head into South Bend with a huge opportunity to make a statement, as the Fighting Irish rebound, after the loss a their #1 quarterback in '15. 
  • Nebraska at Miami-FL 2:30 pm on ABC / ESPN2 - Game III - Big Ten vs. ACC in a rematch from last season, as the Hurricanes and Cornhuskers square off in South Beach!
  • North Dakota at North Dakota State on 2:30 pm ESPN Extra / espn3 / NBC ND (cable) - the FCS battle of North Dakota, one opened with a FBS win, while the four-time FCS champion opened with a loss ...
  • Northern Illinois at Ohio State 2:30 pm ABC / espn3 / ESPN2 - The Buckeyes are too much against the MAC's best program over the past five years ...
  • Troy at Wisconsin 2:30 pm on BTN  - Can Troy make a stand in Madison?
  • UTSA at Oklahoma State 2:30 pm on FS1 - The Cowboys should take care of business, as other Power 5 programs have against UTSA ...
  • Virginia Tech at Purdue 2:30 pm on ESPNU - ACC vs. B1G IV - The Hokies are 0-1 against the Big Ten, but the Boilermakers aren't the Buckeyes, but they are looking for a B1G win here in Darrell Hazell's third season ...
  • Austin Peay at Vanderbilt 3:00 pm on SEC Network Alternate -
  • Northwestern State at Mississippi State 3:00 pm on SEC Network -
  • Western Kentucky at Indiana 3:00 pm ESPN News -
  • Utah State at Washington 4:00 pm PAC-12 Network - 
  • Furman at UCF 5:00 pm on ESPN Extra / espn3 -
  • South Carolina at Georgia 5:00 pm on ESPN / espn3 -
  • Colorado vs. Colorado State (Denver) 6:00 pm on CBSSN -
  • Texas Tech at Arkansas 6:00 pm ESPN2 -
  • Western Carolina at Tennessee 6:00 pm ESPNU -
  • California at Texas 6:30 pm FOX -
  • Florida at Kentucky 6:30 pm SEC Network -
  • Iowa State at Toledo 7:00 pm ESPN News -
  • Maine at Tulane 7:00 pm ESPN Extra / espn3 -
  • Pittsburgh at Iowa 7:00 pm on BTN -
  • Rutgers at Penn State 7:00 pm on BTN -
  • San Jose State at Oregon State 7:00 pm on PAC-12 Network -
  • SMU at TCU 7:00 pm on FSN Affiliates -
  • Stanford at USC 7:00 pm on ABC / espn3 -
  • UTEP at New Mexico State 7:00 pm on ALT / FSAZ / ESPN Extra / espn3 - 
  • Wyoming at Washington State 7:30 pm on PAC-12 Network -
  • Ole Miss at Alabama 8:15 pm ESPN -
  • BYU at UCLA 9:30 pm FS1 - 
  • Northern Iowa at Cal Poly 9:30 pm on CSCA / ASN (affiliates TBA) / KSBY (cable) / Big Sky Video - The Panthers have a huge task at hand in Week 3 ...
  • Utah at Fresno State 9:30 pm on CBSSN 
  • Northern Arizona at Arizona 10:00 pm on PAC-12 Network -
  • Ball State at Eastern Michigan 2:00 pm espn3
  • Charlotte at Middle Tennessee 6:00 pm - 
  • Cincinnati at Miami-OH 2:30 pm espn3 
  • The Citadel at Georgia Southern 5:00 pm espn3 
  • Missouri State at Arkansas State 6:00 pm espn3 
  • Murray Statee at Western Michigan 6:00 pm espn3 
  • Norfolk State at Marshall 2:30 pm ASN (affiliates)
  • North Carolina Central at Florida International 5:00 pm 
  • North Carolina State at Old Dominion 6:00 pm ASN (affiliates) 
  • Savannah State at Akron 11:00 am espn3 
  • South Alabama at San Diego State 7:00 pm MWC Video 
  • Southeastern LA at Ohio U 1:00 pm espn3 
  • Southern Miss at Texas State 6:00 pm espn3 
  • Temple at UMass 2:00 pm on espn3 
  • UC Davis at Hawaii 11:00 pm on MWC Video / Oceanic (cable) 
  • William & Mary at Virginia 2:30 pm espn3 
  • Wofford at Idaho 4:00 pm espn3 -

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday, September 17th
  • Clemson at Louisville 6:30 pm ESPN - an ACC game in Louisville to open Week 3 of College Football

Friday, September 18th
  • Florida State at Boston College 7:00 pm ESPN - another ACC in Week 3 ...
  • Idaho State at Boise State 8:00 pm CBSSN - The Broncos look to get back to winning vs. an FCS program, after a tough road loss in Week 2 at BYU ...
  • New Mexico at Arizona State 9:00 pm PAC-12 Network - final Sun Devils tune up before Pac 12 play opens up ...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Was it an average affair in Ames? Iowa Hawkeyes 31, Iowa State Cyclones 17

Iowa senior WR 4 Tevaun Smith ties
the game at 10-10 in the 2nd quarter,
on ISU freshman 10 Brian Peavy.
Ames, IA -- Iowa and Iowa State both looked improved over last year's 20-17 win in Iowa City. Heading into the halfway point of the fourth quarter, it looked like another field goal could win this game for either team. However, Iowa scored two final touchdowns, to break a 17-17 tie late, to win the Cy-Hawk Game 31-17 in Ames on Saturday.

Iowa took an early three point lead early, as placekicker Marshall Koehn hit a field goal from 49 yards. The Hawkeyes showed an ability to get to Iowa State quarterback Sam B. Richardson early. Iowa's defense, slowed down in the second quarter, after Iowa's leading defensive lineman Drew Ott, left the game with a severe wrist injury. Iowa had to turn to redshirt freshman Parker Hesse at Ott's defensive end spot.

Iowa got early pressure on ISU's senior QB 12 Sam B.
Richardson in the first quarter, as senior Iowa WLB 36
Cole Fisher gets to the Cyclones signal caller. In second half,
Iowa's defense warmed up again and the Hawkeyes were
able to keep ISU off the scoreboard, outscoring them 21-0.
Saturday is the first of four trophy games on Iowa's 2015 schedule:
  • Iowa State (Cy-Hawk)
  • Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale)
  • Wisconsin (Heartland)
  • Nebraska (Heroes) 
Only Minnesota visits Iowa City, as three of Iowa's trophy games are on the road during the 2015 College Football season.

The visiting team has won the last four meetings in the Cy-Hawk Series. Today's score marked the first time in five years the game wasn't decided by one possession.
The Iowa defense allowed 66 yards on 31 plays in the second half after allowing 244 yards on 31 plays in the first half.

Iowa RB LeShun Daniels got his first
start in a Cy-Hawk Game, but left the
game early, due to ankle injury.
The Hawkeyes converted 5-of-7 third downs in the second half, and 2-of-7 third downs in the first half.

Iowa (2-0) defeated Iowa State (1-1), 31-17, Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa has won 3 of the last 4 games played in Ames.

Since 1981, the average score is Iowa 31, Iowa State 17, the point total in today's contest.

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The Iowa Hawkeyes pull off two late scores to win second in a row
in Ames, in the Cy-Hawk Game. Two scores in final 3 minutes put 
Iowa on top for good, breaking a 17-17 tie. ISU lead at half 17-10,
after an early 3-3 tie after one quarter. It was a tight, close game.

Iowa outscored the Cyclones 21-0 in the second half and improves to 41-22 all-time against Iowa State in the Cy-Hawk Game.

Iowa regained possession of the Cy-Hawk Trophy and leads the 2015 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series, 7-0, following wins in soccer, volleyball, and football.

Junior QB C.J. Beathard improved to 3-0 in his career as a starter. He is 1-0 at home, and 2-0 on the road (Purdue, 2014; Iowa State, 2015). He was 15-of-25 for 215 yards passing and a career high three touchdown. He rushed 10 times for 77 yards. The 10 rushing attempts was a career high.

Senior RB Jordan Canzeri career a career-high 24 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. He scored from eight yards on Iowa's final scoring drive. It was his fourth career rushing touchdown and second this season. Canzeri had had over 100 all-purpose yards for the second straight week. He had 143 total yards against Iowa State (124 rushing and 19 receiving).

Junior WR Matt VandeBerg has scored a touchdown in three straight games. He caught touchdowns against Tennessee and Illinois State, and returned a fumble three yards today for a touchdown. VandeBerg played 22 career games before catching his first touchdown.

VandeBerg had career highs in receptions (9) and yards (114). His 47-yard reception in the fourth quarter was a career long.
Iowa junior WR 83 Riley McCarron's 25 yard TD reception,
gave the Hawkeyes the lead, breaking a 17-17 tie in Ames.

Junior WR Riley McCarron's first catch of the season was a 25-yard, eventual game-winning touchdown. It was his first career touchdown.

Senior TE Henry Krieger Coble had a career best 34 yards receiving.

Senior DE Drew Ott left the game with three minutes left in the first quarter and did not return.

Sophomore RB LeShun Daniels left the game in the second quarter and did not return. Daniels had 8 carries for 56 yards, with a long of 24 yards, before leaving the game early, due to an ankle injury.

Redshirt freshman TE Jameer Outsey made his first career start.

K Marshall Koehn has connected on five consecutive field goal attempts over the last five games. Koehn is 5-of-6 in his career on field goals 40-plus yards.

P Dillon Kidd punted five times for 237 yards. Kidd downed two punts inside the 20 and had two punts over 50 yards (55, 50, 49, 46, 37). He averaged 47.4 yards per punt.

Iowa QB C.J. Beathard provided offense both on the ground
and in the air, engineering the Hawkeye win, to go to 3-0,
as Hawkeye starting QB. He had 292 yards of total offense.
DB Desmond King returned a punt 37 yards (career long) to set up Iowa's go-ahead touchdown drive. On Iowa State's ensuring possession, King intercepted a pass (first this season, fourth of career) to set up another Hawkeye touchdown. King added five tackles on defense.

Iowa State won the toss and deferred. Iowa received the opening kickoff. In 17 seasons as Iowa's head coach, Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes received the opening kickoff in 164-202 games (97-67). Iowa has started the game on defense in 38-of-202 games under Ferentz (20-18).

The Hawkeyes have played 58 consecutive games without a missed or blocked PAT, the longest streak of any school in the nation. Iowa has converted on 176 consecutive PATs during the streak.

Instant replay was used three times today:
  • Iowa State incomplete pass (confirmed)
  • Iowa State third-down conversion: Lazard (overruled)
  • Iowa State third-down conversion: Lazard (confirmed)

The Hawkeyes host Pittsburgh (2-0) on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. Central Time at Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City. The Hawkeyes defeated the Panthers on the road, as C.J. Beathard lead a second half comeback last season, in the  24-20 win over the Panthers.

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Iowa's  running backs celebrate Cy-Hawk Trophy in the locker
room, with RB coach Chris White, after the win, in Ames.

The Cyclones travel to Toledo (1-0), who upset #18 Arkansas 16-12 on the road, on Saturday. Iowa State won 37-30 over Toledo at Jack Trice Stadium, last season. The Rockets season opener was cancelled, due to a thunderstorm.

After Iowa tied the game at 10-10 on a Beathard to T. Smith
reception for 6; Iowa State responded with a strike from
Richardson to sophomore WR Jauan Wesley to take a 17-10
lead. The Cyclones were not able to score in the 2nd half.

Cy-Hawk Game: Iowa (1-0) at Iowa State (1-0) on FOX at 3:45 p.m, Saturday

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Iowa starting RB 29 LeShun Daniels, a junior.

Ames, IA -- The trophy has changed hands in eight of the last 11 games in the Cy-Hawk Game. The visitor has won three of the last four games, as well. Iowa State regained possession of the trophy, after last year's 20-17 win, fueled on the 42 yard field goal by placekicker Cole Netton, with two seconds remaining at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City.

Our Pick: Hawkeyes 29, Cylcones 24

The game should be won in the trenches, on both sides of the football. Over the last five seasons, Iowa's offensive and defensive line has been very inconsistent, at times.

The Hawkeyes (1-0) opened 2015 with strong line play on both sides, in a 31-14 win over Illinois State, the runner-up in the 2014 FCS championship game. The Hawkeyes open 2015 with a new quarterback, a new running back and a new number one receiver.

Embedded image permalink
The 2014 Iowa State Cyclones (2-10 overall) celebrating
the 20-17 win at Kinnick, by taking home the Cy-Hawk
Trophy for the third time in four seasons.
Iowa State (1-0) opened the 2015 College Football season with a strong 31-7 win over Northern Iowa, who split 1-1 with Illinois State, in 2014. The Hawkeyes opened the 2014 season with a win, as well over UNI.

The Cyclones are lead by a three-year starter at quarterback, as well as four upper classmen at wide receiver. The running back position is lead by three underclassmen though.

In the last four games, the Cy-Hawk Trophy has been decided by six points or less. The last dominating win, was Iowa in 2010, in Iowa City, by the score of 35-7.

Last year, Iowa took a 14-3 lead into halftime, at Kinnick Stadium. But, it was all Iowa State in the second half.
Embedded image permalink
Iowa State senior QB 12 Sam B Richardson, in last year's
20-17 win over Iowa. The Hawkeyes senior DE 34 Nate
Meier and his teammates need to put more pressure
on Richardson, after playing contain, in the '14 game.
Iowa dominated Iowa State for nearly 3-1/2 quarters in the 2013 win. Iowa took a 27-7 lead midway into the fourth quarter.

Iowa State came back fueled on the three TD reception performance of wide receiver Quenton Brundrage, as well as on the arm of quarterback Sam B. Richardson. Both seniors are now in 2015. The figure big in today's showdown for the Cyclones.

Iowa won the game in 2013, 27-21, after recovering the Cyclones onside kick with 2:25 left. The Hawkeyes took home the trophy in the game, last played in Ames.

In the last six years, Iowa State has 19 turnovers that have resulted in 51 of Iowa's 161 points.

Penalties hurt Iowa in the 2014 loss. Iowa State had four sacks on Iowa last year. The Hawkeyes failed to get one sack on Richardson. The defensive game strategy was one of containment, rather than pressure. It resulted in a 20-17 win by the Cyclones.

In the 2013 win, Iowa forced turnovers and were not shutout getting to the quarterback, but ISU still lead in the QB sack department. Iowa needs to do a better job protecting the quarterback.

The Iowa players will honor former S #9 Tyler Sash,
after Tuesday's death. Sash was at Iowa (2007-10).
Both Iowa and Iowa State got to the quarterback or benefited from tackles for loss, in the season openers, against MVfC programs, Illinois State and Northern Iowa, respectively. Who controls the line of scrimmage in today's Cy-Hawk Game?

It has been a bitter sweet week for the Hawkeye Football program, with news on Tuesday, that former Iowa safety Tyler Sash had passed away. The former Iowa safety played in three Cy-Hawk games. Iowa won all three games:

  • 2008 - Iowa won 17-5 in Iowa City
  • 2009 - Iowa won 35-3 in Ames
  • 2010 - Iowa won 35-7 in Iowa City

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Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is 7-9 as a head coach in the Cy-Hawk Games.
Iowa enters today's game 0-4 in trophy games, from last year. Now, throw in the emotional impact of the Sash death on the Iowa coaching staff, especially HC Ferentz, DC Phil Parker and DL coach Reese Morgan, who were directly involved in his coaching and recruitment at Iowa. How will the Hawkeyes coaching staff planning be impacted?

In the last two games, Iowa has opened with leads of 27-7 and 14-3, only to have Iowa State roll back and win one of two over the Hawkeyes. Iowa's starting QB, RB and WR all are new in roles in the Cy-Hawk Game. The TE position is a little of a question mark for each team, as well.

There is typically no easy sledding in the Cy-Hawk Games typically, since Ferentz became the head coach at Iowa. Paul Rhoads is 3-3 in the Cy-Hawk Series, as head coach.

  • Iowa has an edge in the rushing game on offense
  • Iowa State has an expected edge in the passing game on offense
  • Special teams is an area where no one team would seem to have a edge
Iowa State opened 2015, with a new
3-4 front 7, with NG Demond Tucker.
Iowa State has hit the junior colleges, since the 2013 season to strengthen the defensive side of the football. Coach Rhoads has brought in ten JUCO transfers in, filling out the two-deeps for the Cylcones.

Iowa State will use quickness more than Iowa in the trenches. The leader up front is JUCO transfer 97 Demond Tucker (6-0 296 Jr.) at nose tackle. The Cyclones front 7 isn't big and tall, so look for quickness to be a key element, as Iowa works to establish the running and short passing game.

Senior RB 33 Jordan Canzeri has prior Cy-Hawk Game
experience and is coming off one of his better games in '15.
One senior on the Iowa offense to keep a big eye on is Iowa senior running back Jordan Canzeri. The change of pace running back, had a very solid game against Illinois State.

RB Canzeri had 118 all-purpose yards (28 rushing, 90 receiving). His 90 receiving yards are a career best. Canzeri ranked second on the team with 752 all-purpose yards in 2014, including 494 yards rushing, 123 yards receiving, and 135 yards in kickoff returns. His 51-yard reception on the final drive of the first half was a career long.

Iowa junior QB 16 C.J. Beathard
will make first start today in the Cy-Hawk
Game in Ames. He is 2-0 as a starter.

Junior QB C.J. Beathard is making his first Cy-Hawk Series appearance. Former Iowa QB Jake Rudock took every snap at quarterback against the Cyclones in 2013 and 2014. Junior RB LeShun Daniels did not appear against the Cyclones in 2013 or 2014. The Hawkeyes combined for 104 rushes and 347 rushing yards in those games.

Ten active Hawkeyes, five on offense and five on defense, have previously started games against Iowa State. C Austin Blythe is making his fourth start against the Cyclones. RG Jordan Walsh, DE Drew Ott, and DB Desmond King are making their third starts in the series. Other Hawkeyes with starting experience in the Cy-Hawk Series include DE Nate Meier, DB Greg Mabin, FS Jordan Lomax, WR Jacob Hillyer, LG Sean Welsh, and TE George Kittle.

Seven Hawkeyes made their first career start in Iowa's season opener: RB LeShun Daniels, Jr., LT Boone Myers, DT Nathan Bazata, DT Jaleel Johnson, LB Cole Fisher, LB Ben Niemann, and SS Miles Taylor.

It will be an interest game on Saturday. The only winning season by Iowa State, in the six seasons Rhoads has been head coach was in 2009, when Iowa beat ISU 35-3, but the Cyclones finished the season 7-6. Rhoads needs more than a 4-3 record over Iowa. Of course, 7-9 for Ferentz has many asking questions in Iowa City, as well.
Iowa DE Drew Ott 95 tackling Illinois
State QB Jake Kolbe in the season
opener, as he enters his final Cy-Hawk
game as a senior. He didn't play
as a freshman, since he was trying to
redshirt, but didn't in B1G play.

Iowa State LT 67 Jake Campos moves
from RT last year to LT for the 2015
Cy-Hawk Game. He will face Iowa's
top pass rusher and most experienced
defensive lineman.
It will be an interesting day for each coaching staff, as the chess match begins ...

Top Match Up on the Field?
It will also be an interesting game on the field, as the most interesting match up will likely be Iowa's senior DE 95 Drew Ott (6-4 272) against Iowa State's sophomore left tackle 67 Jake Campos (6-8 297). 
Iowa has a mix of youth and experience heading into the 2015 Cy-Hawk Game
in Ames. One player to watch is junior DT 67 Jaleel Johnson, who had four
tackles in the season opener against Illinois State. He had his first sack during
Iowa's bowl game against Tennessee and may be primed for a breakout game.

Iowa needs to get some pressure in the Iowa State backfield, unlike last year's game. 

Iowa finished the opening season game with five sacks, all in the opening half. DE Drew Ott had two sacks. Freshman DE Parker Hesse, senior DE Nate Meier, and sophomore LB Ben Niemann each had one. It was the first career sack for Hesse and Niemann.

This game lately has gone down to the wire and it shouldn't surprise as it should this year.

Turnovers, special teams, penalties and coaching adjustments will be key areas to watch, as the Cy-Hawk Game kicks off at Jack Trice. This should be a good game.