Friday, October 30, 2015

Game Day Saturday: Iowa vs. Maryland at Kinnick Stadium

Iowa City, IA -- The #10 Iowa Hawkeyes (7-0, 3-0 B1G West) return to action on Halloween, with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Kinnick Stadium against the Maryland Terrapins (2-5, 0-3 B1G East). It is the first meeting ever in Iowa City, after last year's 38-31 Maryland win, in the inaugural game. This year's Iowa-Maryland game will be televised on ABC/ESPN2.
Mike Locksley
Maryland iHC Mike Locksley.

The Hawkeyes will face the second of three games against interim head coaches at home, in Big Ten play this season. This will be Maryland's second game lead by interim coach Mike Locksley, who has faced Iowa in the past, when he was an assistant coach under Ron Zook at Florida and at Illinois.

Locksley has been the Maryland offensive coordinator since 2011. He served as the head coach at New Mexico from 2009-11. He was an assistant coach at Florida when the Hawkeyes defeated the Gators in the
2004 Outback Bowl.

On playing Iowa:

The key to slowing Iowa's offense is eliminating the run. Iowa has had three
different running backs gain over 100 yards in 2015. The most recent one
was sophomore RB #25 Akrum Wadley, who ran for 204 yards and four
touchdowns in the 40-10 win @ Northwestern, ahead of Iowa's bye week.
Their coach does a good job of keeping those guys very sound. When you look at them, they haven’t changed very much in their identity on offense or defense or special teams. They’ve always been really sound. They try not to do a lot in terms of tricking you or masking it. They line up and play good hard-nosed, clean football in all three phases. They play with great effort and when you look at them this year, the thing that jumps out to me is the balance they have. Traditionally when you face an Iowa team, you have to stop the run first and foremost, which we’ll have to do. Their balance is what gives them advantages and they’re playing really well right now," Maryland's Mike Locksley said during his press conference this week ahead of the Iowa game.

Iowa junior QB #16 C.J. Beathard became the #1 QB after the Iowa bowl game.
It lead to Iowa's two year starter Jake Rudock to graduate and transfer to
Michigan. Iowa's overall game has elevated in all three phases in 2015.
It starts with their execution. I know last year they had the quarterback situation where they were going back and forth between the two quarterbacks and the development of their team from one year to the next is hard to compare. I think what they’re doing now as a team is they’re executing at a very high level in all three phases, and their quarterback is playing well and protecting the football, and on the defensive side of the ball, they are stopping the runs,” said Locksley about Iowa.

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz on the upcoming game with Maryland

Iowa will need to play strong in pass protection, as Maryland's top defensive
lineman sacks the Penn State's QB in last Saturday's 20-19 game.
"Now our next challenge is to get ready for Maryland. And it's interesting, it's another team that we're playing that has new leadership. They played with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy the other day, played really well, and it was a really good ballgame to a very good Penn State team. They lost by one point to a team that's 6 and 2 having a good season," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said during his news conference ahead of this week's game with Maryland.

Maryland junior DE #7 Yannick Ngakoue is the Terrapins leader with
sacks and tackles for loss. The line of scrimmage will be a key for either team
as the Hawkeyes-Terrapins kickoff at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.
"Maryland is a team that beat us last year. They've got a lot of good players from last year returning. They do have a new quarterback. He's playing really well; a dangerous runner. They've got a lot of backs that can run and good skill players, veteran guys up front defensively. They've got some good players up there too, and the guy up front, No. 7, the defensive end, really active, really hard player to block and contain. And they got one of the better DBs veteran in the back end, but one of the better DBs that we're going to see this season," Ferentz shared about the Terrapins.

Iowa plays in Kinnick Stadium which was named after 1939 Heisman Trophy winner
Big Ten punt return yards record with 233 yards against Richmond in the 2015 season opener
for Maryland. Likely is a starting CB, who scored a pick 6 against Iowa last year.
"Same thing in the kicking game. They've got both their punter and kicker back. Both of them have done good jobs, and then we really feel like Likely is as good of a returner as there is in the country, not only in our conference but in the country. He's very dangerous, both in the punt and kick return game. So we've got a lot of challenges on our hands that way," Ferentz said about Maryland's special teams.

Maryland has moved to junior QB #11 Perry Hills, who can be highly effective
in the read option, as he scrambles for yardage against Penn State.
Last year, C.J. Brown hurt Iowa will his feet in the 38-31 Maryland win.
"They're coming off a bye week a week ago (Maryland), so to me I'm guessing they just look at this whole thing like a new season. Played an excellent football game last Saturday. As I mentioned, a one-point loss to a very good Penn State football team. So we expect their best certainly coming in this Saturday. Again, they beat us last year, so I'm sure they'll be confident coming in, and really, what it gets down to is we have to have a great week of preparation. We're off to a good start, but we need to really finish it up here this week and make sure we're ready to go at kickoff time," Ferentz went on to say, in describing the Hawkeyes upcoming opponent.

The line of scrimmage was a key element in Maryland's 38-31 win over
Iowa in 2014. It will be a key element again in 2015, as Maryland comes
to Iowa City for the first time in the series.
In the inaugural game last season in College Park, MD, the Terrapins took advantage of three Hawkeye turnovers that resulted in ten points. Iowa opened with a 14-0 run, but the Terrapins outscored the Hawkeyes 38-7 to take a 38-21 lead on the Hawkeyes, with under five minutes remaining. The Hawkeyes scored ten more points, in the 38-31 Terrapin win.

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 134-106 and he is 122-85 at Iowa. He is tied for eighth
in the Big Ten Conference in coaching wins. Pictured last year @ Maryland.
Iowa won three of the first four B1G games last season, with the loss at Maryland. Maryland won two of the first four B1G games. Both programs are clearly on different paths so far, with Iowa 3-0 and Maryland 0-3 to kickoff the 2015 Big Ten season. Iowa is coming off a bye week. Last year, Maryland enjoyed a bye week, ahead of the game with the Hawkeyes.

On Iowa’s transformation from last season:

Iowa's defense has really stepped up in 2015, coming off a rough 7-6 record
last season, including the disappointing inaugural loss at Maryland.
A lot of their schemes and formations are the same but they have different personnel so it is a little different from last year,” Maryland junior wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo said about Iowa.

Maryland junior WR #84 Amba Etta-Tawo against Iowa in last year's game.
Iowa's senior FS #27 Jordan Lomax and junior CB #13 Greg Mabin tackling.

On Iowa’s defense:

Iowa senior FS #27 Jordan Lomax is one of six Maryland preps on the
Hawkeyes roster in 2015. Sophomore SS Miles Taylor is also from MD.
They have a great defense. They are not going to give up many points. I think they average 15 points per game. We just have to find every opportunity we can. We cannot make many mistakes like we did on Saturday. If we have good field position we have to push the ball into the end zone. We have to limit our turnovers. We feel with our offense we are capable of putting up points,” Maryland junior left tackle Michael Dunn said about the Iowa defense.

25.1 Scoring Offense 32.9
34.1 Scoring Defense 15.3
186.7 Rushing Offense 214.4
172.4 Passing Offense 206.7
359.1 Total Offense 421.1
175.6 Rushing Defense 74.1
268.6 Passing Defense 220.1
444.1 Total Defense 294.3

Iowa junior CB and RS Desmond King is a key performer on Saturday.
The Washington Post previews the Iowa-Maryland game - link

The Questions facing Maryland ...

Maryland senior RB #45 Brandon Ross against the Buckeyes in Columbus.
Ohio State won 49-28. The Terrapins have a 1-2 punch at RB again.
  • Can Perry Hills cut down on the turnovers?
  • Can Maryland establish the run?
  • Will Maryland’s defense bounce back? 
The Terrapins are set to face their third ranked opponent in their last four games as they take on the 10th-ranked Hawkeyes Saturday. Including Iowa, the collective record of the four Big Ten teams Maryland has faced is 26-4.

The health of Iowa QB #16 C.J. Beathard will be one of the questions coming
off the bye week. Beathard has helped Iowa with his feet, as well as in the
passing game, especially ahead of Big Ten play. He is playing with a hip and groin
injury and was held out of practice much of the week ahead of the NW game.

Iowa is trying to improve to 8-0 for just the second time in school history. The Hawkeyes were 7-0 in 1985, 1922, and 1921, and opened the season 9-0 in 2009, its best start in school history.

Three different Hawkeyes have rushed for over 100 yards in a game this season: Jordan Canzeri (4x), and LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley once each. The last time the Hawkeyes had three different players rush for over 100 yards in a game in the same season was 2005: Albert Young (8x), and Shonn Greene and Damian Sims once each. The Hawkeyes also have three receivers with 100-yard receiving games: Matt VandeBerg (1), Tevaun Smith (1), and Jerminic Smith (1). It is the first time since 1995 three different Hawkeyes recorded 100-yard receiving games: Tim Dwight (2x), Demo Odems (1), Scott Slutzker (1).

Iowa senior WR #17 Jacob Hillyer scored a TD against Maryland last year.
Our pick: Iowa Hawkeyes 31, Maryland 14 - Week 1 after the bye week.
Can the Hawkeyes resume Big Ten play, with a outcome like the season opener?

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