Saturday, September 28, 2019

Week 5: Game Day in Kinnick Stadium

Kickoff: 11:05 a.m.
TV: ESPN2 – Kevin Brown and Andre Ware
Last Meeting: This is the first meeting between the two schools.
The Weather: Cloudy skies with temps in the low 60’s at kickoff with winds around 10 mph.
The Line: Iowa is a 24 point favorite.
History: While this is the first meeting between the two schools, Iowa is 6-1 against C-USA programs with the last win coming over North Texas, 62-16, in 2015.

If you are not on the Rivals Network, you should look into Hawkeye Report, the Lounge and the work of Tom Kakert and Blair Sanderson for the Hawkeye site.

This week's prediction for Iowa.

Hawkeyes 38

Middle Tennessee Red Raiders 14

The Hawkeyes should finish non-conference portion of their schedule 3-0. The Hawkeyes have shown good performances in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams.

The Hawkeyes have already opened Big Ten play 1-0, when they beat Rutgers 30-0, in Week 2 in Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeyes are looking for their third straight home win in 2019. They won an highly unusual first road game, 18-17, in a double storm delayed cliffhanger, in Ames, against the Iowa State Cyclones, two weeks ago.

One trophy game is in the books. Will Iowa play more trophies in 2019?

We shall see soon enough. Be gold.

Both, Iowa and Middle Tennessee are coming off bye weeks. The Red Raiders opened the 2019 season in Ann Arbor. The Hawkeyes travel to Ann Arbor next week for their 2019 Big Ten road opener.

The Hawkeyes can't afford to look ahead. The senior leadership likely will not do that, lead by senior QB Nate Stanley.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Iowa Players to Watch in Ames

Iowa State (1-0) may be the more experienced team in the trenches, but both teams return playmakers for the 67th meeting of Iowa vs. Iowa State.

Note, Iowa (2-0, 1-0 B1G West) played 10 true freshman during the 2017 season; right now, four appear the focus heading into 2019 and fewer on defense.

Iowa takes pride in road openers under Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has won 8 of last 10, with lone losses at Arizona (34-27 in '10) and at Iowa State (44-41 in 3 OT in '11), so it would be shocking to see Iowa not come into Ames, with their "A Game."

Look how competitive Iowa has been each season, winning eight games.

It will take Matt Campbell's team's best performance against Iowa most likely. The Cyclones are likely hungry, since the Hawkeyes have won four straight, three over Campbell coached teams. None of the Cyclones have won, and none of the Hawkeyes have lost.

The Hawkeyes don't want to be the first?

Matt Campbell and his 2019 team, especially his seniors, are seeking to get that first win in the CyHawk series.

Iowa's secondary is not at full strength heading into Ames. Up to four players are out. The senior leader Michael Ojemudia is making his 2nd trip to Ames. He saw action in 44-41 OT win at Iowa State. Ojemudia made a career-high four tackles at Iowa State, with one solo tackles and three assists, along with one pass break-up in 2017. He and Geno Stone, who was one of 10 true freshmen, who played during the 2017 season are back leading the young secondary. Stone also saw action in 44-41 OT win at Iowa State, recording one solo tackle for first career statistic.

The back 7 is expected to run Iowa's traditonal 4-3 defense, since injuries have impacted the secondary. Just like the past four CyHawk Games, which Iowa have won.

On defense, Iowa returns only one starter from the 2017 game. It is starting senior DT Cedric Lattimore. He clearly plays a key role anchoring the middle against Cyclones on Saturday.

He started at defensive tackle in the 44-41 OT win at Iowa State, recording one QB pressure. Last year, Cedric saw action in 13-3 win over Iowa State, recording one assisted tackle as defense allowed just 19 net rushing yards and 188 yards total offense. This is his fourth CyHawk Game.

His running mate also played in 2017. Brady Reiff saw action in 44-41 OT win at Iowa State, recording one solo tackle and one QB pressure. He missed last year's game.

Iowa's top edge rush AJ Epenesa saw action in 44-41 OT win at Iowa State, recording one sack and one QB pressure. Last year, he had five tackles vs. ISU, including three solo stops and two assists.

So, five of Iowa's starters played in 2017. The linebacker corp was three seniors last time in Ames. Nick Niemann did play in 2017. He recorded one solo tackle for his first career statistic. Last year, Niemann came up big, career-best seven tackles vs. ISU, including three solo stops and four assists, along with one sack.

One senior many are likely interested to see against Iowa State is DE/ST player Amani Jones. He had one assisted tackle in 2017 in Ames.

It will be important for the linebackers to tackle well in space. Djimon Colbert had a great game last year, with career-best five tackles vs. ISU, including three solo stops and two assists. The linebacker corp was the question mark last year entering the CyHawk Game. It is the secondary in 2019.

Senior MLB Kristian Welch did not see action in 13-3 win last over over Iowa State due to injury. He played briefly in the 42-3 win his true freshman season at Kinnick, but had no statistics as defense allowed just 291 yards total offense.

The Iowa defense has a corp group of players who will have to lead others making their debut in Ames.

Offensively, one returning starter from the 2017 game is out injuries in Alaric Jackson at LT. Not one starter in the offensive line has played in Ames.

Getting off to a good start will be important on the road in Ames. The Hawkeyes will want to keep the Cyclone fans from making this one any more emotionally charged, as it will already be.

NCAAF Nation@NCAAFNation247

Iowa defeats Iowa State 44-41


2:57 PM - Sep 9, 2017

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The only returning starters from 2017 are Iowa two players of the game from week one in senior QB Nate Stanley and junior wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

Learfield IMG College Audio@IMGAudio


Nate Stanley had TD passes, including the game-winner in overtime, giving @HawkeyeFootball a 44-41 win over the rival Cyclones in 2017 #Hawkeyes | #TBT


2:00 PM - Sep 12, 2019

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Stanley had his first road start in Ames as Iowa's QB. Smith-Marsette his first start at wide receiver in 44-41 OT win at Iowa State for an offense that gained 497 yards total offense. He had four receptions for 36 yards at Iowa State, including two touchdown receptions . His first career score came on 15-yard reception in fourth quarter. He had his second touchdown on five-yard reception in overtime to secure the Iowa win. He also had one rushing attempt for seven yards. Last year, he one reception for 45 yards vs. ISU, got hurt and missed the next game.

Kory Kuffler


Iowa wins the Cy-hawk trophy for 3rd straight year 44-41 in OT


3:39 PM - Sep 10, 2017

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Stanley completed 27-41 pass attempts for 333 yards and five touchdowns at Iowa State, with no interceptions. He had a 46-yard scoring strike to tie the game with 1:09 remaining. As mentioned, his five-yard touchdown pass in OT provided the winning margin. Stanley also had scoring passes of 10, 17 and 15 yards while leading team on four scoring drives that covered 89 yards or more in 2017, in Ames.

Stanley saw action in 42-3 win over Iowa State as offense gained 435 yards total offense. He completed one of two pass attempts for two yards vs. ISU. His first completion, as a Hawkeye. Last year, Stanley completed 16-28 attempts for 166 yards vs. ISU, with no interceptions. He also had two rushing attempts for seven yards, along with one punt for 25 yards.

Cyclone fans don't have much respect for Stanley's mobility, but he used his feet last year and has made a couple key first downs this year. Like in 2003 and 2015, Iowa's starting QB will likely need to make a play with his feet in Ames.

In 2017, Ivory Kelly-Martin recorded two KO returns for 39 yards at Iowa State, with a long of 24 yards. He also recorded one solo tackle on special teams. He was injured last season. It was nice to see him provide an explosive play last week against Rutgers in the pass game and with Tyrone Tracy's first career TD reception on play action.

Iowa fans should see true freshman Tyler Goodson today in Ames. Here's a prime example. Junior WR Brandon Smith saw first action of career in Ames in 2017. Last year, Smith started at wide receiver in 13-3 win over Iowa State. His one reception for 30 yards vs. ISU, led to the only touchdown of the game.

Junior Shaun Beyer is the only TE, who has played in Ames. Hesaw action on special teams in 2017 at ISU. Last year, he played, with no statistics.

Overall, Iowa has more experience, but limited who have played in Ames. But, you have to like the corp group of players for the Hawkeyes.

Friday, September 13, 2019

GameDay and the 67th meeting of the Cy-Hawk Game on Saturday in Ames

Football is a team sport, so when is it ultimately ever a game of one quarterback vs. the other.


Nate Stanley will make his third start against Iowa State and play in his fourth game. He has completed a pass in all four games, unless something dramatically shifts at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday.

Nate Chandler in Ames

Drew Tate

Ricky Stanzi

C.J. Beathard

They all won as senior QBs over Iowa State. So, why should one pick against Nate Stanley, who is playing well entering his third game of his senior season?


For sophomore Brock Purdy, this is the biggest game in his 10 game career at Iowa State. He is an impressive 8-2 and had an impressive true freshman season.

However, lately, long-term QBs at Iowa State have been rare territory. Has Brock Purdy won the biggest games?

When has Iowa State ever won the biggest Cy-Hawk games, other than the 2002 Cy-Hawk Game in Kinnick?

Iowa State hasn't been ranked, since the 1978 game. Iowa has apparently been ranked 13 times heading into the Cy-Hawk series. In 2009, Iowa fell out of the ranking, after the UNI opener. The Hawkeyes didn't jump back into the Top 25, until after the GameDay win at Penn State.

The 2009 team was Iowa's best in the Cy-Hawk series, under Kirk Ferentz. Matt Campbell is 0-3 and his team has played one game against an FCS program to date.

Ironically, this is Iowa State’s third-straight home game against an Iowa team. ISU played Drake last Dec. 1, then opened this season against Northern Iowa. Both Cyclone games were wins, but they raised more questions than Top 25 votes.

The last win in the Cy-Hawk series was in 2014. The Cyclones won coming off a conference game. Iowa State has lost four straight coming off a scheduled game with an FCS opponent.

Something has to give on Saturday: as columnist Hlas shared, "Iowa has won its last seven road openers. Iowa State has won its last seven home games."

When it comes to defense, "Iowa State’s 188 yards at Iowa last year was the Cyclones’ lowest total in Matt Campbell’s 39 games as their coach."

Iowa has had three shutout games in their last ten conference games. Iowa won their bowl game 27-22 against a strong Mississippi State defense. Momentum likely favors the visiting team?


"Iowa is fourth nationally in total defense, yards allowed per pass attempt, and time of possession" in the early 2019 season.

Iowa's defense in 2019 has been impressive? They may be playing better as a "TEAM" compared to their strong 2018 unit lead by an array of solid seniors and two NFL draftees, who elected to forgo their senior season.

Now, Iowa State does have a good defense themselves. They have only played one game in 2 weeks. They faced a freshman UNI QB and they didn't allow a touchdown, until overtime. But, there is youth to be found in their unit.


WLB Marcel Spears is a senior. Otherwise, it is underclassmen at cornerback and in the linebacker unit. Sophomore Mike Rose played outstanding last year, as a true freshman.


For Iowa State to win, it will have to be the perfect storm?

The Cyclones are going to have to pressure Nate Stanley, who has lost five games in his career, as a starter, on the road. The two most recent were at Penn State and Purdue last year.


Stanley has lead the Hawkeyes in three trophy game victories on the road. The first, in Ames in his road debut, as a starter, in 2017. His other two wins were at Nebraska to close out 2017 and the road opener at Minnesota last year.

Stanley has lead Iowa to two bowl wins. Iowa State's last bowl win was ten years ago 14-13 over Minnesota. Iowa won the Cy-Hawk Game in Ames, in 2009, 35-3.

Other than against Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes have stepped up and won, as a team in trophy games, dating back to 2016, when Stanley arrived, as a true freshman. Iowa won all 4 trophy games in 2015.


So, winning culture favors the Hawkeyes, who have won 4 out of the 5 last games in Ames. The Cyclones last home win was a triple OT game, 44-41, in 2011.

QB Purdy and the Cyclones didn't rise to the occasion at Texas last year. In their last four games, including the Alamo Bowl loss 28-26 to Washington State, they were one possession or OT games at home:

Kansas State


Northern Iowa

Iowa State has lost the last two games as a +2 underdog.

Purdy did lead the Cyclones to wins last year over  Top 25 Oklahoma State (on road) and West Virginia at home.

Lately, the Cyclones have played down to their opponents, rather than up?

Iowa has struggled with that issue in the early going, at times under Coach Ferentz. Since the 45-28 loss in the Gator Bowl to Tennessee in 2014, the Hawkeyes have witness a "new Kirk" with updated coaching staff of new and old faces.

This game is important. Iowa State's best seasons, over the last ten years, all came after an Iowa win in the Cy-Hawk series, for what it is worth.

If Iowa takes care of business on Saturday, we suspect it will be by the margin of Ten Points. Not a 30 plus blowout, like 2009 or 2016, but seperation enough to get a W.

Otherwise, close games are what the Cyclones have often pulled out, whether Oklahama 2017, Iowa in 2002 or other years, often against Iowa.

The only real outlier in Ames was 2005, when the Cyclones upset then #8 Iowa 23-3. The 2005 Hawkeyes were very young in the defensive line, unlike 2019.

Iowa 27

Iowa State 17

Fight for Iowa!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Our Pick: Iowa vs. Rutgers

We see another Iowa win. Hawkeyes seeking to open 2-0 for sixth straight season.

IOWA 3️⃣5️⃣
Rutgers 1️⃣6️⃣

GameDay: Iowa (1-0) vs. Rutgers from Kinnick Stadium

Iowa City, IA -- The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team are set to play in their first Big Ten game of the seaso, as they face one another for the first time at Kinnick Stadium Iowa on Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon 11 a.m. local kickoff.

It will be the fourth time in five years the Scarlet Knights begin league competition on the road. It will be the third straight Big Ten home opener, after years of typically opening on the road in the Kirk Ferentz era.
Watch live on Fox Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), Petros Papadakis (analyst) and Shane Vereen (analyst) in the booth.

Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Ray Lucas (analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline) are set to deliver the action on the Rutgers Sports Network (WCTC 1450-AM, WOR 710-AM, WENJ 97.3-FM, WNJE 920-AM, XM 382). The WRSU 88.7-FM student radio broadcast will have Jake Ostrove and Justin Sontupe on the call.

On the Hawkeye Sports Network it will Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak on the call.
This game marks a homecoming for head coach Chris Ash, who is from Ottumwa, Iowa. In addition, defensive line coach Corey Brown was a member of the Hawkeyes football team from 1995-99 and wide receivers coach Lester Erb spent 13 seasons on the Iowa staff.
Jay Niemann. Jay Niemann was named assistant defensive line coach and defensive recruiting coordinator in May, 2019. Niemann joined the Hawkeye coaching staff after serving as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Rutgers University for three seasons (2016-18).

Saturday will be Rutgers' first trip to Kinnick Stadium. There are two other Big Ten venues the team has not played at: Northwestern (scheduled 2021) and Purdue (2020).
The 2019 season marks the 150th anniversary of the first college football game, which took place between Rutgers and Princeton on Nov. 6, 1869. The historic contest took place on a plot of ground where the present-day Rutgers gymnasium now stands in New Brunswick. RU won that first game, 6-4.

Iowa won the only other meeting between the programs in 2016 in Piscataway. Rutgers had more total offense, 383-355, but the Hawkeyes posted a go-ahead touchdown with 8:35 left in the game to win, 14-7. RU scored on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Chris Laviano to Andre Patton to cap a 13-play drive. Robert Martin contributed 106 rushing yards on the day. Damon HayesTyreek Maddox-Williams and Kamaal Seymour are the only Scarlet Knights on the current roster that played in that game.


The Hawkeyes, ranked 20th in the preseason AP poll and 19th in the coaches' poll, notched a 38-14 home win over Miami (Ohio) to start the season. The offense picked up 465 yards (252 passing, 213 rushing). Senior quarterback Nate Stanley threw three touchdown passes, completing passes to 10 different receivers. Mekhi Sargent led the ground game with 91 rushing yards. Defensively, Iowa permitted 11 first downs and 245 yards, with Michael Ojemudia collecting an interception.
Kirk Ferentz is the longest tenured head football coach in the nation, now in his 21st season at Iowa.

Bo Melton
The Scarlet Knights seek to start 2-0 for the first time since 2014 after posting a 48-21 season-opening win over Massachusetts Friday at SHI Stadium. Over the last three quarters, the offense scored 41 points and the defense allowed zero.
Sophomore Isaih Pacheco posted four rushing touchdowns, the most in the nation, to become one of nine players in program history to achieve the feat in a game. He finished with 156 rushing yards with an average of 7.8 per carry for his third career game topping the century mark.
Fifth-year senior McLane Carter passed for 340 yards, the most in a starting debut for a Rutgers quarterback since 1997 and first 300-yard game since 2015. Junior Bo Melton had a career-high 127 receiving yards with his first touchdown, while classmate Raheem Blackshear also caught a score as one of his nine receptions for 126 yards.
Overall, Rutgers is currently ranked third nationally with only two tackles-for-loss allowed, 17th with 15.82 yards per completion, 18th with 48 points, 19th with 554 yards of total offense, and 19th with 348 passing yards. The eight plays gaining at least 20 yards were the most since having nine at Indiana in 2015.
The defense was led by junior Tyshon Fogg registering a game-high 11 tackles in his first collegiate start. Both junior Tre Avery and sophomore Avery Young brought down their first career interception in the victory, as junior Elorm Lumor assisted on a pair of sacks.
Junior Justin Davidovicz converted both field goals attempts to improve to 11-for-13 in his career, including 8-for-8 inside 40 yards.