Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz 15th season 100-74
“In a Word”….Patience…it seems like if you are an Iowa fan, then you have enormous amounts of patience…but you may need even more for 2013….six starters return and only two come back along the line…but the line wasn’t really the problem in 2012..it was injuries and James Vandenberg…Vandenberg was awful..the Hawks only scored more than 24 points in a game three times last season and those were in the first five games..the Hawkeye passing game accounted for seven TD passes and eight INT’s…but…Vandenberg is gone and all three of the top HB’s in Iowa City are healthy as of press time so what’s left?…the passing game…Sophomore Jake Rudock should be the starter and his success will be the key to the amount of W’s Iowa comes up with in 2013. He will have a potential All-Big Ten TE to throw to in CJ Fiedorowicz and slot WR Kevonte Martin-Manley is the leading returning pass catcher..The good news is there is a lot of room for improvement and it won’t take much to improve on last year’s win total…Iowa was dead last in the Big Ten in rushing and 114th in passing yards in the nation…better times are coming Hawkeye fans.
“In a Word”…Linebackers…eight starters come back to a defense that wasn’t awful last season…it just wasn’t a typical Iowa defense..only two teams gave up more 3rd down conversions than Iowa last season and no team gave up 3rd down conversions more often than the Hawks..almost a 45% percent success rate. The key will be getting in the opponents backfield…Iowa was last in the conference with just ten sacks, their pass defense efficiency ranking was 10th and they were 9th in total defense…not typical Hawkeye numbers…despite the low number of TFL’s and sacks, a lot of folks closer to the Iowa program than I, consider the D line a strength for the upcoming season…I think I will take a wait-and-see approach with that unit..I do see that there is certainly potential for a decent group…let’s get them healthy and see where they stand, shall we?…the Hawkeyes should have one of the better group of starting LB’s in the conference…Anthony Hitchens, James Morris and Christian Kirksey are very solid…it seems like Iowa has a group like this every three or four years and it works out well for them, but all things considered…there may not be a better group in the conference. The secondary brings back three starters but loses Micah Hyde…I like the talent here, but it’s a season or so away from being solid…I would expect some painful moments.
Iowa 2013 Schedule
The schedule is loaded with teams that Iowa and Kirk Ferentz should beat…but I think the amount of success Iowa has will have a lot to do with their lone nonconference road game in Ames vs Iowa State…the Hawks open with homers vs Northern Illinois and Missouri State, but then they travel to Ames where Ferentz has only won twice in seven tries…he is only 6-8 vs ISU…if they can win there it could set a positive tone…Iowa comes home then to close out the non-Big Ten schedule against Western Michigan…Floyd of Rosedale is at stake the following week in Minneapolis and the Spartans come to Kinnick for homecoming to round out the first half of the season. A bye week gets Iowa ready for a trip to Columbus..then homers vs Northwestern and Wisconsin…Ferentz then takes his team on the road to West Lafayette before the last bye…the home schedule concludes with a battle with Michigan and the season wraps up with a trip to Lincoln the day after Thanksgiving…all in all, Ferentz probably survives the season and it should pay off being in the easier Western Division beginning next season…but a seven or eight win year would certainly take a bit of the pressure off.
Iowa Could’s Should’s and Will’s
Iowa could have their first unbeaten nonconference record since 2009.
The Hawkeyes should have four wins going into October.
Iowa will get more road Big Ten wins than home Big Ten wins in 2013.
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