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B1G 2020: Can Iowa Overcome Adversity?

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This is some bullshit

Syndication: HawkCentral
Good job, good effort on that culture.
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Alright, so the last time Iowa was supposed to be previewed, it was the day that football was postponed. But surely, nothing big has happened this offseason, right?

Elephant in the Room:

So turns out all that talk about the Iowa Way and the culture of Strength and Conditioning that has churned out NFL player during the Ferentz era was built on a foundation of racist actions. Chris Doyle, the formerly, highest bad S&C Coach in College Football, belittled players, many times by using incredibly insensitive racial stereotypes. Causing many to leave the program and/or not come back after graduating. He was paid handsomely to go away.

However, what of the culture? What of the other coaches implicated to a lesser degree (LBs coach Seth Wallace, heir to the fiefdom, Brian Ferentz, and the big boss himself, Kirk)? Well, they’re totally sorry and it won’t ever happen again. They promise! The players themselves are saying that they culture is better, that they don’t feel like they’re walking on glass anymore. We likely won’t every find out until it’s far too late, because transparency isn’t exactly the forte of this program or athletic department.

Actual Football-like Substance:

The Offense:

3 year starter and perfectly fine QB, Nate Stanley graduated. So now what? RS Sophmore Spencer Petras is going to be taking over at QB. He’s another big QB, at 6’5” and 230 pounds, he’s probably not going to be doing a whole bunch of scrambling for big yards. He reportedly has a big arm, though maybe not quite as strong as Stanley’s, but is supposed to be a bit more accurate.

Petras will be have some of the most talented offensive skill positions that Iowa has seen in quite some time, as pretty much all production at the WR, RB, and TE positions come return. Iowa goes 4 deep at WRs worth mentioning with Ihmir Smith-Marsette (very fast!) and Brandon Smith (big target, great hands) on the outside and Nico Regani and Tyrone Tracy in the slot. Sam LaPorta is poised for a breakout season as the next stud TE Iowa produces. And at running back, Tyler Goodson took over as the feature back late last season as a true freshman, and looked great doing it.

The OL should be good despite Tristan Wirfs taking his talent to the NFL. They snagged Coy Cronk from Indiana as a graduate transfer to step in at RT. Alaric Jackson is likely to be a high round draft pick and All Conference at LT. The guard play is returning two players who have had some ups and downs in Cole Banwart and Kyler Schott, but they’ll be solid. Tyler Linderbaum is a beast at center, and could leave for the NFL after this season, as a RS Sophmore (I kinda doubt he does, but it’s possible).

Given all of this potential on this side of the ball, I expect that the Hawkeyes could maybe break into the top half of offenses in the country, if not the Big Ten.

The Defense:

Iowa had a top 10 defense last year, but lost quite a bit from team, especially along the line where All American A.J. Epenesa went left for the NFL and Cedric Lattimore graduated. However, Phil Parker is still the DC, and he’s one of the best in the game, and will have a quality unit.

Chauncey Golston (DE) and Daviyon Nixon (DT) will be names to watch out for, but the rest of the DL will likely be a rotating cast. A name to watch for, I think, is going to be Joe Evans as a pass rush specialist.

Having moved to a 4-2-5 base, the LB spot has been squeezed a bit. Djimon Colbert is sitting out this season, which leaves Jack Campbell to step in to fill that spot. On the outside, is Nick Niemann who has been quite capable, borderline all-conference in the spot.

The secondary will have to replace Geno Stone as safety, but Parker has just churned out great secondary players for 20 years, now. Matt Hankins is the top DB here, and I’m pretty intrigued by Barrington Wade as the cash and Dane Belton at SS.

The Specialists:

Kieth Duncan, All-American, Lou Groza finalist (HE WAS ROBBED), and troll god:

Iowa will be breaking in a new punter, as they’ve taken the plunge into Aussie punters with Tory Taylor taking the reins as a (23 year-old!) freshman.

Oh, and Ihmir Smith-Marsette is the best return man in the country, so that’s nice.

The Schedule:

Iowa’s 2020 Football Schedule

Date Iowa's scheduled opponent
Date Iowa's scheduled opponent
October 24 @ Purdue
October 31 justNorthwestern
November 7 Michigan State
November 14 (FRI) @ Minnesota
November 21 Penn State
November 27 (Black Friday) UNL
December 5 @ Illinois
December 12 wisconsin
December 19 Ohio State (whom Iowa beat in American Collegiate Football by a score of 55-24 in 2017, the last time they played. People forget that.

The Poll:

So what do you think?

Poll

How many wins does Iowa get?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    9 (It’s time to talk to your kids about an undefeated Iowa, also, time to get off the hallucinogens).
    (35 votes)
  • 4%
    8
    (8 votes)
  • 9%
    7
    (15 votes)
  • 26%
    6 (the 8-4 of 2020)
    (43 votes)
  • 10%
    5
    (18 votes)
  • 8%
    less than 5 (COVID division)
    (14 votes)
  • 19%
    less than 5 (Hater division)
    (32 votes)
165 votes total Vote Now