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B1G 2021: Iowa Hawkeyes Cocktail Party Preview

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So, uh, everyone just wants to talk about Iowa right now, right?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 05 Iowa at Illinois Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s Iowa week, and I’m sure everyone is terribly excited about that and there’s not any other news happening in the world of college football. It’s not like last year, when Iowa week was interrupted by the (temporary) cancellation of the season.

The 2020 Season

It happened, I guess.

Even in a definitely weird season, Iowa did very Iowa things. Tell me if this sounds familiar. They got better throughout the season, struggled early with QB play, and gave away a couple of winnable games (and the division) by refusing to adapt anything.

Against Purdue, new QB, Spencer Petras, was not great, and it being Purdue, they just went to superstar David Bell over, and over, and over, and again. Ope, there he is again. What’s that? Iowa has some quality DBs and should maybe change their look? Maybe rethink the zone? NOPE! Hey, David Bell just caught another pass.

Against jNW, Iowa just absolutely refused to play any offense, whatsoever. It was a dumb game.

But Iowa did win all 3 conference trophy games. Beating MN and UNL for the 6th straight year. UNL’s only win against Iowa for the last 8 seasons was in 2014 in an incredibly stupid game, where Pelini was fired anyway, because the UNL AD, Shawn Eichorst, had to “evaluate where Iowa was as a program.” In the Minnesota game, Ferentz flashed a little bit of Hayden Fry, as Iowa up 35-0, the fightin’ Flecks were desperately trying to not get shutout. Keeping their first string in against Iowa’s backups, Fleck called a timeout with about 20 seconds left at Iowa’s 4 yard line to try and get into the endzone. Ferentz then called all 3 of Iowa’s timeouts, consecutively.

Iowa also beat the living hell out of wisconsin, and that felt good. Fuck wisconsin.

But the end to Iowa’s season came without climax. As the final 2 games were cancelled because Michigan is the same as Mizzou.

Oh, and, uh, well, after accusations of racial inequity within the program Iowa fired Chris Doyle, the nation’s highest paid strength and conditioning coach. Please don’t ask about Brian Ferentz or Seth Wallace. That mess is under the rug for a reason.

Offense

Iowa broke in a new QB in 2020 in Spencer Petras. He was very much an Iowa QB. He was ok. He’s not terribly accurate, takes ok care of the ball, knows that outside zone to the short side of the field is always right there. Iowa had some relatively good skill positions for him to work with, and they just couldn’t take advantage.

Speaking of those skill positions, while Iowa loses Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith, the wide receiver group is still pretty damn strong with Nico Ragaini and Tyron Tracy and Iowa has grown some decent depth. This is also on the curve that is the Iowa passing game.

Tyler Goodson is THE guy at RB. Iowa’s run game is still incredibly broken, with it’s absolute dogmatic approach to the zone. However, Goodson is probably the best runner Iowa’s had since Shonn Greene. He’s really, really good.

Iowa’s offensive line should be good. Tyler Linderbaum is probably the best OL in the country, but no one really knows much about OL, and so none of you are actually reading this.

Defense

Phil Parker is a wizard. He’s very, very stubborn, and it will likely cost Iowa a game, but also, it works! Iowa finished yet another year with a top 10 defense, a smothering zone coverage, and a DL that takes care of business. Parker has also transitioned pretty smoothly from a base 4-3 cover 2, to a base 4-2-5 cover 2.

Iowa will be much the same this season. Matt Hankins is great. Iowa’s DL will be good (watch out for Yaha Black).

Special Teams

Iowa had the best punter in the country last year, now sophmore, Tory Taylor. Yes, he’s better than both Blake Hayes and Adam Korask.

Iowa will be replacing troll god Keith Duncan this season.

2021 Schedule

Untitled

DATE OPPONENT TIME
DATE OPPONENT TIME
Sat, Sep 4 vsIndiana 2:30 PM
Sat, Sep 11 @Iowa State 3:30 PM
Sat, Sep 18 vsKent State 2:30 PM
Sat, Sep 25 vsColorado State TBD
Fri, Oct 1 @Maryland 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 9 vsPenn State TBD
Sat, Oct 16 vsPurdue TBD
Sat, Oct 30 @Wisconsin TBD
Sat, Nov 6 @Northwestern TBD
Sat, Nov 13 vsMinnesota TBD
Sat, Nov 20 vsIllinois TBD
Fri, Nov 26 @Nebraska

When talking to an Iowa fan, do mention: Trophy games, UNL, Floyd of Rosedale, Luka Garza, Duke Slater Field.

When talking to an Iowa fan, don’t mention: Brian Ferentz, Succession plans, Gary Barta, law suits, the current recruiting class.