Greetings OTE! It’s your friendly neighborhood Elvis impersonator here to offer my take on the upcoming Iowa Football season.
After getting out to a rocky start in 2020 (you can just shut it now MNWildcat), the Iowa Hawkeyes ripped off six straight wins. Unfortunately we were denied the chance for wins seven and eight as both Michigan and Missouri were too scared to play us and decided to bail.
Perhaps it’s because they saw what we did to the other ‘M’ teams we played: 49-7 over Michigan State and 35-7 over Minnesota.
So what sparked the big turnaround last year after an 0-2 start? Well, it didn’t hurt that Iowa had a bunch of NFL-caliber talent. But I think the other reason was the development of Tyler Goodson and Spencer Petras.
Yes, we all know Goodson would be a star heading into the season but there were question marks about the Hawks new signal caller. Those questions were painfully obvious in losses at Purdue and at home to Northwestern. But once QB7 started to figure things out, Iowa averaged over 35 points a game in the winning streak.
Can Iowa keep that up this year? Well the skill guys returning are good ones. In addition to Petras and Goodson, the Hawks return Tyrone Tracy, Jr., Nico Ragaini and yet ANOTHER tight end who is gonna tear things up, Sam LaPorta.
Defense has always been a calling card for the Hawks. Unfortunately, only two of the front seven starters are back this season after allowing a paltry 16 points per game. The nice thing is the entire secondary is back so pass on them at our own peril.
Special Teams are special!
What’s that? Your team DOESN’T have an Aussie punter? Too bad. I highly recommend them.
Hello Tory Taylor, and welcome to a spot on the Ray Guy Watch list. Iowa finished fourth in the country last season in Net Punting, so I guess it IS winning! And on the receiving end, the Hawks got a very pleasant surprise when Charlie Jones stepped in and averaged over 10 yards per return including taking one to the house.
So you add all of this up and you get......what exactly?
Iowa starts off with two tough games that three years ago didn’t look that tough with Indiana coming to town for the opener and a trip to Ames to visit little brother. The rest of the schedule is manageable. Pencil me in for 9-3 with a loss to Iowa State (I think their running game will cause problems for Iowa up front), one tough conference loss and a flukey, step-on-your-dick loss on the road (please GOD not Nebraska). That might be good enough to win the West.
Regardless of what happens on the field this season, its going to be SO DAMN GOOD to be back in the stands and cheering for these guys. If you happen to be in Iowa City for a game, let me know! And look for me making my inaugural trip to Maryland for Friday Night Lights.
Want to read more from Hawkeye Elvis at OTE? Check out his series of articles gallivanting around Indianapolis as the Hawks competed in the NCAA Tournament?
Thank’ya very much, King! Looking forward to seeing you on the road this fall!