2013 Iowa Spring Football Analysis
Iowa Hawkeyes 2012 Season ...
Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz
Why To Be Excited: The defense wasn’t completely awful. It wasn’t great, but it showed promise at times considering it didn’t get any help whatsoever from the miserable offense. Nine starters return including a terrific looking linebacking corps of James Morris in the middle and Christian Kirksley and Anthony Hitchens on the outside. All seniors, those three should form one of the Big Ten’s best linebacking corps. Corner Micah Hyde is gone, but the rest of the secondary returns. If there’s any pass rush from the line, there could be a huge jump up in production.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 Northern Illinois
9/7 Missouri State
9/14 at Iowa State
9/21 Western Michigan
9/28 at Minnesota
10/5 Michigan State
10/12 OPEN DATE
10/19 at Ohio State
11/9 at Purdue
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/30 at Nebraska
Why To Be Grouchy: The passing game was ugly and inefficient, but the two decent parts of the puzzle were quarterback James Vandenberg and receiver Keenan Davis – they’re both gone. The Hawkeyes are starting from scratch with no experience whatsoever under center, and now it’s going to be a fight all offseason to see if sophomore Jake Rudock or JUCO transfer Cody Sokol can make the offense go for new coordinator Greg Davis.
What Needs Working On: The pass rush has to be far better. The awful offense has to improve and the team needs to find ways put points on the board, but things can’t be any worse. The defense returns loaded with veterans, and now they have to figure out how to get into the backfield after finishing last in the Big Ten with 53 tackles for loss and a pathetic 13 sacks. The one guy who did do a little bit to come up with some disruptive plays, end Joe Gaglione, is one of only two starters gone off the defense after leading the team with five sacks with nine tackles for loss. The pressure will be on senior Dominic Alvis to come up with a big year on the outside.
Non-Conference Games: Northern Illinois, Missouri State, at Iowa State, Western Michigan
Games Against The Leaders: at Ohio State, at Purdue, Wisconsin
Realistic Best Case Record: 7-5
Worst Case Record: 2-10
Likely Finish: 4-8
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Northern Illinois, Missouri State, at Iowa State, Western Michigan
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Minnesota, Michigan State, at Ohio State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, at Purdue, Michigan, at Nebraska
Schedule Analysis: The Hawkeyes had a seemingly easy schedule and didn’t do anything with it. This year they have a relatively easy schedule over the first half, but it’s unrelenting in the second. However, if Northern Illinois easy? That’s the opener, and going to Iowa State is never easy and hosting Western Michigan isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Fortunately, Missouri State is up early to guarantee one win. It’ll be desperately needed considering the Big Ten problems.
Getting Ohio State and Wisconsin from the Leaders stinks, and while Purdue shouldn’t be a problem, it’s in West Lafayette the week after dealing with the Badgers. Getting Michigan State, Northwestern and Michigan at home might help, but the season ends with the Wolverines followed up by a road game at Nebraska. Basically, considering the Big Ten opener is at Minnesota, there isn’t a sure-thing conference win.
Team Concerns For 2013: Can the Hawkeyes score? With the second-worst offense in the Big Ten with no downfield passing game, Iowa has to be far more explosive and has to keep a running back healthy to provide some semblance of a running game. The defense didn't do nearly enough to get into the backfield finishing last in the league in sacks and tackles for loss, while the punting game is coming off a miserable season for an offense that needed solid field position.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Receives. Apparently, all the problems getting the ball down the field meant it's time to get more good pass catchers in a hurry. Last year's class was big on skill players, but this one is a whopper for the receiving corps with Derrick Willies leading the pack. Tight ends Jon Wisnieski and Ike Boettger are excellent talents who'll fit the Hawkeye mold after they hit the weight room for a few years. The defensive backfield might be getting the most talented players with safeties Solomon Warfield and Malik Rucker almost certain future starters.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
32. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. The stars of the last two classes were on the defensive line, and this year the stars appear to be the tackles. The offense is set at quarterback for a while, and will have to be addressed next year, but the Hawkeye running back situation that always seems to be full of drama needs more options. The receiving corps might not have any superstar prospects, but there are enough decent ones to develop for 2014.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 22. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The controversy off the field didn’t make much of an impact in recruiting as Kirk Ferentz and his staff came up with one of the program’s better classes in a while. The lines got tremendous help with guard Jordan Walsh a special prospect and Austin Blythe a good-looking guard. Darian Cooper has all the talent to be the team’s next great defensive lineman, while Riley McMinn and John Raymon are strong pass rushers. Iowa also loaded up on tight ends, getting three nice once including 6-5, 230-pound pass catcher Ray Hamilton.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 36. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Defensive
linemen. After a mediocre class last year, Iowa came
up with a strong haul of talent this recruiting
season starting with several great prospects for the
defensive line. Carl Davis is one of the bigger
tackles the defense has had in a while, checking in
at 300 pounds, while ends Mike Hardy and Louis
Trinca-Pasat have good size. On the offensive side,
tackle Andrew Donnal is the key to the class with
NFL size and the frame to get a lot bigger. The
openings will be there among the skill players to
step up and shine next ear, and tight end C.J.
Fiedorowicz could be too good to keep off the field.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 71. That Class Was
Heavy On ... receivers. Keenan Davis was one of the Big Ten’s best wide receiver recruits and might be needed sooner than later. There weren’t any other major stars, but Jordan Cotton and Josh Brown will be factors by 2011 and three tight ends, led by Anthony Schiavone, were brought in. Iowa does a great job of developing tight ends.
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