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Hawkeye Football

Hawk Talk

2017 schedule (Part 2)

Last week I talked about the Hawkeye football schedule for this fall.
I had the Hawks favored over Wyoming, Iowa State, North Texas State, Michigan State and Illinois.
I thought Penn State would be favored over Iowa at Kinnick.
This week I’ll try to come up with Iowa being favored in at least four more games so I can win my bet (a Heineken beer) with Mike Evans.
The Hawks finish the season with three home games: Minnesota, Ohio State and Purdue.
They have three road games: Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska with a bye on Oct. 14.

OCT. 21: at the Northwestern Wildcats

Last years’ loss, 38-31 at Kinnick was tough to take. Of course, as far as I’m concerned, any loss to the Wildcats is tough.
Growing up and listening to Iowa play Northwestern in the late 60s and 70s, I remember that the Hawks used to hammer the Cats.
When Hayden Fry came on board Iowa had a 21-game winning streak starting in 1974, my first year as a football manager for the Hawks.
Last season, Iowa couldn’t stop running back Justin Jackson, who had 172 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown run.
C. J. Beathard was sacked six times and the offense could only come up with 79 yards rushing.
Jackson is back along with seven more on offense including quarterback Clayton Thorson, who passed for 3,182 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2016.
The Cats averaged 26 points and almost 400 yards total offense per game last year.
On defense, Northwestern has seven starters back including three defensive linemen.
The Wildcats scored 22 points and 404 total yards per game last season.
Iowa has won three out of the last four and should be a slight favorite at Northwestern…I hope?

OCT. 29: Minnesota Gophers

The Hawks beat the Gophers 14-7 last year on two field goals, a touchdown by Akrum Wadley and an extra point by LeShun Daniels.
Akrum had 109 yards with a 7.6 average.
The Hawks defense held the Gophers to 102 yards on the ground (3.5 average) and intercepted two passes.
This year Minnesota has seven starters back on offense including four offensive linemen.
They also have their top running back, Rodney Smith, who ran for 1,158 yards and scored 16 times.
The Gopher offense averaged 29 points and 357 total yards per game last season.
The defense has four starters back including both safeties.
The defense gave up 22 points and 342 total yards per game last season.
P.J. Fleck is the new Gopher headman. He went 12-0 last season at Western Michigan and lost to Wisconsin 24-16 in the Cotton Bowl.
Iowa should be favored but the Gophers could be a tough test.

Nov. 4: Ohio State Buckeyes

Iowa hasn’t played the Buckeyes since 2013 and hasn’t beaten them since 2004.
This could be another night game at Kinnick.
Ohio State is picked to not only win the Big Ten but also to challenge for the National championship.
The Bucks were 11-2 last season and return eight on offense including quarterback J. T. Barrett, who passed for 2,555 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also ran for 845 yards and scored nine times.
Mike Webber, who led the team with 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns is also back.
State averaged 39 points and 459 yards total offense per game last year.
The defense gave up only 15 points and 296 total yards per game last season.
They have seven starters back including two d-lineman and two linebackers.
Iowa doesn’t match up very well against the Buckeyes.
The Hawks have only won 14 games since the series started in 1922.
Iowa actually won four of the first seven at the start (with one tie) and have only won 10 since.
Ohio State will be favored and have talent to get a big win.

NOV. 11: at the Wisconsin Badgers

Last season the Hawks lost to the Badgers 17-9 at Kinnick.
This was another one of those games where Iowa couldn’t run the ball (83 yards total rushing) and didn’t stop the run very well.
Wisconsin had 167 yards on the ground including 134 by Corey Clement.
Cory is gone but quarterback Alex Hornibrook is back after passing for 1,262 and nine touchdowns last year.
Alex started nine games last year and the Badgers went 11-3, winning the Big Ten West.
They averaged 28 points and 382 total yards last season on offense.
The Badger defense has eight starters back including both linebackers.
They gave up an average of 15 points and 98.8 rushing yards per game last year.
The 98.8 yards per game led the Big Ten last season.
Wisconsin will be favored at home and they lead the all time series 45-43-2.
This game could be for the Big Ten West title.

NOV. 18: Purdue Boilermakers

The Hawks jumped out to a 35-7 halftime lead and held on to a 49-35 win last fall.
Iowa’s one-two punch of Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels pounded out 176 and 150 yards rushing against the Boilermakers.
Purdue has five starters back on offense including quarterback David Blough, who passed for 3,352 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. He did throw 21 picks including one to Desmond King, who returned it 41 yards for a score in last year’s game.
Akrum averaged 11.7 yards per carry and scored once, including a 75-yard TD run.
LeShun averaged 6.5 yards and scored twice.
The Hawkeye defense gave up only 47 yards rushing (2.2 per carry).
They also return their top running back, Markell Jones, who ran for 616 yards and four TD’s.
The offense averaged 24 points and 391 yards per game last year.
The defense has six players back including both defensive tackles.
The Boilermakers gave up 38 points and 446 yards per game last year.
Purdue leads the all time series 46-38-3 but Iowa has won 9 of the last 11 including four in a row.
The Hawks will be favored and need to take care of business.

NOV. 24: at the Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Hawks rolled over the Huskers 40-10 last year at Kinnick.That was one of the better games of the season for Iowa.
The Hawks ran for 264 yards and held the Huskers to 90.
LeShun Daniels had 160 yards and two touchdowns while Akrum totaled 105 yards (9.5 per carry) including a 75-yard TD run.
Nebraska has five starters back on offense, but have to replace quarterback Tommy Armstrong, who started 44 straight games and leaves with four career passing marks.
Their offense averaged 26 points and 380 total yards per game last season.
The Husker defense has seven starters back including three defensive backs.
They gave up 24 points and 363 total yards per game last season.
Iowa should be favored but it usually is a good game.

Well, I have Iowa favored in nine games this year.
The Hawks usually win one or two that they are underdogs and possibly lose one or two that they are favored, so time will tell. I’ll be ready for whatever the season brings.